Sept 28, 2002
By BRETT MARTEL
Associated Press Writer
NEW ORLEANS - No. 3 Texas relied on its defense against Tulane.
The Longhorns handed the Green Wave their first shutout since 1995 and set up two offensive scores with turnovers in their 49-0 win Saturday.
Selvin Young added three touchdowns, including a 71-yard punt return.
"Offensively, we just couldn't get any good rhythm. ... The defense kept us in there," Chris Simms said.
Simms threw for 176 yards and two short touchdowns that gave Texas (4-0) a 14-0 lead, but the Longhorns played a lackluster first half and might have been in a tighter game if not for Tulane's repeated mistakes.
Tulane (2-3) had a potential TD pass dropped, and another overthrown. The Green Wave also got an illegal-substitution penalty on fourth-and-inches, and a late hit gave Texas a first down after Simms had come up 12 yards short on a third-down scramble.
"Offensively, we weren't in sync in the first half," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "I thought if we'd been in sync, we'd have probably been up by 28 or 31 as we normally are, but we didn't make plays we normally make."
A 15-yard TD run by Cedric Benson and Young's punt return finally broke the game open in the third quarter.
Benson finished with 88 yards on 17 carries. Brown said he wanted to rest Benson, who carried the ball a combined 68 times his previous two games. He has 505 yards and five TDs in four games.
Simms completed 17 of 31 passes and was intercepted once. He didn't play after teammate Cedric Griffith returned a blocked field goal 56 yards for a touchdown to put Texas up 35-0 with a little less than 10 minutes left.
"I thought (Tulane) played as long as they could play with us," Brown said. "They just didn't have as many players as we do."
The Longhorns didn't get their first score until late in the first quarter. It was set up when a pass by J.P. Losman was tipped and intercepted by Reed Boyd at the Tulane 27. Three plays later, Sloan Thomas took a screen pass into the end zone from 11 yards out.
"I thought (Tulane) played as long as they could play with us. They just didn't have as many players as we do."
Texas coach Mack Brown
Five plays later, Benson scored on a draw play.
Young followed with TD runs of 2 and 3 yards in place of Benson. Both scores were set up by Tulane turnovers - one fumble on a kickoff return and an interception.
The Texas defense sacked Tulane quarterback J.P. Losman four times. He was lifted for several possessions in the second half and finished 13-of-29 for 127 yards and two interceptions.
Young finished with 66 yards on 12 carries.
The Longhorns held Tulane's best running back, Mewelde Moore, to 52 yards.
"When it's 49-0, there's not a lot of moral victories," Tulane coach Chris Scelfo said. "We got dominated in all three phases of the game. I was disappointed with our offensive production. We had chances to make some plays, we just didn't make them."
Texas now has two shutouts, including a 27-0 victory over North Texas.
"I was proud of our defense stopping Moore, as good as he is," Brown said.