Longhorns blank Lobos, 45-0

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The defense celebrates after stopping the New Mexico offense. The Longhorns improved on both sides of the ball against the Lobos. The shut-out victory was the first for the Longhorns this season and their first since a 43-0 rout of Kansas in 2011.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Peart | Daily Texan Staff

David Ash and the offense have been hoping to improve the passing game and capitalize on big plays.

There were some missed opportunities, but the Longhorns did just that in their 45-0 win over New Mexico.

Ash passed for a career-high 221 passing yards, surpassing his previous career high of 158 yards.

Ash had two passing touchdowns, the first a 22-yard pass to Mike Davis at the end of the first half.

Then he took advantage of freshman Daje Johnson’s legs with a short shovel pass that Johnson took to the end zone from 45 yards out.

Back from his suspension for a violation of team rules, Johnson scored on just his third career touch.

The offense’s goal to increase the number of explosive, long plays became apparent the first time the ball touched Ash’s hands. He sent a long pass downfield to Mike Davis, but Davis was unable to catch it.

“We just have to go back to practice, hopefully hit that in the next game,” Davis said.

“I wanted it bad though.”

Later in the first half, Ash misfired to a wide open Marquise Goodwin on second-and-7 that would have given the Longhorns a first down deep in New Mexico territory.

Instead, the Longhorns were forced to attempt a 45-yard field goal that Nick Jordan missed wide left.

Jordan made a 38-yard field goal earlier in the game and he is currently 2-for-5 on the year.

Texas sealed the win with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Case McCoy to M.J. McFarland in the fourth quarter.

“I thought we made more [explosive plays],” Ash said.

“But I think I still missed some opportunities.”

Both Ash’s arms and feet made an impact. He had a 49-yard run that put the Longhorns up, 7-0. Ash went 16-for-22 in the game.

But the Lobos’ triple option offense ate the clock up and the Longhorns had the ball only four possessions over 10:10 in the first half.

The Longhorns came alive in the second half and scored 28 points.

“I think in the first half we did some good things,” co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin said.

“We made some adjustments in the second half.”

Though passing was a key part in the offense, the backs were not quiet as Texas had 146 rushing yards.

With 5:10 left in the third quarter, Joe Bergeron ran the ball in for a 1-yard touchdown.

For the second week in a row, D.J. Monroe scored a touchdown out of the Wild formation.

Freshman Johnathan Gray, who had 30 rushing yards, handed the ball off to Monroe on the score.

“We knew we were going to win the game,” said head coach Mack Brown.

“We know we can run the ball, we were trying to get more balance.”

After giving up plays of 29 yards and 16 yards in New Mexico’s first possession, the defense seemed to figure out the Lobos’ triple option offense and blanked New Mexico, giving Texas its first shutout since a 43-0 win over Kansas last season.