Web Posted: 09/27/2009 12:00 CDT
Longhorns roll over UTEP
By Mike Finger- Express-News
AUSTIN — Texas defensive end Sam Acho saw Sergio Kindle pummel the quarterback, and before he even realized it, teammate Lamarr Houston had the ball. Later, UT linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy ran off the field celebrating another three-and-out, and before he even realized it, Malcolm Williams was destroying the punter.
Then Colt McCoy fired the ball into the end zone, and without even realizing it, Dan Buckner plucked it out of the air with one hand.
“I didn't even know I caught it until I got up,” Buckner said.
In a 64-7 romp over UTEP on Saturday at Royal-Memorial Stadium, that's the way things went for the No. 2 Longhorns. So thorough was the domination and so frequent were the big plays, it was difficult even for the people doing the dominating to keep up.
In a game in which McCoy and most of the starters were finished early in the third quarter, UT (4-0) racked up 638 yards of total offense (its sixth-largest total in team history), allowed only 53 yards (its lowest since 1990) and forced five turnovers.
The Longhorns also scored on a 91-yard kickoff return by D.J. Monroe, who, incredibly, stands alone as the program's career leader in kickoff-return touchdowns with two in his first four college games.
“If I don't get touched in three steps, I know it's pretty much going to the house,” Monroe said.
That play was symbolic of the entire afternoon for the Miners (1-3), who made nothing but futile attempts to slow down UT after tying it briefly on a 49-yard interception return by Melvin Stephenson in the first quarter.
The Longhorns, who had been fighting a two-week trend of slow starts, didn't begin the day blazing fast — aside from McCoy's interception, they twice settled for early field goals — but they did lead 23-7 after the first quarter and 47-7 at halftime.
McCoy, who completed 28 of 35 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns, wasn't overflowing with excitement about the performance, but he said his unit is making strides.
“Our offense is really close to figuring it out, and we got one step closer to it today,” McCoy said.
They are no closer, however, to settling on a running back. Tre' Newton made his first career start at tailback and scored UT's first touchdown, but he managed only 25 yards on nine carries. Injury-plagued Fozzy Whittaker saw his first action of the season and looked strong in the second half, getting 38 yards and a touchdown on four carries. And Cody Johnson scored on his only rush, an 18-yarder.
But the running star of the day was Vondrell McGee, who began the season as the starter before ineffectiveness and a tweaked ankle sent him down the depth chart. Saturday, McGee ran for 104 yards, including a bruising 23-yard touchdown.
“When I get my chance, I want to prove what I can do,” McGee said. “I made a statement that I can still run.”
So, too, can Jordan Shipley. The senior receiver had another standout game — returning a punt 53 yards and catching 10 passes for 122 yards — and he said he has no worries about UT slacking off during the upcoming off week.
“When you're having this much fun, it's hard to get complacent,” Shipley said.
Injury update: UT defensive end Kindle (shoulder), cornerback Aaron Williams (arm), and safety Kenny Vaccaro (knee) left the game with injuries, but UT officials said none were serious.
Kindle said he could have returned.
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Longhorns roll over UTEP
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