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10/07/2013 12:24 AM EDT
49ers pound Schaub, Texans in lopsided 34-3 win
SAN FRANCISCO 34, HOUSTON 3

By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Tramaine Brock is kicking himself for not
having a third interception. He came oh so close.

"I wanted it," he said.

The San Francisco 49ers turned a prime-time showdown into an
all-out pick party at The Stick.

Brock perfectly read Matt Schaub's first pass of the night,
jumped in front for an interception and ran 18 yards for a
touchdown just 90 seconds into the game, setting the tone for a
stellar defensive performance in a 34-3 victory over the Houston
Texans on Sunday night.

Things only got better for Brock and San Francisco, and worse
for Houston's beleaguered quarterback. Schaub threw three
interceptions in all before being replaced in the fourth - but
coach Gary Kubiak said afterward Schaub would remain his
starter, for now.

"It's a broken record right now. It looked the same," Kubiak
said. "Hopefully, that's rock bottom tonight."

Colin Kaepernick tossed a 64-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis
and Frank Gore ran for 81 yards and a score in his second
straight impressive prime-time game. The 49ers (3-2) are right
back in the NFC West race with Seattle after the Seahawks (4-1)
lost at Indianapolis. Each team has beaten the Texans (2-3) and
lost to the Colts, and Seattle still must visit San Francisco on
Dec. 8.

Anthony Dixon added a 2-yard touchdown run for the NFC
champions, while Brock had a second interception and nearly a
third.

Kaepernick went 6 for 15 with 113 yards as the 49ers won their
second straight in emphatic fashion following the first two-game
losing streak under third-year coach Jim Harbaugh. Kaepernick
completed four of his first six passes, then threw seven
straight incompletions before connecting with Bruce Miller early
in the fourth quarter and then Davis' TD.

After being outscored 56-10 in the back-to-back losses against
Seattle and Indianapolis, the 49ers have overwhelmed their
opponents 69-14 over the last two games.

"We're the 49ers. When we're on, we can do whatever we want to
do," Gore said. "That's probably the best front we've gone
through all season, and up front our O-line did the job. If it's
smash-mouth football, we'll do it."

Brock's ball-hawking defense was a big reason in this one.

"That's what we're striving for, turnovers," he said. "We got
them. I just did my job and tried to step up."

He ran his initial interception back 18 yards for his first
career pick six, then gained 13 yards on his second pick midway
through the second quarter. That set up Dixon's second TD of the
year.

"He made huge plays," Harbaugh said. "It was great to see
Tramaine do that. He was in perfect position, playing coverage
perfectly on the first play."

Brock said he just stuck with his technique and read both Schaub
and wide receiver Andre Johnson. Brock nearly had a third late
in the first half but was called for defensive pass
interference, and rookie safety Eric Reid dropped a would-be
interception right at him late in the third.

Even fringe defensive lineman Tony Jerod-Eddie - an injury
replacement for Ray McDonald - got in on the interception fun in
the third quarter.

Schaub's nightmare, monthlong stretch continued when he threw
his first pass of the game for a pick-6, giving the beleaguered
Texans quarterback an interception returned for a TD in four
straight games.

On the next drive, Randy Bullock hooked a 45-yard field goal try
wide left - and the 49ers capitalized afterward again with
Gore's touchdown late in the first quarter.

Bullock produced the Texans' lone points with a 41-yard field
goal in the third.

"There's a snowball effect. We couldn't get anything going, and
when we did, we hurt ourselves," Schaub said. "We stopped
ourselves."

Missing three key defenders for the second straight game, San
Francisco's opportunistic D didn't flinch and kept the penalties
in check after early season problems with flags.

All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis sat out a second straight game
with a groin injury that also kept him out at St. Louis on Sept.
26, and the Niners also missed linebacker Aldon Smith again as
he undergoes treatment for substance abuse. Cornerback Nnamdi
Asomugha is still nursing a knee injury.

Gore followed up his 153-yard performance in a 35-11 road rout
of the Rams with another solid night.

"Once I get going, it's hard to stop me," Gore said.

Schaub wound up 19 of 35 for 173 yards and a sack in the Texans'
third straight loss, which came on the heels of a 23-20 overtime
loss at home to San Francisco archrival Seattle last week.
Houston has its first three-game skid since the end of 2011.

Fans in Texas were already furious and burning his jersey - and
there's a sign over one freeway calling for Schaub's ouster.
This certainly won't help matters as supporters call for backup
T.J. Yates.

In a stadium set to be imploded after the season, Schaub himself
imploded. He could be seen muttering to himself with a
shell-shocked expression walking off the field as Kubiak buried
his face in his hands.

Kubiak turned to Yates in the fourth quarter and Ben Tate lost a
fumble on Yates' second play, with San Francisco's Tarell Brown
recovering.

The 49ers, who had lost their last two Sunday night games both
to the Seahawks, amassed 177 yards rushing with five different
players each making a run of 11 or more yards.

San Francisco's 21-point halftime lead matched its biggest under
Harbaugh.

Notes: Texans TE Owen Daniels made six receptions for 60 yards,
giving him at least one catch in 88 straight regular-season
games. ... McDonald sustained a biceps injury in the second half
that ended his night. ... The Texans led 159-135 in total yards
at halftime. ... Texans DE Antonio Smith saw the end to his
streak of four straight regular-season games with at least a
half-sack.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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