The Return of the QB Rotation

After a one-week hiatus, the Texas QB rotation returned Saturday in Ames. Still a two series-one series rotation like earlier in the season, but this time with <B>Vince Young</B> getting the start and two series with <B>Chance Mock</B> providing the third series change-up. <B>Mack Brown</B> said Sunday that, given the Iowa State game results, the Texas coaches don't have any plans to mess with what they see as a good thing.

"I thought it worked great," the UT head coach said of Saturday's QB rotation. "We need both guys. We sit and say who's gonna start but it really doesn't matter. They're both inexperienced but really good. We have the luxury right now, and the team doesn't seem to care and that's what really matters."

"Greg (Davis) and I discussed it this morning," Brown added. "Both are good enough to play the whole game and both are capable of coming off the bench and changing the game."

"I thought the change of pace was really good," Brown said, before adding, "If one of them has the hot hand, we'll leave them in."

Against the Cyclones, both Young and Mock had a relatively "hot hand," with the redshirt freshman hitting 12 of 16 pass attempts for a career high 156 yards, one TD and an INT while the junior finished 6 of 9 for 131 yards, a TD and a well-executed one-minute drill near the end of the first half.

"Right now, if we were in one- or two-minute drill, we'd put Chance in," Brown said. "He's gotten a lot more experience; he's worked on it for three years. Chance is a great passer, he's accurate and he has a command of the offense and where things are. I don't know if that was his rotation (turn before the half) but we would have put him in anyway."

(An aside: Brown even related the current situation to the QB controversy of a few years back between Chris Simms and a certain graduate assistant on this year's squad: "After watching this, I wish we would have continued to play both of them.")

Brown lavished praise on the throwing of both QBs. "Chance continues to do what he does (and) most of what he did Saturday was throw the ball and we scored real fast," he said. "Vince is really improving in the passing game, and I thought he improved as the game went along yesterday."

Young's passing numbers have improved as the season has gone along. After sitting for the entire Arkansas game, the redshirt freshman's passing numbers have increased each week since, from 60 yards vs. Rice to 68 vs. Tulane to 69 (very big ones) vs. K-State to 135 vs. OU to 156 Saturday vs. Iowa State.

The head coach also believes that Young's presence is opening up things in the running game. The Horns rushed for 235 yards on 53 carries (a solid but not spectacular 4.4 per carry vs. a porous Cyclone run defense) with Young accounting for 58 of those yards on 10 totes and Cedric Benson picking up 140 on a workman-like 32 carries. "It's the first time he's gotten that many carries (this season) and I think he responded well," Brown said.

"If you've got running game, everything else is easier," Brown added. "I think Vince has helped in that area." He said that the run threat at QB is loosening up opposing linebackers, which is beneficial to both the run game and the pass game.

Horns Digest Top Stories