QB Mock Is An Unknown, And That Is A Good Thing

<B>Chance Mock</B>, the Aggies are coming! (The New Mexico State variety, that is.) And they&#146;ve got your number. And they&#146;ve got a bull&#146;s eye attached to your jersey. And that&#146;s according to your head coach, who said it just days before your first start as Texas&#146; quarterback this Sunday at DKR.

"New Mexico State puts a whole lot of people around the football, and they really invite you to throw it," head coach Mack Brown said. "I’m sure with our inexperience at quarterback, that will be part of their game plan: to try to get after the quarterback and try to see if that inexperience hurts us early in the game."

In other words, Chance, the hombres from out west may try to head ya off at the pass. Then again, you’re only throwing to Heisman candidate Roy Williams and company against a secondary that is replacing all four starters. That’s part of the reason why Mock, confident from day one, isn’t sweating it now.

"They may stick to their game plan and do what they’re known to do and play the zone," Mock said. "Another way to look at it is they know (RB) Cedric (Benson) is a force and they haven’t seen much of me. They may come out and stack the box and make me beat them in the passing game. Either way they do it, I think we’ll be able to do some damage against them. I think we’re going to be all right."

For the time being, Mock is the joker in the deck of the 2003 Longhorns. For a month or so, opponents will try to rattle him just to see if they can. It will be a repeated story line. Despite its cautiously optimistic preseason ranking (AP No. 5; ESPN/USA Today No.4), the primary reason Texas wasn’t listed higher in other polls was because of its unproven commodity behind center. Up to this point, the game film any one could possibly have seen on Mock has been limited to 6-of-9 passes for 65 yards and one TD. Most of Mock’s appearances last season were limited to mop-up duty when the game was out of hand.

"I don’t know what (game film) you could watch, unless you want to see me hand off," Mock said. "But I think that works to our advantage. They aren’t going to know how to defend me. They aren’t going to know my strengths and weaknesses. The tendencies I have they won’t be able to study because you know we’re not going to send them practice footage."

But from what we’ve seen, Texas ought to have the last laugh on any team that treats him as the weakest link. And Mock knows he’s going to get by with a little help from his friends.

"My confidence is tremendous," Mock said. "We’ve got a great defense and people aren’t going to score many points against us. And we’ve got big time playmakers. Roy Williams averaged 15-yards a hitch last year. If I can throw him a hitch and get 15 yards, we’ll be doing all right. Both Cedric and Selvin (Young) are looking better than they’ve ever looked. I’ve got the guys around me who make my job a lot easier."

Texas opens against NMSU at 6 p.m., Sunday, at Royal-Memorial Stadium (Fox Sports Net).

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