North Texas 7

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Texas 38

(1-0, 1-0 home)

Coverage: Longhorn Network

8:00 PM ET, August 30, 2014

Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX

1 2 3 4 T
UNT 0 0 0 77
TEX 7 14 7 1038

Top Performers

Passing: D. Ash (TEX) - 190 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: M. Brown (TEX) - 13 CAR, 65 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: J. Harris (TEX) - 7 REC, 110 YDS, 1 TD

Texas wins Strong debut 38-7 over North Texas

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- David Ash passed for one touchdown and ran for another and Texas started the Charlie Strong era with an overpowering 38-7 win over North Texas in the season-opener for both teams on Saturday night.

Malcolm Brown ran for two touchdowns and Texas held North Texas to 94 total yards.

Strong replaced Mack Brown, the coach who led Texas for 16 seasons and guided the Longhorns to the 2005 season national championship. Brown was forced out after four sub-par seasons that failed to produce any Big 12 titles.

Strong promised to put a tougher, more rugged team on the field. Texas delivered with a dominating defensive performance that produced three first half interceptions. North Texas' only touchdown came on a fumble recovery by cornerback James Jones in the end zone in the fourth quarter.

Ash also proved durable, taking several hard hits after missing most of last season with concussion symptoms. His favorite target was John Harris, whose seven receptions topped his 2013 season total of five. Harris finished with 110 yards and a touchdown.

Texas hasn't reached double-digit victories since 2009 and getting the first was a big step for Strong, who pledged he would end what he called a sense of entitlement in the program.

The offseason was filled with get-tough disciplinary messages for the players, ranging from suspensions and outright dismissals to smaller things like making players walk to practice instead of riding a bus and making them wear matching blazers and ties to the game.

The result was an impressive debut.

Offensively, Texas wasn't flashy, spending much of the game trying to grind out yards behind Brown and Johnathan Gray, who combined for 147 yards rushing. Defensively, the Longhorns were dominant.

Texas' front four mauled a veteran North Texas offensive line all night. Mean Green quarterback Josh Greer got his first career start but rarely had time to throw and threw two interceptions in his first seven attempts.

Greer and backup Andrew McNulty were just 3 of 17 passing for 15 yards and four interceptions and four sacks. Demarco Cobbs returned a late interception 28 yards for Texas' final touchdown.

Almost as important as the victory for Texas was knowing Ash could take some punishment and keep playing.

Ash had promised he'd be able to take a hit and that was tested with two big ones early. The first came when he dropped the ball and was bent over when a defender crashed into his head. Two plays later, Ash was sent flying again when he was popped on the sideline.

But Ash later scrambled to complete a 27-yard pass to Harris that set up Brown's 1-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 Texas lead. Ash's helmet hit the turf again when he was sacked in the second quarter, but he shook off that hit to pass 28 yards to Harris to set up Brown's second touchdown.

Ash made it 21-0 at halftime when he scored on a 1-yard run off a 4th down bootlefof-17 passing in the first half and his 1-yard TD. Even on that play, Ash took another hit when his facemask hit the turf.


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs818
Total Yards94353
3rd Down Conversions3-164-15
4th Down Conversions0-11-1

Passing Leaders

Josh Greer2/1180.702
Andrew McNulty1/671.202
David Ash19/341905.610

Rushing Leaders

Reggie Pegram15503.306
Antoinne Jimmerson9303.308
Johnathan Gray16825.1042
Malcolm Brown13655.0226

Receiving Leaders

Carl Caldwell2115.507
Jeffrey Wilson144.004
John Harris711015.7128
Jaxon Shipley6437.2013

Scoring Summary

TD4:06Malcolm Brown 1 Yd Run (Nick Rose Kick)Watch Highlight 07
TD9:13Malcolm Brown 3 Yd Run (Nick Rose Kick)Watch Highlight 014
TD2:41David Ash 1 Yd Run (Nick Rose Kick)Watch Highlight 021
TD10:35John Harris 8 Yd pass from David Ash (Nick Rose Kick)Watch Highlight 028
TD7:17James Jones 0 Yd Fumble Return (Trevor Moore Kick)Watch Highlight 728
FG4:21Nick Rose 34 Yd Field Goal Watch Highlight 731
TD3:32Demarco Cobbs 28 Yd Interception Return (Nick Rose Kick)Watch Highlight 738