7:00 PM ET, September 3, 2005
Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, AUSTIN, TX
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Cedric Benson used to be the workhorse for Texas. After a 60-3 season-opening romp over Louisiana-Lafayette, the second-ranked Longhorns appear to have a full stable of speedy and powerful tailbacks to compliment quarterback Vince Young this year.
Young passed for three touchdowns, ran for another and Jamaal Charles set a Texas freshman debut record Saturday night with 135 yards rushing for the Longhorns, who travels to No. 6 Ohio State next weekend.
"It will be a fun game for college football," Longhorns coach Mack Brown said. "The buildup started in early spring."
The Longhorns cranked out 418 yards rushing in scoring at least 60 points in a season opener for the third straight year.
"We went out there and took care of business," Young said. "It sends a message to whoever was watching, they got to get themselves prepared to play us."
With Benson, the fifth-leading rusher in major college history, the Longhorns had a bruiser who could be counted on for 30 carries a game. Benson is now in the NFL and the plan against the Ragin' Cajuns (0-1) was to spread things the ball around.
Starter Selvin Young scored the first TD on a 9-yard run. Charles followed it by scooting untouched around the left side 14 yards for a score. Then it was Taylor taking a reverse 30 yards to the end zone.
"We wanted to teach people we can run the ball without Cedric Benson here," Taylor said. "We answered that question and proved a point."
Young cranked up the passing game in the second quarter, hitting Nate Jones on a 10-yard scoring pass and connecting with tight David Thomas twice from 20 and 7 yards.
Young entered the season as one of top contenders for the Heisman Trophy after his five-touchdown performance in the Rose Bowl. While that game saw him rush for four TDs, his passing was one of the few question marks for the Longhorns this season.
He was an efficient 13-of-15 for 173 yards in the first half as Texas built a 39-3 lead. He threw only two passes in the third quarter -- an interception and a drop at the goal line -- before scoring on a 2-yard run. He finished with 49 yards rushing on seven carries before leaving the game midway through the third.
"Vince was able to throw it at will," coach Mack Brown said. "And he threw it well."
The big loss capped an extremely difficult week for the Ragin' Cajuns. About 20 Louisiana-Lafayette players are from the New Orleans area and most of them housed dozens of family members who had fled the city and Hurricane Katrina.
The Ragin' Cajuns were one of the few teams from Louisiana playing football this weekend. The hurricane forced the cancellation or postponement of five games involving teams from Louisiana and Mississippi.
"It is a shame," said cornerback Jemarcus Smith said of the desperate situation in New Orleans. "We had to worry about the roofs being torn off our house. My family is planning to move to San Antonio. I was thinking about [my family]. That's all that was on my mind."
By the second half, Louisiana-Lafayette was completely worn down. That's when the Longhorns hit them with Melton, a 270-pound freshman who pounds the line of scrimmage with the force of a wrecking ball.
After Charles cut the corners with his speed, Melton bulled his way through a pile of tacklers before breaking free for a 14-yard TD. He did it again in the fourth, breaking five tackles on a 22-yard scoring run.
"They're freshman, but they're unusual freshmen. I think they will continue to get better," said Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis.
The only problem for the Longhorns came in the kicking game. They three missed extra points.
The last play of the Longhorns' 2004 season was Dusty Mangum's wobbly field goal that gave Texas a 38-37 win over Michigan in the Rose Bowl.
Richmond McGee, the Longhorns' punter and kickoff specialist, took over the field goals and extra points this year. He missed his first extra point wide right then had two low kicks blocked in the second quarter.
"For whatever reason, we got off to a bad start with the extra points," Brown said. "He's never kicked in a game before."
Overall, Brown liked what he saw before heading up to Ohio next weekend.
"I felt like it was the perfect opener for us," he said.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Vince Young and the Horns ran safely past Bevo on their way into Royal-Memorial Stadium.
Gameball goes to... the Texas O-line, which paved the way for the Horns to sprint to 418 yards on the ground.
Stat of the game... 0: No more games before the most-hyped nonconference contest of 2005. Get ready for the Horns and Buckeyes in the Big Horseshoe.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-18||6-10|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||1-1|
|TD||8:36||SELVIN YOUNG 9 YD RUN (MISSED KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 35 yards.
|FG||5:32||SEAN COMISKEY 47 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 39 yards.
|TD||3:08||JAMAAL CHARLES 14 YD RUN (RICHMOND MCGEE KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 65 yards.
|TD||13:42||NATE JONES 10 YD PASS FROM VINCE YOUNG (BLOCKED XP)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 56 yards.
|TD||7:38||RAMONCE TAYLOR 30 YD RUN (BLOCKED XP)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 91 yards.
|TD||6:20||DAVID THOMAS 20 YD PASS FROM VINCE YOUNG (RICHMOND MCGEE KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 60 yards.
|TD||0:38||DAVID THOMAS 7 YD PASS FROM VINCE YOUNG (RICHMOND MCGEE KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 60 yards.
|TD||8:21||VINCE YOUNG 2 YD RUN (RICHMOND MCGEE KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 10 yards.
|TD||4:35||HENRY MELTON 14 YD RUN (DAVID PINO KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 34 yards.
|TD||14:13||HENRY MELTON 22 YD RUN (DAVID PINO KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 77 yards.