The Longhorns didn't skip a beat without their leading rusher and receiver.
Joe Bergeron rushed for 191 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries as Texas manhandled Texas Tech up front en route to a 52-20 win at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
The Longhorns (6-2; 3-2 Big 12) pounded out 439 yards on the ground, their second straight game with at least 400 rushing yards. Texas drove into the red zone six times and came away with six touchdowns--all rushing.
Freshman tailback Malcolm Brown, who leads the team with 635 rushing yards, missed the game with turf toe and No. 1 receiver Jaxon Shipey was held out with a knee injury. Both were game-time decisions and Texas head coach Mack Brown said he didn't expect such a lopsided score minus his two biggest offensive threats.
"I'm a little shocked," Brown said.
Bergeron picked up right where he left off a week ago against Kansas, when the freshman rushed for 136 yards and two scores. He burst free for a 51-yard gain in the second quarter, the longest run for Texas this season.
He capped a 7-play, 68-yard drive with a nine-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, his first of the game. He also scored from five and 12 yards out. Bergeron's 29 carries were a career high, and he got stronger as the game wore on and the Red Raider defense tired.
"After a while, the defense will crack," Bergeron said. "When you keep pounding the ball, eventually they will crack. And then you keep pounding the ball."
That's exactly what the Longhorns did. Texas rushed 54 times, compared to just nine pass attempts. But when freshman quarterback David Ash did drop back, he found open receivers downfield on play-action.
Ash went 4-for-7 for 125 yards, including a 48-yard completion to Mike Davis. Ash overthrew Davis on a post early in the game, but found the big-play receiver on the same play in the third quarter.
For the first time in his three games as a starter, Ash didn't turn the ball over. The freshman, though, didn't have many opportunities to make mistakes with the Longhorns running game in full swing.
Still, Ash showed some progression when he threw the ball away while under pressure. In weeks past, the young quarterback forced the ball down field in those situations, often leading to interceptions.
"He was getting flushed and was moving backwards and you could just see it click in his mind and got rid of the ball," said Bryan Harsin, the Texas play-caller. "If he'll get us out of bad situations like that, he's making progress from that stand point."
Texas Tech (5-3; 2-3) drove down the field on the game's opening possession, with quarterback Seth Doege completing 9-of-11 passes. The Red Raiders had a first-and-goal from the 2-yard line, but after a slew of penalties, settled for a field goal.
The Longhorns defense again stopped Tech in the red zone in the second quarter after the Red Raiders drove 61 yards in seven plays.
"It was huge," said senior safety Blake Gideon. "We want to keep them out of the end zone, that's the main thing. If we can hold them to field goals, we know our offense is going to catch up eventually."
It didn't take long for Texas to get rolling offensively, and the Longhorns scored on their opening possession for the second time in as many weeks. After Fozzy Whittaker's 12-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to put UT ahead, 10-3, the Longhorns never looked back.
Whittaker finished with 10 carries for 83 yards and two scores.