HOUSTON (AP) -- Texas ran with ease, its defense was stifling and
Colt McCoy was sharp.
If No. 8 Texas wouldn't have committed all those pesky penalties
Saturday's 52-7 win over Rice would have been near-perfect.
Texas (2-1) easily avoided losing two straight games for the
first time since 1999 and rebounded from last week's loss to Ohio
State while Rice (0-3) has lost 19 of its last 20.
Though Texas had its way with the Owls on both sides of the
ball, coach Mack Brown was concerned with the number of penalties
his team had. The Longhorns committed a school-record 19 penalties
for 148 yards. On one drive late in the first Texas had three
straight penalties -- two false starts and one for holding -- that
forced the team to settle for a field goal.
"We made a lot of mistakes," McCoy said. "Their defensive
line was yelling things. They did a great job of yelling and moving
around and throwing us off."
Offensive coordinator Greg Davis was frustrated.
"It was way too many penalties for our standards," Davis said.
"It's no question about it, we've got to get it cleaned up."
The Longhorns scored on their first three possessions and then
tacked on touchdowns on defense and special teams to take a 31-0
McCoy threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Limas Sweed just before
halftime to make it 38-0.
The Longhorns used their passing game sparingly with McCoy going
"We're growing as a team. We're trying to figure out who we
are," Brown said. "I thought Colt did about everything that he
Texas used seven straight running plays capped by a 4-yard run
by Young to take an early 7-0 lead.
McCoy threw his first pass on the second possession, a perfect
21-yard throw to a wide-open Jermichael Finley. Five plays later,
Charles ran untouched for a 20-yard touchdown.
While the Texas offense dazzled by marching down the field with
ease in the first half, the defense was just as impressive with its
The Longhorns had outgained the Owls 251-2 with about six
minutes remaining in the first half and Rice had minus-21 yards
rushing at halftime.
Rice didn't even get the ball past midfield until halfway
through the third quarter when a 15-yard facemask penalty was
tacked on the end of a run by quarterback Joel Armstrong.
Texas had 493 yards and 22 first downs to 168 yards and 11 first
downs by Rice. The Owls finished with minus-12 yards rushing. Brown
said his defense played "as well as I've seen them play."
The Texas defense had 13 tackles for losses, led by Crowder who
had five for minus-20 yards.
"We did a horrible job of getting them prepared to play this
game," Rice coach Todd Graham said. "Texas is a very, very good
football team and you absolutely cannot come out and not be ready
In the second, Charles dashed up the middle before stiff-arming
a defender and running 46 yards to the 12-yard line. It looked like
Young would score a few plays later but the ball was knocked out of
his hands as he dove over the pile on the goal line and the Owls
It didn't matter much though because three plays later Crowder
snatched the ball out of the hands of a heavily pressured Armstrong
in the end zone for a touchdown. Crowder immediately trotted away
while still clutching the stolen ball over his head with one hand.
"We work on stripping drills all the time and I just did it
like the drills and the ball just came up," Crowder said.
The Owls were forced to punt away their next possession which
Aaron Ross returned 46 yards for a score to make it 31-0. It was
the third career punt return for a touchdown for Ross, tying a
Though the Longhorns were the visitors, all but one section of
the occupied areas of Reliant Stadium were filled with orange-clad
Most of the Texas starters were on the bench by the fourth
quarter, but the backups still managed to tack on one more
touchdown when Henry Melton scored on a 5-yard run.
The Owls avoided a shutout when Armstrong found Jarrett Dillard
on a 6-yard pass for the touchdown late in the fourth.
"Being able to score seven points at the end may not mean much
to some people, but it meant a lot to us as we keep fighting until
the end," Armstrong said.
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