Long TDs propel No. 17 Texas over New Mexico 45-0By JIM VERTUNO, AP Sports Writer Sunday, Sep 9, 2012
He can run to the end zone and throw the short passes that set up his teammates to get the glory.
Ash scored on a 49-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and flipped the ball to Daje Johnson for a 45-yard TD pass in the third and the No. 17 Longhorns cruised to a 45-0 win over New Mexico on Saturday night.
The running TD was all Ash, who rolled to his right, cut back to his left and scampered past three defenders to break into the clear. The throw to Johnson was a shovel pass behind the line of scrimmage and Johnson zipped around the end to break for the touchdown.
“That’s a stat-builder right there,” Ash said of his third TD pass on the season. “I didn’t do much.”
Texas coach Mack Brown had said he wanted to see Ash get more comfortable in the passing game, especially throwing deep. What the Longhorns got was another solid performance by a quarterback still misfiring on the long throws, but comfortable enough in the short game to keep the offense moving and scoring.
Ash was 16 of 22 for a career-high 221 yards for the Longhorns (2-0). He also had a touchdown pass to Mike Davis, who turned a short route into a 22-yard score for a 17-0 Texas lead just before halftime.
“I wanted to get some (deep) shots. It didn’t work out,” Ash said. “That’s OK, we just went to work.”
New Mexico (1-1) held the ball for nearly 20 minutes in the first half, but starting quarterback B.R. Holbrook was knocked out of the game in the second quarter after taking a blow to the helmet on a tackle.
“When we got the ball, we scored. We just couldn’t get their offense off the field,” Texas coach Mack Brown said.
New Mexico, which won just one game each of the previous three seasons, used its triple-option offense to grind out first downs and minutes. But the Texas defense refused to yield any points.
Holbrook, who kept Texas off balance throwing and running, picked up a first down and when Texas cornerback Quandre Diggs jarred him with a tackle that included helmet-to-helmet contact. New Mexico’s first-year coach Bob Davie screamed for a penalty and didn’t get one.
Holbrook was helped off the field and escorted to the locker room, leaving the Lobos’ offense in the hands of freshman Cole Gautsche, who threw an interception to Diggs on his throw.
After the game, Davie said Holbrook actually injured his ribs on the tackle.
“He took a shot. I thought it was a 15-yard penalty,” Davie said. “When B.R. was in the game, there’s no question we had some things we could do. We moved the ball well in the first half.”
Holbrook was 5 of 8 for 32 yards and had 39 yards rushing when he left. Gautsche was 0 for 4 passing and ran for 35 yards.
“It definitely put a lot more weight on my shoulders but I’ve got to relax a little bit more and just go with it,” Goetsche said.
Texas had just four offensive possessions in the first half and scored three times. Despite their early success moving the ball, the Lobos never got inside the Texas 34 yard line.
“That was our main goal: not letting them score,” Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat said.
Brown called the game a morale booster for his team.
“Everybody got to play. Kids are happier. Mamas are happier. Everybody is happier,” Brown said. “It makes your football team better.”