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NCAA Game Summary - Rice at Texas



(Saturday, September 25th)

Final Score: (5) Texas 35, Rice 13

Austin, TX (Sports Network) - Vince Young tossed three touchdown passes and Cedric Benson ran for 189 yards and a score, leading No. 5 Texas to a 35-13 win over Rice at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Young completed 11-of-18 passes for 161 yards for the Longhorns (3-0), who outgained Rice by a hefty 525-228 margin en route to their 25th home victory in 26 tries. Benson, who had 20 carries on the night, picked up 169 of his yards in the first half.

Texas junior tight end David Thomas caught four passes for 90 yards and a pair of scores.

Freshman quarterback Joel Armstrong accounted for the Owls' only touchdown with a 44-yard run late in the fourth quarter. Brennan Landry added a pair of field goals as Rice (2-1) saw its five-game win streak come to an end.

"I'm real happy with the win," said Texas head coach Mack Brown. "We felt like the guys were ready to play and they played hard against a good football team. I can't remember when we've started that quickly."

The Longhorns established their dominance right from the outset, finding the end zone on their first four possessions.

On the first series of the game, Benson keyed an 80-yard march with a 57-yard run to the Rice 12, and Young hit Bo Scaife three plays later for a 10-yard score.

Rice countered with a field goal on the next possession to get on the board, but Young and Benson kept coming.

The duo combined for 57 yards on the ground before Benson carried it in from two yards out for a 14-3 advantage.

"The offensive line played great, and Cedric and Vince both looked good," said Brown. "Defensively, we played great. We started off slow with Rice's wishbone, but I felt like we adjusted to the speed."

On its next possession from its own 35, Texas needed only two plays to find the end zone. After Benson rumbled 43 yards down the sideline, Young found Thomas for a 22-yard score and a commanding 21-3 lead heading into the second.

Texas opened the second period with a 13-play, 80-yard scoring drive, capped by a Tony Jeffery four-yard TD run.

"This is a building block and a stepping stone for us," said Benson. "The first and second offensive lines paved the way and the guys up front made it happen."

The Owls had a golden opportunity to record its first touchdown after picking Young off and taking over at the Texas 24. They got as close as the one-yard line, but a false start penalty pushed them back and they had to settle for a 23-yard field goal to get within 28-6 at the half.

The onslaught continued in the third with help from the Young and Thomas connection. This time, Thomas was the recipient of Young's 49-yard TD pass, the sophomore quarterback's third of the game.

With the outcome already in hand, Rice had an interception return for a touchdown nullified early in the fourth quarter. Chance Mock, replacing Young in mop-up duty, had a receiver fall down and was picked off by Clifford Sparks, who took it 55 yards the other way for naught.

Armstrong, in for starter Greg Henderson, scampered 44 yards to pay dirt to account for the final margin. Henderson was only 3-of-7 for 34 yards.

Game Notes

Texas has taken 34 of the last 35 head-to-head matchups with the Owls...The Longhorns will begin Big 12 play next week against Baylor...Rice actually held a four-plus minute edge in time of possession (32:07 to 27:53).

09/25 23:40:14 ET

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