LUBBOCK, Texas -- The look of the Big 12 has changed with the Texas Longhorns losing their biggest in-state rival.
But Texas showed on Saturday that not everything has changed. The Longhorns are still in charge in the Lone Star State.
No. 23 Texas surged to an early two-score lead then fended off 18th-ranked Texas Tech for a 31-22 victory over the Red Raiders at Jones AT&T Stadium.
Longhorns starting quarterback David Ash showed in the first half that coach Mack Brown was right to stick with him. Ash gave way to backup Case McCoy a week earlier as McCoy led Texas to a comeback victory at Kansas.
But Ash started against Texas Tech and burned the Red Raiders for touchdown passes of 6 and 75 yards to help the Longhorns take control in the first half. Ash's 6-yard pass to Jaxon Shipley gave Texas the initial lead. Then Ash's 75-yard bomb to Mike Davis put Texas ahead 21-10.
"We were throwing and catching," Ash said about the day he and Davis had. "It was fun. Before the plays, he was saying, 'Throw it to me. It's a touchdown.' "
In the fourth quarter, Ash was right on target again to Davis for a 25-yard touchdown that gave the Longhorns (7-2, 4-2 Big 12) just enough room.
Ash completed 11 of 19 passes for 264 yards.
"Personally, I felt like I fell down last week," Ash said. "This week I got back up."
"We're really proud of David," Brown said. "He came back and really played a great football game."
Texas Tech (6-3, 3-3) battled to keep up with Texas most of the way. The Red Raiders drove to the Longhorn 2 in the fourth quarter, attempting to cut Texas' lead to a field goal.
But a touchdown was wiped out by a holding penalty on center Deveric Gallington, and cornerback Carrington Byndom blocked Ryan Bustin's 23-yard field goal attempt.
"He almost blocked the first one and then he blocks the last one," Brown said. "That really put the game out of reach if we could get a couple of first downs."
Texas Tech did not get the ball back as Texas ran through the Red Raiders in the final five minutes.
Texas Tech's defense, thought to be much improved after holding West Virginia to 14 points in a Red Raider victory three weeks ago, was continually gashed by the Longhorns in the first half.
Texas running back Johnathan Gray ran for 26 yards on the Longhorns' first play. It was the first of five plays of 20 yards or more for Texas in the first half as the Longhorns established a 24-13 lead.
Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege threw for 329 yards and a touchdown on 26-of-44 passing in the losing effort.
However, Doege and the Texas Tech offense couldn't break through often enough. The Red Raiders settled for field goals on three trips inside the red zone before having the field goal block on their last trip deep into Texas territory.
"A lot of disappointment, obviously," Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said. "We shot ourselves in the foot, made too many mistakes against a good football team."
NOTES: Gray made his first start at the alma mater of his father, James Gray. The elder Gray is second in career rushing yards at Texas Tech, with 4,066, and holds the career rushing touchdown record, with 52, which he amassed from 1986 to 1989. The younger Gray finished with a game-high 108 rushing yards. ... Texas Tech debuted its Under Armour Lone Star Pride uniforms featuring a "Lone Star" on both shoulders and one side of the helmet and a Texas Double-T logo on the jersey and the other side of the helmet. ... Texas Tech set a stadium record with an announced crowd of 60,879, breaking the record set earlier this season against Oklahoma (60,800). The Red Raiders lost both games.