Vince: UT's 'Fear Factor', But How Much PT?

Rare are the occasions when a young athlete lives up to the hype, but redshirt freshman QB <B>Vince Young&#146;s </B>fourth quarter debut was so dazzling in Texas&#146; 66-7 thrashing of New Mexico State Sunday that it begs the question: how much more playing time will he get against Arkansas?

"We’re going to play the Arkansas game like we played the New Mexico State game from the standpoint that we‘ll sit down prior to the game and decide who it‘s going to be in a specific series or quarter," offensive coordinator Greg Davis said Tuesday. "But we do want to play both of them."

Starting QB Chance Mock did nothing in the 59-point route to warrant any sort of thought about a demotion. After a shaky first quarter, Mock finished with a respectable 7-of-15 passing for 156 yards and two touchdowns. He has yet to be intercepted, in either the home opener or in three preseason scrimmages.

Young, meanwhile, duplicated on five carries Texas’ total rushing yardage (61) through three quarters. He was the game’s leading rusher and orchestrated the longest play from scrimmage, a 60 yard toss that arched into the waiting hands of SE Sloan Thomas.

Mock is confident, solid, strong-armed, fast, and turns in gritty, workmanlike production. He can find the open receiver and knows how to throw the ball away when he’s in trouble. Texas may lose a game this year, but it won’t be because of something Mock did.

But Young is a freak like Roy Williams. Young brings the kind of chest-pounding swagger that former QB James Brown once brought to the table and the kind of go-the-distance threat that Ricky Williams had. Your heart races every time Young touches the ball because he could! Go! All! The! Way!

Young also brings a kind of "fear factor" to the offense, according to Davis.

"Defensive coordinators will tell you that one of their biggest fears is the hidden yardage," Davis said, referencing the yardage that an ad-libbing, improvising playmaker is able to generate beyond a play’s design.

"There’s that hidden fear factor that you’ve got him covered, you’ve got a pretty good rush on him, and then all of sudden, here comes the quarterback, and now it’s first down," Davis continued. "It’s frustrating when everybody does the right thing and, all of sudden, the guy comes up with the first down."

Head coach Mack Brown has said, and done, all the right things to mitigate a quarterback controversy (despite the persistent speculation -- including by me -- that the right thing would be to start Young just in time for, say, Oklahoma). But he does hear the murmuring.

"We’ve got great fans because they’re interested and they pay for tickets and they come and they’re going to have their opinion," Brown said. "A lot of teams would like to have that problem. The good thing for us is we don’t have time to worry about it. We watch practice and make decisions on when we play guys and how we play them. I hope that at Texas we’ll always have conversations over our good quarterbacks. It means we’re not stuck with one, and here we should have more than one."

What is clear is that you will never see either QB strictly in the kind of mop-up duty that Mock was limited to last season.

"We want to make sure that when we put Vince in there that we let him play," Davis said. "We want to let him run the offense."

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