Brown Names Young Starter For Iowa State

I predicted in the March issue of Inside Texas magazine that <B>Vince Young</B> would be named Texas&#146; starting quarterback the week after the Oklahoma game. That forecast became fact after head coach <B>Mack Brown</B> named the redshirt freshman his No.1 signalcaller Monday.

"He’s just making so many plays with his feet," Brown said. "He’s so hard to tackle. His passing is improving each week. A couple of those plays that he made (Saturday) against a great (Oklahoma) defense were just phenomenal. We’ve got to protect the ball better and continue to throw it better and do a better job of handling the offense, but he’s making plays."

Coaches have yet to discuss whether former starting QB Chance Mock will rotate in every third series, as Young did against Rice and Tulane, Brown said. Even though Mock was just 4-of-9 for 21 yards against the Sooners (one INT, one fumble), the junior is No. 10 nationally in passing efficiency (155.1) Oklahoma QB Jason White is now No. 1 in passing efficiency (180.2) after making it look easy against Longhorn defenders.

Mock was not benched because he was ineffective against OU (he was barely on the field) but it was only a matter of time before the Vince Young era began. His game-winning performance against Kansas State clearly accelerated his ascension, and Young is doing things with his feet that no Texas QB has done for more than 20 years.

"He’s our running game," SE Roy Williams said, clearly implying (and stating the obvious) that RB Cedric Benson is not. "(Vince) seems to get the most chunks of yardage when he’s in there."

Halfway through the regular season, Young is Texas’ leading rusher with 391yards on 47 attempts while Benson has 358 yards on 90 carries (3.9 ypc). For Young, that pans out to 78.2 yards, or 8.3 ypc, in each of the five games he’s played this season. Young is the Big 12’s seventh-leading rusher and one of only two freshmen listed among the league’s top 10 runners. He has six rushing TDs on the season and one passing TD.

Williams also said a few weeks ago (in so many words, as reported in the Inside Scoop) that part of Young’s learning curve has to do with interpreting the signals from Texas coaches.

"As an offense, we’re going to have to help him," Williams said, "because 25 seconds is hard for a redshirt freshman with inexperience to go out there and get the signal, call the play in the huddle, break the huddle, read the defense, make the correct read…I mean, it’s hard for a guy who hasn’t done it."

"This is a great year for him to learn," Williams said. "In the next, it will be so much easier for him."

Young is averaging 73.2 yards through the air, completing 22-of-40 attempts including those two INT he tossed against OU. Young’s jaw-dropping quickness allows him to move the pocket around and then escape pursuit, but about the only rub on Young is that he prematurely tucks-and-runs.

"Chris (Simms), Chance and Major (Applewhite) were all pocket passers," Williams said. "Vincent can be a pocket passer but, right now, he’s a scrambler. He’s a rollout guy. He’s a guy that, if he’s in the pocket and you’re not open at that time, he’s going to take off running."

The bottom line: "When he comes in, he just makes plays", Williams said.


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