[Updated at 3:22 a.m., minor copy edits]
It didn’t really matter who played quarterback. Not the way the Longhorns ran the ball and played defense.
Texas outrushed Kansas 441 to -2, racked up 35 first downs while allowing just three, and pounded the Jayhawks Saturday, 43-0. Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron became the first pair of Longhorn freshmen running backs to both run for more than 100 yards. Brown, who ran for 120, and Bergeron, who rushed for 136, each scored two touchdowns to pace a Texas running attack that topped the 400-yard mark for the first time since 2005.
“We have so many backs that can do so many different things,” Brown said. “We even have receivers that can rush out of the backfield, too. Having all those weapons on the field is such a blessing to us.”
With Texas controlling the game on the ground, it was able to keep the Jayhawks off the field for more than 44 minutes. Kansas ran just 36 offensive plays and did not do much with them.
Despite averaging 30 points per game before this weekend, the Longhorns held the Jayhawks to just 46 total yards while notching nine tackles for loss and three sacks.
“We’re hard to score on when we’re on the bench,” said defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. “We just sat there and watched the game like fans for 40 minutes. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that before. Our offense controlling the ball like it did made things so easy.”
After struggling in his first career start two weeks ago against Oklahoma State, David Ash showed signs of improvement against Kansas. The true freshman from Belton completed 14 of 18 passes for 145 yards and threw one interception. Ash came close to throwing a touchdown pass on a fade pass to Jaxon Shipley in the second quarter but did not score Saturday. Sophomore
Case McCoy, who wore a headset for the entire first half, completed both of his passes for four yards.
“I’ve gone from a loss to a win so I’m happy about that,” Ash said. “There’s probably two or three plays in there that I’ve got to eliminate. Other than that, I made pretty good decisions. I was completing passes and just doing what I’m coached to do and not doing anything more.”
The victory marked the first time the Longhorns pitched a shutout since they blanked Baylor, 62-0, in 2005. More importantly, Texas picked up its first Big 12 win at home since beating these same Jayhawks, 51-20, in 2009. The Longhorns defense even scored more than the Kansas offense, recording a safety for the second straight game at the beginning of the second quarter.
“I thought this was probably as physical as we’ve been around here for a long time,” said head coach Mack Brown. “We didn’t win anywhere last year. We’re 3-1 at home and we’re obviously playing better at home than we were last year.”