NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- Mack Brown is getting better at this homecoming thing.
Freshman Selvin Young returned a punt 71 yards for a touchdown and scored on two short runs as second-ranked Texas pulled away for its fourth straight shutout of Tulane, 49-0.
This game at the Louisiana Superdome was Brown's second against a former school. After defeating North Carolina, 52-21, earlier this month, he watched the Longhorns (4-0) extend their winning streak against Tulane to 10 games.
Texas had a healthy contingent among the crowd of 46,678, the largest for a Tulane home game since 1992.
"Texas fans support their team as good as anybody in the country," Brown said. "It's easy to do it sometimes at home. We've had sellouts since we got there. But when you have this many people come from the state of Texas during the week of a storm, when you're not even sure if the game's going to be canceled or not, (that's great)."
The Green Wave (2-3) has not scored against Texas since 1962. But they trailed just 7-0 in the final minute of the first half before the Longhorns got it in gear.
"They just gave out," Brown said of the Green Wave. "They just didn't have as many players as we do."
"When it's 49-0, there's not a lot of moral victories," Tulane coach Chris Scelfo said. "We'll just take this to the practice field and we'll have something to work on."
Young's punt return, the longest by a Texas player in 52 years, extended the lead to 28-0 in the final minute of the third quarter. Young also scored on a pair of three-yard runs in the final period as the Longhorns pulled away.
Chris Simms passed for only 176 yards and was intercepted once but threw two TD passes in the first half. He moved into fourth place on the school's all-time list with 4,784 career passing yards.
An interception by linebacker Reed Boyd set up Texas' first score, an 11-yard pass from Simms to Sloan Thomas with just over three minutes to go in the first quarter.
A 30-yard field goal attempt by Dusty Mangrum hit the crossbar early in the second period and Tulane's Seth Marler was wide right from 47 yards 6 1/2 minutes later.
The Longhorns' next drive ended at the Tulane 15 when Simms mishandled a snap. But the lefthander moved Texas 48 yards on three plays the next time he touched the ball, hitting freshman tight end David Thomas for a two-yard score and a 14-0 lead.
"Offensively, we weren't in sync for the first half," Brown said. "I thought if we'd been in sync, we probably would have been up 28 or 31, like we normally are. But we didn't make the plays we normally make. We had a turnover at the 10-yard line, that quarterback-center exchange. I was made at our offense at halftime."
Cedric Benson, who ran 17 times for 88 yards, scored from 15 yards midway through the third quarter and Young reached the end zone on Texas' longest punt return since Bobby Dillon had an 84-yarder against TCU in 1950.
"(We) blocked very well, but he made the first one miss him and we're excited about him for the future," Brown said.
Texas' special teams struck again early in the final period as defensive back Cedric Griffin brought back a blocked field goal 56 yards for a touchdown.
"In today's game, special teams were huge," Scelfo said. "Four touchdowns were directly attributed to special teams or turnovers by our offense. Basically, we played a football team that was second in the country. They played well and they're going home with a win."
Texas extended its lead in the all-time series to 16-1-1, with 10 of the victories coming via shutouts.
"I'm proud of our defense and proud of our overall team to win 49-0 and to be 4-0," Brown said. "Half the teams that played today got beat, so we have to be excited to be 4-0. Our defense played great, another shutout. I doubt if Tulane had 200 yards."