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Swoopes TDs, tough D help Texas to 12th-straight win over Kansas 23-0 in Big 12 opener

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LAWRENCE, Kansas — Tyrone Swoopes passed for one touchdown and ran for another and Texas picked off four Kansas passes, leading the Longhorns to a 23-0 victory Saturday in the Big 12 opener.

Swoopes, in his first start in a conference game, was 19 for 34 for 218 yards and two TDs as Texas (2-2, 1-0) beat Kansas for the 12th straight time. A stifling Texas defense limited Kansas sophomore Montell Cozart to 12 for 31 for 140 yards and the four picks. Cornerback Duke Thomas had two of the interceptions and also broke up a short pass in the end zone on fourth down. Texas also sacked Cozart four times while holding the Jayhawks to 313 total yards.

All week long, Kansas (2-2, 0-1) kept the Texas fight song blaring across the practice field and filled the locker room with reminders that the Jayhawks had not beaten Texas in 76 years.

But Texas, despite crippling injuries and nine player dismissals, never trailed the team that has now lost 30 of its last 31 Big 12 games.

PHOTO: Texas' Armanti Foreman (83) fumbles the ball as he is hit by Kansas' Isaiah Johnson, back, and T.J. Semke in the first quarter during an NCAA football game Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Texas' Armanti Foreman (83) fumbles the ball as he is hit by Kansas' Isaiah Johnson, back, and T.J. Semke in the first quarter during an NCAA football game Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Thomas' first interception and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty set up the touchdown that gave Texas a 13-0 halftime lead. Thomas intercepted Cozart's pass and raced 24 yards to the 26, then the half-the-distance penalty gave the Longhorns a first down on the 13. Two plays later from the 7, Swoopes went around left end and squeezed into the corner of the end zone for the TD.

Kansas, failing to get a first down when linebacker Ben Heeney recovered a Texas fumble at the Kansas 2, punted to Jaxon Shipley, who sped 41 yards with the return and set up the Longhorns on the 18. On third-and-3, Swoopes hit Malcolm Brown for 10 yards to the 1. Next play, Swoopes spotted M.J. McFarland wide open in the back of the end zone. The extra-point attempt failed.

After taking over on downs late in the fourth quarter, the Longhorns made it 23-0 when Swoopes connected with John Harris on a 16-yard scoring pass. In the third quarter, Nick Rose, who missed the extra point after Texas' first touchdown, kicked a 42-yard field goal.

Kansas, following a 35-yard pass play from Cozart to Jimmay Mundine, had a second-and-8 from the 18. But Cozart's pass was tipped high into the air at the line and floated into the arms of Texas defender Quandre Diggs in the end zone. The Longhorns then marched all the way to the 5, aided by Armanti Foreman's 30-yard gain on a reverse. But Heeney fell on what was described as a team fumble and turned the ball back to the Jayhawks on their own 2.

With their second possession of the second half, the Jayhawks marched all the way from their own 16 to the Texas 5. On fourth down, Cozart lofted a fade pass to Nigel King. But with Thomas defending, the ball fell incomplete.

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