AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas heard all week about its 84th-ranked
offense and struggling running game.
The Longhorns responded by saying the ground game would come.
Did it ever.
Just when No. 7 Texas needed it the most, the Longhorns gained
245 yards rushing Saturday in a 21-10 win over No. 17 Iowa State (No. 17 AP, No. 18 ESPN/USA Today).
Cedric Benson ran for 199 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries
-- including a 59-yarder that put Texas ahead in the third quarter --
as the 'Horns revived a punishing ground game that all but
"We were tired of playing like we weren't a top team,'' said
Benson, who had 45 carries for 113 yards in the previous two games
while playing with a nagging turf toe injury.
"It started to make some guys sick.''
Texas (7-1, 3-1 Big 12) sealed its 17th straight win at home on
Selvin Young's 2-yard TD in the fourth. The play capped an 80-yard
drive in which the Longhorns converted a fourth-and-1 at the Iowa
State 21 and chewed up more than nine minutes.
"It's been a long time since we had a 19-play drive that
changed the momentum of the game for us,'' Texas coach Mack Brown
Perhaps most importantly, the Longhorns ground game kept Iowa
State quarterback Seneca Wallace off the field.
Texas' Royal-Memorial Stadium was soggy after a week of rain and
under a steady drizzle Saturday. The Longhorns worried that would
favor the shifty Wallace.
"I've always felt a wet field was to the advantage of the
offense,'' Brown said. "We thought it was a Seneca Wallace day. We
needed to get our running game back on track to keep the ball out
of his hands.''
Iowa State (6-3, 3-2) has lost two straight since cracking the
top 10 for the first time.
Held to just 43 yards passing in a loss to Oklahoma, Wallace was
much better against Texas with 226 yards and a touchdown.
But he didn't make the big plays the Cyclones needed as Texas'
second-ranked defense held Iowa State to 286 total yards. He was 18
of 31 passing with an interception and rushed for 15 yards.
A Heisman Trophy favorite two weeks ago, Wallace might have
surged back to the front of the race with a win or a big game.
"We're the only team in the country to play back-to-back games
on the road against top 10 teams,'' Iowa State coach Dan McCarney
said. "It's been a long two weeks. We're sick of losing.''
Wallace couldn't do anything to counter Benson's performance.
Benson ran for 61 yards and a 2-yard TD in Texas' opening drive for
a 7-0 lead.
The Longhorns would come back to him after the Cyclones grabbed
On the 59-yard run, Benson swept left, cut back between a pair
of defenders and raced to the end zone before stretching out over a
tackler at the 2 to give Texas a 14-10 lead.
Turnovers hurt Texas in the first half. Benson fumbled and Iowa
State's JaMaine Billups intercepted a tipped pass.
The Cyclones led 10-7 at halftime on Wallace's 16-yard touchdown
pass to Lance Young and Adam Benike's 40-yard field goal.
The Cyclones dominated the second quarter but missed a chance
for a TD when they couldn't punch it in on first-and-goal from the
2. Benike kicked a 24-yard field goal that was wiped out by a
penalty, and he missed the retry from 29.
"That was a huge momentum swing,'' McCarney said. "That was as
big a series as you could have and to come away with no points
really hurt us.''
Iowa State wasted another opportunity when Nik Moser blocked a
Texas punt in the third quarter and took over at the Texas 29. But
the Cyclones picked up just one first down, and Benike missed a
32-yarder that would have cut the Texas lead to 14-13.
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