Young Says KU 'Disrespected' Texas

Move over, Ohio State. Step aside, Oklahoma. The team that has QB Vince Young hot under the shoulder pads is Saturday's opponent Kansas. In fact, the Heisman favorite has waited 12 months to settle a score against the program that he said "disrespected" teammates and coaches throughout the 27-23 nailbiter in Lawrence last season.

When asked Monday if he anticipated that Texas' biggest challenge would be moving the ball against Kansas' top-ranked run defense (64.1 ypg), Young said: "The challenge to me is how they disrespected us last year saying that they out-coached us and out-played us. That disrespected us. I'm going to make sure I tell our guys this whole week what they said. It was very offensive. We want to have a good week of practice and then go out and represent our coaches and represent ourselves."

Young takes particular exception to Kansas coach Mark Mangino's post-game accusations that officials whistled the Jayhawks for an offensive pass interference call late in the game primarily to preserve Texas' BCS standings.

"It upset our guys and I know it upset our coaches," Young said. "We want to go out there and play hard as a team and make our coaches happy and to make sure (Kansas) doesn't say anything like that."

The Jayhawks were nursing a 23-20 lead with little more than two minutes remaining when WR Charles Gordon was flagged for interfering with LCB Tarell Brown at the end of what would have been a chain-moving, 13-yard completion.

"I don't know why (Mangino) said it because, if you watch the film, that guy pushed off," Young said. "The film does not lie. You know what I mean? I don't know why he got ticked off over it. He said we got out-coached and out-played."

Instead of what appeared to be a game-preserving, third-down conversion, KU was forced to punt and the rest is history. It's just that Texas coach Mack Brown peppered his squad with a little history lesson by referencing Mangino's comments during a team meeting Sunday. And that's why Young was already wearing his game face on Monday.

This is the way it went down during Mangino's post-game press conference on November 13, 2004:

"You know what this was all about don't you?" Mangino said. "BCS. That's what made a difference in today's game. That's what made the difference in a call in front of their bench. Dollar signs. All of America sat at home and watched the play. We'll let them be the judge about that call."

Moments later, Mangino added: "I've got a football team to fight for. I'm not gonna be pushed around. I'm not about to let this team, or this university, be pushed around because we're not the big spenders, or the Big BCS people, in this league."

When initially informed of Mangino's comments, Brown attributed the remarks to "a third year coach" who had just lost a bitterly fought contest. Brown then added, "We had 100 more yards in penalties than they did (103-23). Obviously those comments are for the Big 12 Office and not for me."

The Big 12 Office fined Mangino later that week, and the KU coach issued a formal apology. Now, 12 months later, Young is convinced Mangino's retraction is less than genuine.

"What he wanted to say is what he said the first time," Young said. "Somebody else made him say that (apology)."

There was already plenty of fuel in this fire without Mangino's comments. OLB Nick Reid was talking trash from the opening whistle, Young said.

"He was talking a whole lot the whole game. After they made that first stop, they were pumped. After that he kept talking the whole game. I guess that was making us play better."

It was Reid who Young juked on that unimaginable 4th-and-18 scamper, good for 22 yards and preserving the Longhorn comeback drive.

"That was one play where I'd have to say that I was very nervous because I didn't know what to do," Young admits. "I knew they were going to play real deep and not let anything get behind them. Their linebackers played really deep and the play that we had for the receivers was a sideline route right on the first down marker."

FL Nate Jones was the primary receiver but...

"I saw their defense dropped back too deep and gave me all that running room. I took it upon myself to use my legs to make that guy miss and get the first down."

Then, with 11 seconds remaining, Young found FL Tony Jeffery on a corner route to stave off what would have been college football's biggest upset of 2004. As Young approached the line of scrimmage on that BCS-salvaging play, he noticed that Kansas dropped back into man coverage for the first time all day.

"I don't know why but I guess it was because we were running that play the whole game," Young told me Monday. "They were giving up that hitch route so I guess they went to man. And with Tony Jeffery running the route that he ran, you can't really hold him with that much space that they gave him. I put the ball outside, and he either catches it or it goes out of bounds. He made a great play."

Indeed. The immaculate reception was in a double-coverage and, for one surreal afternoon, Lawrence because Dodge City, Kansas for the eventual Rose Bowl champs. After the game, Young sought out Reid and offered him an olive branch (of sorts).

"I just told him that he was a great athlete and I liked how he was fighting with us. He said the same. He said he respected us and he respected my game as well. I told him I'd see him on the next level."

Young will also see him this Saturday afternoon at DKR.

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