Whaley touchdown sparks Texas Longhorns past Kansas

Posted Saturday, Nov. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Chris Whaley, again, was in the right place at the right time.

Just as he did against Oklahoma, the defensive tackle picked an opportune time for a long touchdown. With Texas (6-2, 5-0 Big 12) leading 14-6 midway through the third quarter, unable to put last-place Kansas away, Whaley scooped a fumble forced by end Cedric Reed and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown.

“We could sense that there was a big play coming,” said Reed, who stripped Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps to set up Whaley’s score. “We knew the game slowed down. We just needed a big turnover or something.”

The Longhorns never looked back.

Malcolm Brown scored his third and fourth touchdowns of the day after Whaley’s big play, running for 119 yards in Texas’ 35-13 win over Kansas (2-6, 0-5) on Saturday at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

“This was a true trap game,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “Everybody talks about the struggles of Kansas all week and that’s all the kids hear. Everybody’s bragging on them… I thought we handled things pretty well today.”

Whaley also had a 31-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Longhorns’ 36-20 win over Oklahoma last month. That score broke a 3-3 tie and, like the one he had this week, gave Texas the momentum it needed to pick up another win in Big 12 play.

“Next time he’s about to get a long touchdown, I’m going to strip him. I’m tired of him scoring touchdowns,” cornerback Quandre Diggs joked. “Seriously, we love it… When he gets the ball, you’re probably not going to be able to stop him.”

As impressive as he’s been recently, Whaley hasn’t found the end zone as often as Brown has.

After scoring four touchdowns all last season, Brown racked up a career-high four touchdown runs Saturday.

His first three scores were from 3 or fewer yards out, but he broke out for a 30-yard touchdown scamper in the fourth quarter, giving him his second 100-yard effort in his past three games.

“That’s the type of runner I want to be,” Brown said. “These coaches, they want guys that are tough and like contact, not backing away from it. That’s something I’ve taken pride in this past year, being the goal-line guy.”

As David Ash’s situation remains uncertain while he recovers from a head injury, senior Case McCoy made his fourth straight start at quarterback. He completed 20 of 29 passes for 196 yards, but failed to throw a touchdown pass and was picked off twice.

As he did last week against TCU, true freshman Tyrone Swoopes did not enter the game until the Longhorns’ final drive. He ran twice for 20 yards, including an impressive 18-yarder when it took several Kansas defenders to bring him down, but completed only 1 of 3 passes for 1 yard.

“I was hoping we’d get a three-and-out or a turnover and he’d get to play six or eight minutes and we could play him with the regular offense,” Mack Brown said. “But he got some work. That’s good for him next week.”

Thanks to a Texas defense that kept Kansas out of the end zone for the first 56 minutes of the game and limited the Jayhawks to six points on their first three trips to the red zone, the game was well in hand when Swoopes stepped on the field.

The Longhorns’ biggest play came from Whaley, who initially was unsure how long it took him to cover the 40 yards on his touchdown.

How about 4.4 seconds?

“Maybe,” Whaley said with a wink.

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