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College football

Longhorns answer challenge with rout

By Associated Press
Published October 23, 2005

AUSTIN, Texas - Vince Young threw two touchdowns and ran for one as No.2 Texas handed No.10 Texas Tech its first loss of the season Saturday 52-17.

The junior threw two early interceptions, matching a career high, but finished 12-for-22 for 239 yards. And he ran seven times for 45 yards, including a 10-yarder that made it 45-17 in the third. Young gave his performance a C-plus and said in the past, throwing two picks might have crushed his confidence.

"But now I'm more mature and understand the game and have more faith in my defense," he said.

Young graded out much better to coach Mack Brown.

"You score 52 points, no I don't think C-plus is fair," he said. "That shows you the standard this team is trying to play to."

Coach Mike Leach had Texas Tech in the top 10 for the first time since 1977, and never before had the Raiders and Longhorns met with perfect records this late in the season. But the Longhorns blew it open in the second quarter for a 31-10 halftime lead.

"This is the best Texas team I have played," Leach said. "The margin of error gets narrower, and (Saturday), when it came down to those points, we collapsed, which is disappointing."

Billy Pittman's 38-yard punt return set up Texas at the Tech 8, and Henry Melton scored from a yard out moments later to give the Longhorns a 10-7 lead late in the first quarter.

On fourth and 5 from the Texas 35 midway through the second quarter and down by seven, the Red Raiders tried to draw the Longhorns offside. It didn't work, and neither did a punt.

Ian Smetona's snap sailed to the right, and Alex Reyes couldn't catch it. Reyes picked it up, but Michael Griffin blocked it, sending the ball flying out of bounds at the Raiders 23.

Two plays later, Young rolled right, pulled back and flipped a 15-yard pass to Pittman to make it 24-10.

The Red Raiders were poised to answer, driving to the Longhorns 3. But Hodges' pass deflected to Tim Crowder for an interception. On the ensuing series, Texas went 88 yards on four plays, scoring on Selvin Young's 7-yard run.

Cody Hodges, coming off a 643-yard passing day against Kansas State, was 42-for-64 for 369 yards and two touchdowns.

"Texas deserves a lot of attention," Hodges said. "They have a chance to run the table and win it all."

[Last modified October 23, 2005, 01:21:14]

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