Geiggar, Harris Solidify Jobs On Defense

With starting spots on the line for nearly all of the Texas defense, junior <B>Phillip Geiggar </B>and freshman <B>Aaron Harris </B>distinguished themselves enough to earn starting spots against Iowa State, head coach <B>Mack Brown </B>said Tuesday.

"Those two guys are definitely in positions where they’ll probably step up and start for the weekend," he said.

Geiggar is projected to earn his first start Saturday at free safety, a spot that Dakarai Pearson has held down all season. Geiggar started at strong safety during the season opener against New Mexico State and was on the field when the first-team D opened against Kansas State in the nickel package.

Pearson has been hobbled by shoulder injuries and likely will not practice this week, Brown said. The head coach has also said Geiggar may be the best tackler on the team in terms of pure technique, and that’s part of the reason why the junior is on every special teams unit.

Geiggar turned in the best game of his career against Kansas State when he posted seven tackles in addition to that critical strip and recovery of Ell Roberson’s fumble. He was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for his work against the Wildcats.

Harris earned his first start at MLB against Oklahoma but played sparingly as Texas increasingly went to nickel and dime packages to try and stop Oklahoma’s air raid. He turned in six tackles against the Sooners and forced a fumble on a kickoff return (in which a single Sooner outfought four Longhorns to recover the ball). More important, Harris brings some in-your-face attitude to this beleaguered defense. RS-freshman Brian Robison had been playing at Mike since starter Garnet Smith went out with a high ankle injury against New Mexico State.

On Monday, Brown said only DT Rodrique Wright, DT Marcus Tubbs, WLB Derrick Johnson and Geiggar had guaranteed starting jobs heading into the Iowa State game. There were no changes in offensive personnel other than naming Vince Young as the starting QB on Monday, offensive coordinator Greg Davis said.

"The guys were not happy, obviously, about the way we ended up last weekend and they’re excited about getting that taste out of their mouths and going to Iowa State," Brown said. "We had a great practice. The guys responded well."

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