Mack Brown: Texas Has 'Made A Statement'

There&#146;s work to be done and the competition now becomes considerably more fierce with the onset of Big 12 play, but Texas has &quot;made a statement&quot; in posting two lopsided wins the past two weeks, head coach <B>Mack</B> <B>Brown</B> said Sunday.

"For the last two weeks, they’ve done exactly what they should have done," Brown said, after reviewing game films from Texas’ 63-18 thrashing of Tulane. "They made a statement. They beat two teams that they should have beaten, but they’ve beaten them more soundly than we’re used to. That should give them a lot of confidence going into a much tougher opponent this weekend with Kansas State."

The last time Texas recorded consecutive 300-yard rushing games, Ricky Williams was terrorizing opponents during his Heisman Trophy winning senior season. It was only appropriate that the Dreaded One was on the Texas sideline to witness his alma maters’ best back-to-back rushing effort since 1998 games against Rice and Iowa State.

"We can’t afford to pay him as a consultant to come back every week," Brown said of the Dreaded One. "He’s making too much money."

For the second straight week, backup QB Vince Young appeared on every third offensive series until third-team QB Matt Nordgren inherited mop-up duty in the fourth quarter. The result is that coaches believe Young has enough command of the offense to make a difference in Big 12 play.

"He’s improving every week and, in fact, we thought he improved as the game progressed last night," Brown said. "He played better in his second series than he did the first series he was in. He missed a couple of passes early, and then he relaxed and threw a great ball (27-yard completion) to B.J. Johnson with some touch on a third down and came back and threw another good ball off the bootleg to (TE) Bo Scaife. In the second half, he came in and hit Roy (Williams) on a comeback. It was a great throw. We feel like Vince is continuing to improve with his overall package, and expanding on that package every time he goes out."

Mock has yet to throw an interception in 79 attempts and should maintain his lofty status as one of college football’s top 5 leaders in passing efficiency.

"Chance is not making any mistakes and he’s leading the team well," Brown said. "He’s putting us in a position to make big plays. Chance once scrambled away from a free defensive end to make a play (15-yard completion) to TE David Thomas to keep the drive going. He also scrambled 17 yards out of the backfield to make another first down. We like the one-two punch that they bring us."

Walk-on Richmond McGee turned in his best outing since assuming punting chores in addition to kickoff duties. The junior finally demonstrated in a game what coaches say he has consistently done in practice for weeks.

"His 47-yard average in punting (on two attempts) could make a real difference for us," Brown said.

The defense still needs to tackle better, Brown added. The unit gave up seven explosives (runs of 12-plus yards and completions of more than 14 yards) against Tulane.

"Even though some of them were against the twos and threes, it doesn’t matter," Brown said. "We gave up some (explosives) when our ones were in there. Tulane’s got talent but we missed too many tackles. After the long play (77-yard completion on 3rd-and-13 to SE Roydell Williams), they quick-snapped us on the sweep and got in the end zone after we missed a tackle on that play. After a big play, you’ve got to play even harder on the next play."

Speaking of playing harder, Texas opens Big 12 play against an angry, wounded Kansas State team Saturday, 2:30 p.m., at DKR (ABC). The Wildcats have had two weeks to prepare for Texas, get injured QB Ell Roberson healthy and to simmer over their upset home loss to Marshall.

Brown used the "P" word to describe Kansas State.

"They’re always very, very physical," Brown said. "So this will be a physical game for us. They do an outstanding job with the option game, as well as the power game, and the counter game. They give you a lot of looks. Our defense has played really well the past two weeks…and this will be a huge challenge, much like Arkansas."

FB Ivan Williams returned to game day action for the first time since suffering a knee injury last February and for a carry late in the fourth quarter.

"He probably won’t be a factor for the next couple of weeks," Brown said. "We’re just going to work him back in. He’s still a little tentative but thank goodness we’ve got him for the remainder of the year."

In addition to LB Marcus Myersinjury (left knee), FS Dakarai Pearson and SS Michael Huff left the game with ankle injuries and did not return.

"We’re hoping (Pearson) will play," Brown said.

If not, look for RS-freshman Matt Melton to sub for Pearson. Phillip Geiggar and Huff have both taken snaps this season at starting SS, but a Huff injury would elevate true freshmen Aaron Ross and Tarell Brown to second team cornerback roles.

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