AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Freshman Jamaal Charles is starting to look
as if he could be the next great Texas running back.
Charles ran for 189 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries in
his first career start to lead the No. 2 Longhorns to a 51-10 win
over Rice on Saturday night.
"I think he can be a special player," coach Mack Brown said.
"He's three games into a career that could be really good."
Brown ought to know. He coached Heisman Trophy winner Ricky
Williams in 1998 and spent the last four years with Cedric Benson,
who finished his career as the fifth-leading rusher in major
Throw Heisman winner Earl Campbell and Roosevelt Leaks into the
mix, and the Longhorns have a rich legacy of dominating ball
And while it's a bit early to put the freshman on their level,
Charles' early season numbers are certainly impressive.
Charles had a pair of 25-yard scoring runs in the first quarter
and added another 4-yard TD in the second as Texas (3-0) built a
42-0 lead by halftime. He had four runs of 20 or more yards in his
first 10 carries.
He threatened Benson's Texas freshman record of 213 yards set
against Kansas in 2001 but left the game in the third quarter.
"My goal every game is to run for 200 yards," Charles said.
"I came close, but I wasn't disappointed because another goal is
to rush for three touchdowns and I hit that one."
Texas has won 38 of the last 39 meetings in a rivalry that dates
to 1914. Rice (0-2) managed just 209 total yards Saturday night and
has been outscored by Texas 134-30 in the last three years.
After setting a UT freshman debut record with 135 yards in the
season opener, Charles played a major role coming off the bench in
Texas' win at Ohio State. He got his first start against Rice in
place of the banged up Selvin Young, who has struggled to stay
healthy in his return from a broken ankle last season.
Rice gave up 63 points in a season-opening loss at UCLA and Owls
defenders looked lost when trying to stop the shifty Charles, who
cut and weaved his way through tacklers. His first touchdown capped
a 6-play drive that covered 80 yards.
"He has a lot of speed," Rice cornerback Ja'Corey Shepherd
said. "What he killed us on was his cutback."
Even when Rice had Texas bottled up on its own 1, the Owls
couldn't do anything to stop the Longhorns rushing attack.
Quarterback Vince Young scrambled for 51 yards on third down before
Charles finished the 99-yard scoring drive with his second 25-yard
TD, breaking several tackles on his way to the end zone.
"I haven't seen anyone with a burst like that," Texas guard
Will Allen said. "He makes his move, and he's gone."
Charles then had runs of 26 and 20 yards before scoring his
third TD that made it 21-0 in the second quarter.
About the only thing the Longhorns didn't do was pad Vince
Young's stats to help his bid for the Heisman Trophy.
After passing for 270 yards and two scores against Ohio State,
Young was 8-for-14 for 101 yards with one interception, no
touchdowns and 77 yards rushing. He was 3-of-6 before completing
three passes for 47 yards on the final drive of the first half that
ended with Henry Melton's 1-yard touchdown. Young left the game
midway through the third quarter.
"Tonight was just about being a leader and being a
quarterback," Young said. "Each of us on the offensive side have
to make plays. Today it was Jamaal Charles' turn."
Texas also scored a pair of defensive touchdowns in the first
Safety Michael Huff scored his fifth career TD with a 21-yard
fumble return, and Frank Okam fell on a fumble by Rice quarterback
Chase Clement in the end zone.
Texas is off next week before opening Big 12 play Oct. 1 at
Coming off the big win against Ohio State and the open weekend
ahead of them, Brown was pleased his team put away an overmatched
"It was a dominating win," Brown said.