Young threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and Texas handed the Red Raiders their first loss of the season Saturday, a 52-17 victory that should do nothing but help the Longhorns’ run for the Rose Bowl. Trying to start 7-0 for the first time since 1976 and move into national title contention, the high-scoring Red Raiders (6-1, 3-1) couldn’t keep up with the Longhorns (7-0, 4-0), who won their 14th straight. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Cody Hodges, coming off a 643-yard passing day against Kansas State, did his best to keep the Red Raiders from getting blown off the field. The fifth-year senior went 42 for 64 for 369 yards and two touchdown passes. “When you play a team like Texas you have to eliminate … mental mistakes,” Hodges said. “And we shot ourselves in the foot early on offense.” Texas withstood the barrage of short passes from Tech’s Air Raid, made a couple of momentum changing special teams plays in the first half and countered with a balanced and relentless attack led by Young. The Heisman Trophy contender threw two early interceptions, matching a career high, but finished 12 for 22 for 239 yards. More comfortable in the pocket these days, the 235-pound speedster ran just seven times for 45 yards and used that smooth stride on a 10-yard TD run to make it 45-17 in the third quarter. Young gave his performance a C+ and said in the past throwing two picks might have crushed his confidence. AUSTIN, Texas – As Billy Pittman cruised into the end zone with a 75-yard touchdown pass, Vince Young struck a pose. Hands on hips and chest out, Superman style, the Texas quarterback soaked in the roar of an adoring crowd. Less than two minutes into the second half, another Longhorn landslide was in the making. “But now I’m more mature and understand the game and have more faith in my defense,” he said. Young graded out much better to Brown. “You score 52 points, no I don’t think C+ is fair,” Brown said. “That shows you the standard this team is trying to play to.” The Texas Tech-Texas matchup hasn’t been much to get excited about through the years with the Longhorns holding a 40-14 lead in the series. But this season’s visit by the Red Raiders turned out to be the most anticipated game in Austin in several years. Coach Mike Leach had Tech in the top 10 for the first time since 1977, and never before had the Raiders and Longhorns faced each other with perfect records this late in the season. Tech also still had much to prove after scoring 54 points per game against sketchy competition. The Raiders weren’t up to the challenge and the Longhorns led 31-10 at half. “This is the best Texas team I have played,” Leach said. “The margin of error gets narrower and today when it came down to those points, we collapsed, which is disappointing.” No. 1 USC improved to 7-0 with a 51-24 win over Washington to keep the Trojans and Longhorns on track for a date in the BCS title game. And with Oklahoma State, Baylor and Kansas up next for the Longhorns, it might be a while before Texas faces another challenge. Maybe in the season finale at Texas A&M? Or maybe in Pasadena on Jan. 4? “To be a team that has a chance to win all their games you can’t think that way,” Brown said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!