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Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium/Jamail Field, Austin, Texas Attendance: 98,349
Thompson throws 5 TD passes as Texas routs Texas Tech 70-35
By JIM VERTUNO
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Casey Thompson is driving the Texas offense into the Big 12 and Longhorns are looking like a steamroller. A very fast steamroller.
Thompson threw five touchdowns and ran for another as Texas continued its offensive explosion since naming him the starting quarterback with a 70-35 rout of Texas Tech on Saturday.
With Thompson at the controls, the Longhorns have scored more than 40 points in the first half in consecutive games while mixing his ever-expanding role as a passer with a powerful running game led by tailback Bijan Robinson.
Texas rushed for more than 300 yards for the second straight week and Thompson was 18-of-23 passing for 303 yards.
"Our mindset was be able to start fast, play with tempo and also dominate," Thompson said. "I think we have a really explosive offense with all these weapons."
Hudson Card started the first two games for Texas (3-1, 1-0 Big 12), but was replaced by Thompson after the Longhorns struggled badly in a road loss at Arkansas. Thompson, a fourth-year player, had sat the last three seasons behind Sam Ehlinger.
"It's good to see someone get his moment to shine and take advantage of it," Texas offensive tackle Derek Kerstetter said.
Texas scored on all five of its possessions in the first half against Texas Tech and added a 27-year interception return by Josh Thompson. Three of Casey Thompson's touchdown throws went to freshman Xavier Worthy, including a 23-yard touch pass into end zone coverage, and a 62-yard score when Worthy broke two tackles and sprinted away from two defenders.
Robinson ran for 137 yards and scored Texas' first touchdown on a 38-yard wheel route pass on fourth down on the first drive of the game. Roschon Johnson added two rushing touchdowns for the Longhorns. Texas scored 70 points for the first time since beating Colorado 70-3 in the 2005 Big 12 championship game.
"I knew it was going to be a tough day for them," Robinson said. "And I knew it was going to be a good day for us."
Texas Tech quarterback Henry Colombi passed for 324 yards and three touchdowns for Texas Tech (3-1, 0-1) after coming on for injured started Tyler Shough in the second quarter.
Texas Tech: That promising 3-0 start blew up quickly and the blowout loss will raise new pressure on third-year coach Matt Wells, who is looking for his first winning season in Lubbock. The Red Raiders came in as one of the top rush defenses in the league but got pushed around all afternoon.
"They dominated the line of scrimmage right from the get-go. Any time you impose your will and dominate the line of scrimmage, and you can't stop the run, like they did, and they set that tone pretty early, it's gonna be a long day," Texas Tech coach Matt Wells said.
Texas: The Longhorns will be concerned about the big plays surrendered by the defense after a strong start. The Red Raiders never threatened a serious rally, but giving up touchdown throws of 40, 69 and 75 yards got coach Steve Sarkisian's attention.
"I was not pleased with the fact they threw the ball over our head a few times," Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said.
BIG PLAY FRESHMAN
Worthy has quickly become the go-to playmaker for Thompson with four touchdowns in the last two games. Casey Thompson said he's impressed by how quickly the freshman was determined to make his mark in the offense.
"I've never seen him fearful or scared and he doesn't back down from any challenge," Thompson said. "His quickness showed today."
Texas started the season ranked No. 21 and rose to No. 15 before falling out after the Arkansas loss. A performance like Saturday's in front of a national television will likely vault them back in the Top 25.
Texas Tech plays at West Virginia next Saturday.
Texas plays next Saturday at TCU, where the Longhorns haven't won since 2013.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25
Updated September 25, 2021