Hogs Must Ensure UT Isn't Forever Young

FAYETTEVILLE -- New Mexico State linebacker Rich Glover, when asked after last week's 63-13 loss at Arkansas who's the best quarterback he has played against put this matchup in perspective.

"I'd probably say Matt Jones of Arkansas or Vincent Young of Texas," Glover said.

Lucky us. We get to see both of those rangy jackrabbits play when No. 7 Texas meets Arkansas tonight in Razorback Stadium.

Hogs secondary coach Bobby Allen, a former coordinator whose job it is to corral the 6-foot-5 Young and his receivers, said it helped that Arkansas' defensive backs have had to chase the 6-6 Jones in practice.

"Matt is a legit 4.3 (-second) guy in the 40 (yards), like Young is," Allen said. "That helps you prepare for game speed. But Young is so good in open spaces. When a play breaks down, he can take it and turn it into a great play."

The quarterback scramble has caused more than one defensive coach to go prematurely gray.

"There's no real defense for it," Allen said, "except to play sound, be disciplined and keep our eyes back on (Young) if he breaks out."

Arkansas was spared this headache last season when Young sat out the Razorbacks' 38-28 win at then-No. 5 Texas -- the only game Young did not play in as a freshman. Chance Mock completed 21 of 40 passes against Arkansas, but Texas averaged just two yards per rush.

The UA coaching staff knew all about Young of Houston, Texas -- former Arkansas assistant David Lee even believed he was close to landing him at one time.

"We did prepare against him last year," Allen recalled. "He didn't play, but Texas has done a nice job with him."

So why didn't Texas field Young vs. Arkansas last year?

"We were in trouble the whole game last year, and I didn't think he (Young) was ready," said Texas coach Mack Brown.

In previous years, Brown juggled quarterbacks Chris Simms and Major Applewhite, to the consternation of some vocal Texas fans.

"I get a little confused on what it is I'm supposed to do," Brown said.

While Young completed 14 of 21 passes for 153 yards and ran 8 times for 49 yards in a 65-0 win over North Texas last week, Cedric Benson was pounding the "Lean Green" for 181 yards on 15 carries.

Texas receiver Tony Jeffery, who caught three passes for 23 yards, credited Young with the Longhorns' outpouring.

"It's his leadership," Jeffery said. "And he has really spread the field."

While Young's running ability is apparent to all, Brown emphasized, "He can really throw. People don't talk about it because he runs so well. But he is much more confident (passing) than he was last year."

The quiet-spoken Young takes all the accolades in stride.

"I could always throw the ball," he said. "It's just a matter of me getting in the film room, studying game film, seeing the different coverages and taking care of business."

Early in the week, Young said he didn't know much yet about Arkansas' secondary.

Free safety Vickiel Vaughn had three unassisted tackles for the Hogs last week and, in a preseason practice, intercepted three straight Jones passes.

Michael Coe, a comer at cornerback, got in on four tackles against New Mexico State.

Lerinezo Robinson, Arkansas' rover, led the team with four tackles and three assists against the Aggies.

But NMSU completed 17 of 26 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns against the Hogs, with none intercepted, and had drives of 64 and 63 yards.

Can Young and the Longhorns exploit Arkansas' relatively untested secondary?

"Young is the type of quarterback that can hurt any defense, I would say, as far as his awareness in the pocket and (the defense) not knowing when he'll break out," Brown said. "He can sit there all day. And he's probably faster than the running backs. He's a real weapon, and we're glad to have him on the team."

By the same token, Brown said, "We couldn't get Matt down last year."

It should be quite a matchup.


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