Charles left the Oklahoma game in the third quarter with an injured ankle, walking to the dressing room for X-rays, and did not return. His 116 yards on nine carries led all rushers in the 45-12 rout while his 80-yard TD run was the longest by a Longhorn in the 100-year history of the series.
RB Selvin Young posted 45 yards on 11 carries, including one TD, while subbing for Charles against the Sooners. The junior started the first two games of the season but missed the second half of the Ohio State game, and the entire game against Rice, with an ankle injury. Young has also fumbled four times (losing three) in 35 carries this season. His freebie on Texas' third possession of the OU game led to a Sooner FG. So, how concerned is Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis about Young's tendency to leave the ball on the grass?
"I feel more comfortable now than I did after the first carry Saturday," Davis said. "It was a tough deal for him on his first carry. They brought a blitz and he had the ball put away. It was not careless. The cornerback got in there with his momentum, got his arm on the ball and it came out. It certainly wasn't because of carelessness. He came back and played well."
The Horns have fumbled 10 times this season, losing four. The RBs drill against defenders who are instructed to try to rake the ball out of their grips, but Davis also takes a cerebral approach to the situation.
"People that deal with minds all the time, and certainly I don't, will tell you that the mind is a running video," Davis said. "If you say, 'Don't fumble,' then there's a picture of fumbling. So, what we say is 'Protect the ball.' That's how we try to approach it."
WR Ramonce Taylor, the starting RB during spring drills while Young took care of his academic issues, practices at least one series daily in the backfield.
"If Jamaal cannot play, then we'll practice (Taylor) more (at RB) this week," said Davis. "If Jamaal is not playing and Selvin goes down, then it would be RT (at RB), then Henry (Melton) and Chris Ogbonnaya (currently listed as the backup FB).
Charles' 112.6 ypg (NCAA No. 15) trails only Missouri QB Brad Smith (116 ypg) atop the conference rushing charts. Charles' 8.8 ypc tops all Big 12 rushers while his 137.4 all-purpose yards per game leads the league.
Backup LT Tony Hills returned to practice Wednesday. The sophomore missed the OU game after hyperextending an elbow against Rice.
"Tony did good," Brown said. "I was surprised."
Otherwise, the Horns are apparently suffering the winner's version of an Oklahoma hangover by submitting a subpar practice.
"We've still got some work to do to get rid of the OU stuff," Brown said. "Everybody tells them how good they are and they sit around. We've got a whole lot of work to do before we're ready to play on Saturday. If you go back and look at last Tuesday's practice and this Tuesday's practice, they're not the same team. They just better be the same team they've been for five straight weeks if they want to continue to win."