Final Scrimmage To Simulate Game Day

Texas’ scrimmage, set for 6 p.m. Wednesday’s at Royal-Memorial Stadium, is the last one of the preseason and will have everything in it but Bevo and the Aggies (the New Mexico State variety, that is). That’s because the entire day will be structured as if it were the Horns’ season opener on August 31.

For players, the virtual reality begins with a 2 p.m. pre-game meal followed two hours later with the traditional walk into the stadium.

"They’ll have a similar pre-game," head coach Mack Brown said following Tuesday’s practice, "so we’ll simulate as much of New Mexico State night as we can, understanding that we won’t play against their looks tomorrow night."

With but three days left in the preseason, the scrimmage allows youngsters vying for playing time (particularly at LDE, second-team LB, and backup spots in the secondary) to impress coaches during the game day simulation.

"We’re still working on some depth," Brown said, "but with (SS) Michael Huff coming back (from injury) and (replacement) SS Phillip Geiggar stepping up like he has, and with (CB) Cedric Griffin playing really well, the young guys are fighting for some time."

QB Chance Mock missed Tuesday’s session with a stomach virus, a predicament that Brown considered a blessing in disguise.

"It was great for Matt Nordgren and Vince Young to get a lot of work with the first and second team because that situation came up for us in 1999," Brown said, recalling former QB Chris Simms' first start at Texas A&M when Major Applewhite was sidelined with a similar ailment. "It’s a great message for our team that you’re always one play away from being the guy."

Meanwhile, Texas’ erratic kicking game has remained in high gear. Both Dusty Mangum and David Pino booted 50 yard FGs while PK Richmond McGee is narrowing the game between himself and starting P Taylor Landin. All four are walk-ons, leaving scholarship P Justin Smith and heralded Vanderbilt transfer Greg Johnson (who will redshirt this fall) holding the down markers during Tuesday’s session.

"Dusty and David are both kicking the ball so well," Brown said. "Richmond has stepped up and punted the ball so well in the last three or four days. Richmond is doing well as far as the kickoffs and the punts, so we’re excited about those guys."

The Horns will hold a walk-through in shorts and shoulder pads, 7:15 a.m., Wednesday at DKR in preparation for Wednesday afternoon's scrimmage.

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