Huff Shows His Stuff In Texas Secondary

Like a certain credit card, defensive back <B>Michael Huff </B>is every where you want him to be. A 13-game starter last season, the sophomore is now listed as the starting nickel back, plus the backup SS and RCB. But he was exactly where he was supposed to be in Sunday&#146;s win against New Mexico State when he intercepted QB <B>Buck Pierce&#146;s </B>toss and returned it 55 yards for the score.

Huff’s 55-yard INT return for TD against New Mexico State was the third time he has taken the rock to the house. Huff also contributed five tackles on the evening.

"Michael has great instincts," head coach Mack Brown said. "Last Sunday night, before the ball came out of the quarterback’s hands, Michael had already put himself in a position to make the interception. He was just waiting on it."

But Huff has waited even longer for playing time this year. Injuries during spring ball as well as the first week of the preseason sidelined Huff, allowing surprisingly effective junior SS Phillip Geiggar to step in. But Geiggar was injured in the second half against New Mexico State and is listed as ‘questionable’ for the Sept. 13 Arkansas game.

Expect Huff to be back at his starting SS spot when the two former SWC rivals square off at DKR (11 a.m. central, ABC).

"We consider them both starters and so both will play a lot," Brown said. "We’re not as concerned which one plays."

Geiggar is also on both the kickoff and kickoff return teams. (He averaged 71 yards per return during three preseason scrimmages. Just wait when teams try to kick away from Selvin Young.)

"It wears you out," Brown said. "We had 11 kickoffs. You’re not going to be in that situation very often. But when you are, you need to substitute more."

Huff made 10 starts at SS and three at CB (filling in for injured Nathan Vasher) during a redshirt freshman season that resulted in The Sporting News third-team Freshman All-America honors. He registered 70 tackles, including 10 TFLs. His two interception returns for touchdowns rank in a tie for first on Texas’ all-time single season chart. Huff’s best performance of 2001 came in Texas' 50-20 win against Texas A&M where he was credited with a career high 11 tackles and a 28-yard INT return for TD.

"He is really, really good and letting the receiver look open and then breaking on the ball," Brown said. "And he’s got great hands obviously. He’s really smart, and his versatility makes it where he can play corner or safety. It’s a real luxury for us. So, if the young corners aren’t ready for us, we can put him in Cedric Griffin’s place and rest him."

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