Big XII: Texas gives Nebraska taste of its medicine
By Wire services
Published November 2, 2003
AUSTIN, Texas - The punishing running game. The stifling defense. Texas gave Nebraska a sense of what a blowout feels like.
With Cedric Benson rushing for 174 yards and three touchdowns and a dominating defensive effort, the Longhorns' 31-7 victory Saturday had the feel of what the Cornhuskers usually do to opponents.
"We called it a graveyard game," Benson said. "We wanted to bury this game. We're a good team, an excellent team.
"We're one of the best in the nation."
Benson finally was at his best. A 1,000-yard rusher the past two seasons, he had all but disappeared in Texas' big games this season and missed the previous game against Baylor after he was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing.
"It felt good to get back on the field," said Benson, who didn't start but finished with 28 carries. "My week off helped me get my mind where it needed to be."
He found his form against the Cornhuskers. His fourth-quarter touchdown runs of 5 and 12 yards snuffed out any Nebraska hopes for a rally.
This was not a one-man show, though.
Freshman quarterback Vince Young ran for 163 yards and a touchdown. The defense resembled Nebraska's Blackshirt squads of old, holding it to 175 total yards, 53 on the ground.
Jammal Lord ran for 234 yards against Texas last season. Saturday, he was dropped for a 5-yard loss on Nebraska's third play, the first of 16 tackles for losses. He also was sacked five times.
"Our offense has the ability to score on any given drive," Lord said. "But (Saturday), we took a step back. Nothing worked."
Nebraska managed eight first downs and crossed midfield just twice in the second half.
Texas led 7-0 on Benson's first touchdown, a 1-yard run in the first quarter in which Texas held the ball for 11 minutes and pounded out 125 yards on the ground.
Young made it 14-0 in the second with a 65-yard run. He ran left, turned up field and got a block from receiver Roy Williams that took out two defenders.
Lord's 48-yard pass to Matt Herian cut it to 17-7, allowing Nebraska to avoid its first shutout since 1996.
Texas answered with a 71-yard drive for Benson's second touchdown, a 5-yard run with 7:29 left.
TEXAS TECH 26, COLORADO 21: The host Red Raiders won despite B.J. Symons throwing five interceptions, a season-low one touchdown and for fewer than 400 yards for the first time in eight games.
Symons, 30-of-51 for 399 yards, became the 22nd quarterback in Division I-A to throw for 4,000 yards and the second in conference history after former teammate Kliff Kingsbury.
Texas Tech went ahead for good midway through the third on Symons' 13-yard pass to Wes Welker, who set the Division I record with his eighth punt return for a touchdown.
Welker sparked Texas Tech late in the first half when he returned a punt 58 yards for a touchdown to cut its deficit to 14-9.
KANSAS ST. 38, BAYLOR 10: James Terry caught a career-high three touchdowns as the host Wildcats pulled away. Terry, the sixth Wildcat with three touchdown receptions in a game, finished with 138 yards on eight catches.
Kansas State needed a 98-yard drive, capped by Ell Roberson's 14-yard pass to Terry with 26 seconds left, to lead 14-10 at the half. Joe Rheem, who missed a 41-yard field goal earlier, hit from 44 on Kansas State's first second-half drive to make it 17-10.
On its next possession, Roberson and Terry hooked up for a 39-yard pass that made it 24-10.
Darren Sproles, who gained 30 yards on his first 16 carries, set up two fourth-quarter touchdowns with long runs and finished with 155 yards on 19 carries. His 73-yarder set up Ayo Saba's 1-yard run, and his 52-yarder set up Roberson's 1-yard run.
TEXAS A&M 45, KANSAS 33: Jaxson Appel scored on a 5-yard fumble return during the host Aggies' 24-point third quarter.
The teams alternated first-half touchdowns and were tied at 14 when Appel scored on the first play from scrimmage in the third. Receiver Derrick Mills ran left to take an inside handoff, bobbled the ball and fumbled after a hit by Byron Jones. Appel picked up the ball and sprinted into the end zone.
The Aggies then scored on their three possessions of the quarter, a 22-yard field goal by Todd Pegram, 25-yard touchdown run by Courtney Lewis and 2-yard run by Derek Farmer.