No. 17 Texas hands Iowa St. first loss in Big 12 opener

AMES, Iowa -- It wasn't about payback or revenge for No. 17 Texas.

The Longhorns simply discovered that it's much easier to beat Iowa State when you're taking the ball away instead of handing it over.

Freshman David Ash threw for 145 yards and his first two career touchdown passes and 17th-ranked Texas drilled mistake-prone Iowa State 37-14 in the Big 12 opener for both teams.

"Last year, Iowa State forced the turnovers and we didn't," Texas coach Mack Brown said. Saturday "we forced the turnovers. If you force a lot of turnovers and take care of the football like we did tonight you're going to win a lot of football games."

Jaxon Shipley added 141 yards receiving and a TD for the Longhorns (4-0, 1-0 Big 12), who raced out to a 34-0 halftime lead over the previously unbeaten Cyclones (3-1, 0-1).

Iowa State looked nothing like the team that stunned Texas 28-21 last season by forcing four turnovers from Garrett Gilbert.

The Cyclones had a pair of fumbles, a pick and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown in the first half, and they didn't score until James White's 2-yard TD run with 11:33 left.

That now includes two straight victories on the road against teams that beat the Longhorns in Austin last year.

Texas thumped UCLA 49-20 in the Rose Bowl two weeks ago -- and it faced even less resistance from the Cyclones.

Ash threw a 48-yard TD pass to Mike Davis and a 40-yard touchdown to Shipley, and Josh Turner took a blocked punt back 34 yards to help Texas blow the game open in the second quarter.

Steele Jantz was 28 of 51 passing for 251 yards and a late TD pass for Iowa State.

"You can't play like we did to start this football game -- again, unfortunately -- and win a football game against the 17th-ranked team in the country," Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. "We continue to work to find the answers on some of the foolish things that are taking place, which includes turnovers."

This was one of the biggest home games in recent memory for Iowa State, which had rallied from fourth-quarter deficits to win each of its first three games.

Part of the reason the Cyclones had to make such comebacks was because they kept turning the ball over.

This time, it finally caught up to them.

"Everything that could go wrong for us did go wrong," Iowa State linebacker Jake Knott said.

It started when the Longhorns recovered a White fumble on the Cyclones' second possession and settled for a field goal. Iowa State fumbled it right back to them on the kickoff, and Fozzy Whittaker's 16-yard TD run off a direct snap made it 10-0 Texas just under 10 minutes in.

The Longhorns converted Jantz's only pick into a 35-yard field goal from Justin Tucker to go ahead 13-0 late in the first quarter.

Cornerback Leonard Johnson committed a personal foul to keep a Texas's drive alive. Ash then found a wide-open Davis, giving the Longhorns a 20-0 lead with 10:18 before halftime.

Texas didn't need any more help to turn a rough night into a brutal one for the Cyclones.

Freshman Mykke Thompson broke through to block Kirby Van Der Kamp's punt. The deflection plopped into the arms of fellow freshman Turner, whose 34-yard touchdown return made it 27-0 with 4:30 left in the second quarter.

As if that wasn't enough for the browbeaten Cyclones, Texas closed the half with a bit of trickery that worked to perfection.

Whittaker took the snap and handed it off to Shipley, who then flipped it to Ash on a reverse. Shipley then took off for the end zone, and Ash found him for a 40-yard TD pass and a 34-0 lead just over three minutes later.

"It was a big deal for us. We're 4-0 now. That was our main focus, is winning the season opener and then coming out here and winning the Big 12 opener," Whittaker said. "It's the first step toward winning our conference."

Case McCoy got the start for the Longhorns and finished 7 of 12 passing for 110 yards, but he got much of his work after the outcome had been decided.

Though the Cyclones beat the Longhorns in Austin last year, this one fell back in line with the history of this series. Texas improved to 8-1 against Iowa State and 4-0 in Ames.

"Everybody knows that the effect that getting turnovers or having turnovers can cause on a season, the outcome of a ballgame," Texas safety Blake Gideon said. "That was definitely one of the main emphasis throughout spring ball and camp and these early weeks of the season. It's good to see all the hard work has come to fruition."

Johnson was taken off on a stretcher after helmet-to-helmet collisions with linebacker Jake Knott and defensive lineman Stephen Ruempolhamer while finishing off a tackle in the fourth quarter.

Johnson landed face down on the turf. He was flipped over, placed on a backboard and taken to a local hospital. But Johnson waved to the crowd as he left, drawing cheers from the Iowa State crowd, and Rhoads said Johnson showed movement in his extremities.