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Updated: Sunday, September 22, 2002 3:42 AM EDT
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HOUSTON COUGARS
Houston Cougars
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TEXAS LONGHORNS
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Nick Eddy scored Houston's lone touchdown on a one-yard keeper

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AUSTIN, Texas (Ticker) -- Chris Simms lost one of his toys, but he still had no trouble toying with the Houston defense.

Simms passed for 233 yards and two touchdowns and Cedric Benson ran for 160 yards and a score as second-ranked Texas rolled to a 41-11 rout of the Cougars.

Despite losing receiver Roy Williams to an injury at the end of the first quarter, Simms completed 20-of-30 passes to lead the Longhorns to their seventh straight win over Houston. He hit Williams for a 25-yard score to get Texas (3-0) going, then hooked up with Sloan Thomas for another 25-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

In between, Beau Trahan ran 24 yards for a TD on a fake field goal and Benson went in from one yard as the Longhorns built a commanding 31-3 halftime lead.

Nick Eddy scored Houston's lone touchdown on a one-yard keeper but also was intercepted later in the fourth quarter by redshirt freshman Michael Huff, who returned it 27 yards to cap the scoring.

Earlier this week, Williams likened Simms to a child playing with an array of toys. Williams has been one of Simms' favorite toys with a reception in 25 consecutive games. But he suffered a strained hamstring and watched the second half in street clothes.

Williams' absence did not seem to faze Simms, who completed passes to nine different receivers and moved past Earl Campbell into sixth place on Texas' all-time total offense list.

Simms continued his success in the first quarter, going 5-of-7 for 56 yards and the touchdown to Williams. In the last three games, the lefthander has a 242.7 quarterback rating in the opening period.

Dustin Bell kicked a 42-yard field goal to get Houston on the board five minutes into the second quarter, but the rest of the period belonged to the Longhorns.

Simms kept alive an 84-yard drive with a 13-yard pass to Thomas on 3rd-and-10 at the Texas 35. A personal foul penalty tacked on 15 yards and Benson capped the 4 1/2-minute march six plays later to make it 21-3.

The reigning Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Week, Benson also caught four passes for 33 yards.

An interception by safety Dakarai Pearson ended Houston's next possession and Simms found Thomas on a slant pattern on the first play from scrimmage to extend the Longhorns' lead to 28-3. Dusty Mangum added a 44-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

Simms' streak without an interception reached 67 passes before he was picked off in the second quarter. Texas was the last team in Division I to commit a turnover this season.

The Cougars (2-2) went more than 38 minutes between first downs, finishing with just eight and 152 total yards. In the last five meetings between these former Southwest Conference rivals, Houston has been outscored, 242-70.

Texas' 15-game home winning streak is the fourth-longest in school history. The Longhorns also have won the last 20 meetings with non-Big 12 opponents.


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