AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Longhorns leaned heavily on their dominant running game to hold off upset-minded Wyoming 37-17 Saturday night.
UT's two sophomore tailbacks, Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron, each surpassed 100 yards. Brown, the starter, rushed for 105 yards on 14 carries, while Bergeron countered with 110 yards on 15 attempts.
Quarterback David Ash, another Longhorn sophomore, played all but one series in the game, completing 20 of 27 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown.
A crowd of 101,142 fans at Royal-Memorial Stadium sweated through intense temperatures. Game time was a toasty 94 degrees. But at halftime, when UT led 24-9, no one in burnt-orange was sweating the score.
Texas built its lead to 31-9 before Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith began to dazzle, finding holes in the Longhorn pass defense. His 22-yard throw to Robert Herron early in the fourth quarter, along with a pass to Dominic Rufran for a two-point conversion, cut the Longhorns' lead to 31-17.
The Cowboys, thanks to a bobbled snap from Longhorn quarterback David Ash, threatened again moments later. Yet Wyoming blew its best chance to get back in the game when Smith couldn't convert a fourth down deep in Texas territory.
UT's running offense then smashed Wyoming's hopes with a 91-yard touchdown drive.
Smith, who was the second-best quarterback a year ago in the Mountain West Conference behind Boise State's Kellen Moore, completed 16 of 28 attempts for 276 yards and two touchdowns.
Texas took a 24-9 lead at halftime, scoring 17 points in the second quarter.
Smith brutalized the Longhorns' secondary early in the game, abusing a pass defense that was believed to be a team strength.
He completed an 82-yard touchdown pass to Herron late in the first quarter to give Wyoming a 9-7 edge. Then later in the quarter, Smith and Herron combined on a 45-yard play.
But Smith threw two first-half interceptions -- the first to all-conference safety Kenny Vaccaro, then to cornerback Carrington Byndom. Smith threw for 158 yards in the half, but only eight in the second quarter.
The Texas offense had early problems finding an identity. Eventually, the Longhorns showed balance.
Ash completed 13 of 17 passes for 105 yards in the first half. Midway through the second quarter, Ash found fellow sophomore Jaxon Shipley for a 16-yard touchdown. D.J. Monroe, classified as a hybrid running back-receiver, ran for a 7-yard score out of the Longhorns' "Wild" formation. That gave Texas a 21-9 lead.
Freshman kicker Nick Jordan converted a 31-yard field goal with three seconds in the half to push the Longhorns' lead to 24-9.