Sunday, November 10, 2002

Texas shows Baylor some attitude

Kevin Steele Farewell Tour continues

By Jim Vertuno
The Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas - Texas wide receiver Roy Williams is healthy and catching everything thrown his way, which is bad news for Longhorns opponents.

Slowed by a hamstring pull earlier in the season, Williams enjoyed his second straight big game Saturday with eight catches for 172 yards - including a 73-yard TD on the second play - to lead No. 4 Texas to a 41-0 win over Baylor.

Williams had 13 catches for 161 yards in a 27-24 win at Nebraska a week earlier and has now caught a pass in 32 consecutive games.

"Roy looks the last two weeks like he did right before he pulled his hamstring," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "He's a difference maker."

Chris Simms threw for 254 yards on 18-of-23 passing with three touchdowns and an interception in three quarters for Texas (9-1, 5-1 Big 12).

Simms' scoring passes of 5 and 15 yards to B.J. Johnson and Tony Jeffery helped put the Longhorns ahead 31-0 by halftime.

Texas has won four in a row since losing to No. 1 Oklahoma on Oct. 12 to creep back into the national title picture.

Baylor, which fired coach Kevin Steele earlier in the week, hoped for an upset to resurrect its season.

Williams' TD catch quickly doused any chance of that.

He beat the defense in man coverage and hauled in a perfect pass from Simms. With 10 yards on the nearest defender, Williams coasted into the end zone untouched for a 7-0 lead 24 seconds into the game.

"Am I 100 percent? Pretty close," Williams said. "I still feel it at times. It lets me know when I want to vroom.

"(Simms) is just putting the ball there and I'm just trying not to drop them. You know I'm going to be open on every play."

The score deflated Baylor, and Texas had little trouble the rest of the day in a much-needed breather.

After losing to the Sooners, Texas notched hard-fought wins over No. 12 Kansas State, No. 21 Iowa State and Nebraska.

Beating Baylor also gave Texas a school-record fifth straight season with at least nine victories.

The defense recorded its third shutout of the season, the first time that's happened at Texas since 1982.

Baylor (3-7, 1-5) was shut out for the fourth time this season and has lost 29 of its last 30 conference games.

The Bears have been outscored 222-21 in their last five games. Steele got fired after a 62-11 loss to Texas Tech but was allowed to finish out the rest of the season.

"We've been through a lot of adversity," said Baylor wide receiver Reggie Newhouse, who finished with six catches for 63 yards.

"We went out and fought hard, but this has been the story of our season."

Texas allowed Baylor just 127 total yards and eight first downs. Four of Texas' five scoring drives in the first half started inside the Baylor 40.

"I'll take it at the 40 every time," Simms said. "I like our chances from there."

Even when Baylor did something right, the Bears blew it with three turnovers and 12 penalties for 92 yards. One holding call nullified a 72-yard pass to Newhouse that would have put Baylor at the Texas 14 in the second quarter.

Cedric Benson and Selvin Young had TD runs of 10 and 13 yards as the Longhorns rolled up 180 yards rushing.

Young had a game-high 98 yards on 14 carries, most of it in the fourth quarter.

Texas pulled back in the fourth, choosing to keep the ball on the ground with backup quarterback Chance Mock handing off to Young.

Brown, who frequently sticks up for Steele, said he didn't want to run up the score.

"I hate Kevin's not going to be the head coach next year at Baylor," Brown said. "At the end of the game, Chance's got plenty of more opportunities, Kevin does not."

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