Three For One: RB Rotation To Remain

Ramonce Taylor will continue to work primarily at RB this week, Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis said Tuesday, even though both Jamaal Charles and Selvin Young are well enough to play Saturday against Kansas and its top-rated run defense.

About the only thing to be determined between now and then is which RB gets the start and whether Taylor can expect more carries than his career-best 15 at Baylor last weekend.

"That’s the question of the week for us," head coach Mack Brown said. "Ramonce picked up blitzes and did everything that he should have done. They blitzed a lot and it didn’t affect us. He took care of the ball, which is another thing you question because he hadn’t been hit very much."

Then again, it has hardly mattered this season who gets the starting nod. Texas' three starting RBs have combined for 1,307 yards and 20 TDs on 234 carries. QB Vince Young is the team’s leading rusher, averaging 86.4 ypg while responsible for 324.4 total ypg (NCAA No. 8). The only anomaly is that Texas may not have a 1,000-yard rusher on a team that is averaging 278.6 ypg (NCAA No. 3) on the ground.

The past three Saturdays have been the most productive of Taylor’s career. During that stretch he rushed for 179 yards and five TDs on 21 carries (8.5 ypc) and caught nine passes for 122 yards and a score. Selvin Young (ankle) could have played Saturday, Brown said, but the coaches opted to rest the former starter after Texas built a 27-0 halftime lead.

Meanwhile, Jamaal Charles has shown evidence of shaking off a nagging ankle injury on the heels of the best start by a freshman RB in program history.

"I thought Jamaal was the best he’s been since Oklahoma," Brown said. "I don’t know that he’s 100 percent but he was close. We’re enjoying really good depth right now so it gives us a chance not to panic and figure out what to do when you’ve got a guy like Ramonce."

So, who is the featured ball carrier against Kansas?

"It just kind of depends on who gets hot," was Davis’ general assessment before specifically stating, "The ‘Gun runs marry up well with RT’s abilities."

Taylor notched his first collegiate start at RB against Baylor, responding with 102 yards and three TDs on 15 totes. He also added three catches for 43 yards and a score.

Part of the decision has to do with the extent to which the soreness subsides in SE Limas Sweed’s shoulder. The sophomore injured his shoulder against Baylor when he hit the turf hard following the second reception of the game. Taylor and Sweed are currently listed as co-starters at the X spot. RT is versatile enough to play all three receiver positions, but Quan Cosby’s emergence has helped fill the void by FL Brian Carter’s knee injury. For now, Davis plans to primarily keep RT in the backfield.

"It’s easier to get him the ball (at RB)," Davis said. "(USC) has settled on Reggie Bush at tailback just because it’s easier to get plays there. The defense has so much more control in the passing game to decide where the ball goes. So, (Taylor) will work at running back this week."

The final home game of the 2005 season is set for 2:30 p.m. on ABC.

Horns Digest Top Stories