The oft-overlooked senior running back scored on a 65-yard dump-off and a 13-yard gallop through the befuddled Buffs' defense, then saved a score when he chased down cornerback Jalil Brown at the Texas 16 after a rare interception of Colt McCoy, who was picked off twice.
Ogbonnaya's trio of tremendous plays helped the Longhorns (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) take a 21-0 halftime lead and assured there would be no peeking toward next weekend's Red River Rivalry showdown against top-ranked Oklahoma in Dallas.
At least not until the game was over, when the Longhorns' contingent of fans chanted "Beat OU! Beat OU!" as the players gathered in the end zone for their traditional rendition of the school song.
Ogbonnaya (pronounced OH-bon-EYE-uh) finished with a career-best 71 yards on nine carries and caught six passes for 116 yards, just four yards shy of Eric Metcalf's 1985 school record for most yards receiving by a Texas running back.
McCoy completed 23 of 30 passes for 262 yards and two TDs. Colorado (3-2, 0-1) lost two starting offensive linemen in the last two weeks, and the patchwork of protectors simply couldn't bore any holes for the Buffs' running backs or give quarterback Cody Hawkins much time to throw against the nation's best sack machine.
Buffaloes kicker Aric Goodman didn't help matters and deflated the homecoming crowd at Folsom Field by missing a school record-tying three field goals in the first half, from 36, 43 and 44 yards.
Hawkins completed just 13 of 33 passes for 118 yards in his second straight poor performance, and he was replaced in the fourth quarter by freshman Matt Ballenger, who threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Williams in the closing minutes.
Colorado and Texas hadn't met since the Longhorns embarrassed the Buffs 70-3 in the Big 12 championship in 2005 en route to the national championship. And this one was about as one-sided.
Early in the third quarter, Hawkins and Rodney Stewart messed up a hand-off and Longhorns nose tackle Roy Miller recovered the fumble at the Buffs 18. Four plays later, Cody Johnson barreled in from a yard out to make it 28-0.
Cha'pelle Brown's interception of McCoy at the Texas 27 helped the Buffaloes avoid their first shutout in 20 years. Fullback Jake Behrens somersaulted into the end zone at the end of a 7-yard reception, stretching the nation's fourth-longest scoring streak to 240 games.
None other than Ogbonnaya snatched the momentum right back for Texas.
He rumbled 51 yards with a hand-off, setting up Johnson's second TD, from 4 yards out, that made it 35-7.
The first half was all Ogbonnaya.
McCoy dumped the ball off to him as he was falling across the line of scrimmage on a well-defended play, and Ogbonnaya raced down the Longhorns' jubilant sideline for a 65-yard score that was upheld upon review.
McCoy hit Jordan Shipley with a 16-yard scoring strike for a 14-0 lead after Ogbonnaya gained 23 yards on a third-and-10 shovel pass.
On the Longhorns' next possession, Ogbonnaya made his touchdown-saving tackle of Brown, who picked off McCoy's pass and returned it 57 yards.
"There was nothing but green in front of me at first, but they are fast. One guy had the angle and closed quick," Brown said at halftime.
Ogbonnaya's save loomed ever larger when Goodman clanked his 43-yard field goal attempt off the left upright. And Ogbonnaya's 13-yard TD scamper made it 21-0 and led the student section to throw dozens of their gold giveaway T-shirts onto the field in frustration.
The Longhorns have now outscored their opponents 236-57 overall.
Colorado freshman Darrell Scott, the celebrated California tailback who spurned the Longhorns at the last moment, caught two passes for 45 yards and ran twice for 4 yards but sprained an ankle in the third quarter and didn't return.