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Texas makes its points vs. Tigers
The No. 2 Longhorns prepared for the Red River Shootout with a 51-20 win.
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Texas tuned up for its Big 12 showdown with Oklahoma next week by making Missouri pay for its mistakes -- repeatedly.
The second-ranked Longhorns converted three first-half turnovers by quarterback Brad Smith into quick touchdowns in beating the Tigers 51-20 Saturday.
Texas quarterback Vince Young ran for 108 yards and a touchdown and threw for two other scores for Texas.
"Our bunch can score fast," coach Mack Brown said. "That's what we've got to continue to do. We should have scored a lot more today."
The Longhorns have won 11 straight road games and 11 straight games overall. They'd like to make it 12 wins in a row next week when they face the Sooners, who have beaten Texas five straight times.
Jamaal Charles had one rushing and one receiving touchdown for Texas, which is 4-0 for the fourth time in five seasons and beat Missouri (2-2, 0-1) for the 14th time in 15 games.
Last year's game was much closer, with Texas winning 28-20 in Austin.
"They were talking about nothing but last year," Young said. "But it's a whole different team over here, and we wanted to show them we are a different team."
Missouri, which entered the game fifth in the nation in total offense at 554 yards per game, had hoped to engage Texas in a shootout but was limited to 330 yards and lost to a team ranked in the top five for the 28th straight time.
"They're a good team, I ain't going to lie," Missouri safety David Overstreet said. "At first I had my doubts that they were a legit No. 2, but after today I know they really deserve to be the No. 2 team in the nation."
The Longhorns had plenty of offense, totaling 585 yards, to offset 135 yards in penalties, a fumble out of the end zone by Charles in the third quarter and a second-quarter drive that stalled at the Missouri 5.
The turnovers helped. Texas has turned nine takeaways into 30 points so far this season.
"We've got a chance to be really good and we haven't played near our best game yet," Brown said. "We told our guys we can play much better than this and we'll have to continue to grow as a team, but the fun thing is were 4-0 and we don't think we've scratched the surface."
Smith scored on a pair of short runs for Missouri, which stayed with Texas for much of the first half but was shut out after the break. The Longhorns led 14-13 after one quarter and then ran off 37 straight points before Smith scored again with 3:54 left.
"Clearly, we didn't play well," Smith said. "I didn't play well. With a team like that you have to play a real good game to have an opportunity to win."
Young, who scored on a 33-yard run in the first quarter, has eight career 100-yard games, although this was his first of the season. He had a 33-yard scramble on third-and-30 to set up a field goal that gave Texas a 24-13 lead near the end of the half that might have been the turning point.
"There were lots of aggravating points in the game," Missouri safety Jason Simpson said. "But yeah, that was one."
Charles, who has five touchdowns the last two games and had 97 yards on 15 carries, scored on Texas' first play of the game on a 3-yard run. That was set up by Aaron Harris' interception and return of a pass by Smith on Missouri's third play of the game. Smith fumbled on a sack later in the quarter and Young was untouched on a draw on the next play to put Texas ahead 14-7.
Smith's second fumble gave Texas the ball at the Missouri 22 early in the second quarter. After a holding call, Charles caught a 32-yard touchdown pass, backing into the end zone after turning around to make the reception.
Texas also got an 88-yard punt return from Aaron Ross, and showed Missouri it could score the traditional way, too. The Longhorns opened the second half with a six-play, 80-yard drive capped by Ramonce Taylor's one-handed grab of a swing pass and acrobatic dive into the end zone, his extended hand with the ball just inside the pylon for a 27-yard score that made it 31-13.
"I saw the safety coming down and he had the angle on me, so I just tried to beat him to the end zone," Taylor said. "I've got a feeling it will be on SportsCenter."
Henry Melton scored on a pair of 1-yard runs in the second half.