A Highlight Reel In All Phases

Just before Texas' 51-21 throttling of Texas Tech Saturday, Longhorn coaches showed QB Vince Young a short highlight reel of some of his most dazzling plays from the past two seasons. Part of the intent was to remind him that he still had it in him.

Head coach Mack Brown was reticent to label VY's outing in Lubbock as his best performance ever (presumably because that would suggest his effort was the exception rather than the rule). Instead, Brown said what we saw in Lubbock Saturday was very much on par with Young's effort against Oklahoma State and Texas A&M last season.

"He plays a lot of good football that I don't think he's gotten credit for," Brown said. "It was just to let him know that a lot of people were saying he's not very good and they don't have the same access we do."

In what was arguably his most complete game in a Longhorn uniform, Young connected on 10-of-15 passes for 142 yards and added 158 yards rushing on 25 carries. The only Texas QB to surpass 100 yards rushing and passing in the same contest, Young's four running TDs against Tech were a career high. It helped to have a healthy FL Tony Jeffery back on the field (two grabs for 75 yards) while Texas got reacquainted with its TEs (David Thomas and Bo Scaife each registered three receptions, totaling 45 yards).

Texas rolled to 351 yards rushing on 71 attempts and controlled the clock for 39:11. RB Cedric Benson generated 168 yards on 38 totes to become just the sixth back in NCAA history to rush for 1,000-plus yards in all four seasons. The Horns were 9-of-9 inside the red zone and did not turn the ball over.

"The offensive game plan was great but it always looks better when the kids execute it like they did last night," Brown said.

Defensively, Texas showed blitz early and often but typically dropped back to clog the passing lanes, keeping its swarming unit between the intended receiver and the goal line. The intent was not so much to get to the QB as it was to get inside his head (i.e., rattle him in front of the largest home crowd in Jones SBC Stadium history). Tech QB Sonny Cumbie was 34-of-51 for 403 yards but his only TD pass did not come until the Horns had amassed a commanding 48-14 fourth-quarter lead. Meanwhile, Tech had minus-17 yards rushing on 11 attempts.

"One of the things (Co-Defensive Coordinator) Greg Robinson brought us is a great disguise package and a different blitz package to get quarterbacks off their rhythm," Brown said.

MLB Aaron Harris played his best game as a Longhorn, Brown added.

"He's gotten better and better, but in a ballgame where they had no backs a lot of the time, or one back and they spread people around you, you wouldn't have thought that this would have been his forte. But he played really, really well."

True freshman DT Frank Okam took most of his snaps at DE. He was credited with a sack, two TFL and two QB pressures.

"He'll be a great player before he leaves here," Brown said.

Brown also praised safety Michael Griffin, who registered six tackles as Texas' nickel back.

"He just made play after play and we're really excited about where he's going. We feel like a lot of the guys are just growing up in front of our eyes here because they haven't played very much."

PK/P Richmond McGee's stock continues to rise. His only punt of the night covered 55 yards and the junior capped the scoring with a 44-yard FG. Senior Dusty Mangum is money on PATs but has hit less than half of his FG attempts from 40-plus yards during his career. Just before the game, McGee nailed one from 65 yards out. Mangum's 22-yard FG early in the fourth quarter completed a 16-play, 56-yard drive.

"Dusty has done really well the last couple of ones in close so we really wanted Richmond to try one because he's been practicing all fall and we haven't had an opportunity for him," Brown said. "We feel like there may be a 50- or 60-yard shot coming up somewhere in the future."

Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach refused to let his players talk to the media Saturday, stating that no small part of his team's problem Saturday was they were too absorbed with their press clippings from their 70-10 annihilation of Nebraska. While Brown said Sunday he was unaware of Leach's decision, he is not unfamiliar with the concern.

"We can't let a good win beat us (next week)," Brown said.

Texas' road swing continues at Colorado next Saturday with a 2:30 p.m. (CDT) kickoff on ABC.

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