Young, Hardeman Shine In Final Scrimmage

The 2004 preseason is all but in the can for the Texas Longhorns following the final scrimmage of August camp Wednesday at DKR. Now, coaches will make depth chart decisions based on the film of Wednesday's session capping 16 days of workouts. And although the first team D participated in no more than 10 snaps, the film will reveal QB <B>Vince Young'</B>s and RB <B>Erik Hardeman'</B>s best performance of two-a-days.

The confident and silky-smooth Young that was on display Wednesday bore no resemblance to the erratic Young that worried Orangebloods half to death at the Spring Game. No lobs. No picks. No premature tuck-and-runs. I know, I know: Texas always looks good in August. But we're talking reads, footwork, decision-making and accuracy here. With a freak of nature like Young, you get the feeling that you ain't seen nothin' yet.

"He's become a great quarterback instead of an athlete just making some plays," Brown said. "I thought that all of the plays he made tonight were smart quarterback plays. He obviously has the ability to get from here-to-there real fast, so that hasn't changed. But with his ability to throw the football, it's going to be harder for people to put eight or nine guys around the line of scrimmage."

In his opening drive (against the second team D), Young directed a 65-yard, two play drive. First, he rifled the ball to TE David Thomas for 25 yards down the left sideline. Then, Young kept on a vintage zone read play and raced 45 yards for the score (no defender was within 10 yards of him after he crossed the LOS).

"Overall, I think I did a good job," said Young, who typically errs in the direction of self-criticism. "I think I was poised and everything. I kept the offense going and the whole sideline motivated."

Brown said Saturday that coaches didn't care if the offense punched it in as much as coaches were looking at "certain situations." (On Saturday, the O did not cross the goal line until the seventh possession -- and that was a Selvin Young fumble recovery). But Vince Young received a different directive Wednesday from OC Greg Davis: score!

"The thing that we wanted to do is come out here and do what Coach Davis said: get in the red zone and score," Young said. "That's what we did today."

We'll call the fourth offensive possession the Erik Hardeman drive. On 2nd-and-8 from the 49, Hardeman (whose greatest asset may be his low center of gravity and his constantly churning legs) scooted around left end for 21 yards. Then, on 2nd-and-8 from the 14, Young handed off to Hardeman who took it off tackle for nine more. Fullback Will Matthews punched it in for the score.

"We wanted Erik in a whole lot because he may need to play," Brown said. (Translated: coaches are counting on this dynamo to move the chains.) "He missed some early camp so this was a big night for him. We thought he responded well."

Overall, Wednesday's scrimmage was about backup spots (starting jobs are basically established in the spring). The first team D took all of ten snaps before coaches began to substitute liberally.

"We're going to make a lot of one-two decisions (Wednesday) night," Brown said. "We're going to make kicking game decisions tonight. We'll make some real strong decisions (Thursday) which we probably won't announce until Monday. We'll want to think about it over the weekend and we don't want guys going home with their head down."

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