Austin, Texas (AP) -- Cedric Benson ran for 174 yards and three touchdowns and No. 16 Texas got a dominating performance from its much-maligned defense in a 31-7 win over No. 12 Nebraska on Saturday.
Quarterback Vince Young added 163 yards rushing and a touchdown for Texas (7-2, 4-1 Big 12). The Longhorns held Nebraska (7-2, 3-2) to just 175 total yards, including 53 on the ground.
Cornhuskers quarterback Jammal Lord passed for 122 yards and a touchdown but ran for just 22 yards on 21 carries in the option and was sacked five times.
Nebraska's loss jumbled the standings in the Big 12 North, where the Cornhuskers had been the only team with one conference loss. Texas has won five of the six meetings between the schools since the Big 12 started play in 1996.
Texas' defense hadn't been able to stop anybody on the ground all year yet simply overwhelmed the Huskers, who came in the game averaging 259 yards rushing.
Last year, Lord ran for 234 yards against Texas. This time, he was dropped for a 5-yard loss on Nebraska's third play from scrimmage and it was uphill for from there for the Huskers.
The Longhorns' speed covered the option from sideline to sideline and a strong rush from tackles Rod Wright and Marcus Tubbs plugged the middle and chased Lord around the pocket.
Texas, meanwhile, churned out the yards like Nebraska usually does.
Young had 141 yards by halftime, including a 65-yard TD sprint that made it 14-0. Wide receiver Roy Williams picked off two Nebraska defenders blocking downfield and Young went into the end zone untouched.
|Jammal Lord threw for 122 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's loss at Texas.|
Benson, a 1,000-yard rusher the last two seasons, had all but disappeared in big games this year. He re-emerged in a big way, scoring Texas' first TD from a yard out.
Texas looked primed to take an even bigger lead in the first half but coach Mack Brown pulled Young for Chance Mock on Texas' final two series. Mock threw an interception at the Nebraska 1 with 30 seconds left.
Texas added a 24-yard field goal by Dusty Mangum in the third and threatened to finish the game early in the fourth when Young led the 'Horns to the Nebraska 10. But he threw a pass that was picked off by Josh Bullocks.
The Cornhuskers responded with their first drive across midfield for the first time in the second half.
Lord lofted a perfect 48-yard pass to Matt Herrian for a touchdown to cut the score to 17-7. The TD allowed Nebraska to avoid its first shutout since 1996.
Texas answered with a 71-yard drive for Benson's second touchdown, a 5-yard run with 7:29 left. He added a 12-yard TD for the final score.Nebraska continues Big 12 action next Saturday, Nov. 8, when it travels to Kansas. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Net at 2:30 p.m. (CST).