AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The big fella had to like what he saw.
On a night Texas retired one massive steer mascot and introduced
another, the (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) Longhorns churned out 673 total yards -- 513 on the ground -- in a 65-0 win over North Texas.
With the Longhorns leading 44-0 after two quarters, about the
only excitement left was the halftime ceremony that sent Bevo XIII
out to pasture after 16 years on the sideline.
In his place stood Bevo XIV, a 2-year-old, 1,300-pound beast
whose horns measure almost 56 inches from tip to tip and also goes
by the name "Sunrise Studly."
Standing behind the end zone, the newest Longhorn got an
up-close view of a dominating performance.
Cedric Benson ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns, Selvin Young
scampered for 102 yards and two scores and the defense recorded its
second season-opening shutout in three seasons.
"We got about everything out of an opening win that we could
get," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "We have to realize we'll have
to beat better teams than North Texas."
North Texas (0-1) was supposed to be a stern test for a season
opener. The Mean Green won the last three Sun Belt Conference
titles and running back Patrick Cobbs rushed for 1,680 yards last
Instead, Texas steamrolled to its biggest margin of victory
since an 81-16 win over TCU in 1974 and held Cobbs to minus-1 yard
rushing on eight carries.
Benson averaged 12.1 yards on 15 carries. The Longhorns' 673
total yards was the third best in school history.
Texas had one of the best rushing attacks in the nation over the
last half of the 2003 season but had mysteriously abandoned it in a
Holiday Bowl loss to Washington State.
There was no chance of that happening Saturday night as the
Longhorns churned up yards and touchdowns at will.
"We just came out motivated," Benson said. "Everybody knows
what we can do."
Benson led the nation with 21 TDs last season and took all of
about eight seconds to find the end zone on his first carry of
On Texas' first play on offense, he took a handoff from Vince
Young, darted through the left side of the line and scampered 38
yards for a touchdown.
"That was the perfect way to start the game," Vince Young
said. "We came in and took care of business.
When Benson wasn't carrying the ball, the Longhorns gave it to
Selvin Young, whose two touchdowns covered 16 and 48 yards. The
first made it 17-0 when he juked a defender at the 5 and ran over
another at the goal line.
While the rushing attack was to be expected, Texas came into the
contest with question marks on defense, particularly in the front
The Longhorns would appear to have some of them answered,
although a much tougher test likely comes next weekend against
New co-coordinator Greg Robinson and former Arizona head coach
Dick Tomey were brought in to shore up a defense that had slipped
to 25th nationally in 2003.
"We want to be a real dominant defense," said linebacker
Derrick Johnson, a Butkus Award finalist last season. He had seven
tackles and forced three fumbles, two of which Texas turned into
With each touchdown, Longhorns defenders played more aggressive,
flying around the field to tee off on North Texas runners at every
chance. The Longhorns gave up just four first downs and 130 total
"They completely stopped our running game, which we do best,"
said North Texas quarterback Scott Hall. "Offensively, we couldn't
Cobbs didn't have any room to run as he was often met by Texas
defenders behind the line of scrimmage.
"You could feel an intensity from our guys," Robinson said.
"I liked the hitting."