Longhorns on both
sides of the ball came up big as Texas torched Texas Tech 52-17
BY NOW COLLEGE
FOOTBALL FANS ARE FAMILIAR with Texas quarterback Vince Young. Well, it's time
they get to know some of the other men of burnt orange--so say hello to Billy
Pittman, Michael Huff, Aaron Harris, Selvin Young, Michael Griffin, Ramonce
Taylor. In the wake of the second-ranked Longhorns' 52-17 win over previously
unbeaten Texas Tech in Austin on Oct. 22, it's becoming increasingly clear that
you'll see Texas in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4, and these players will have as
much to do with UT's national-title appearance as their more celebrated
"Vince is not
on defense," said Griffin, the safety who blocked a punt, forced and
recovered a fumble and was part of a defense that held Texas Tech 37 points
less than its season average. "I would think people would see we held Tech
to 17 points and say, 'Hey, they must have a defense.'"
That, and a whole
lot more to their offense than just a quarterback. Young would not have Texas
on course for its most successful season in 36 years without a stout supporting
cast. Midway through the second quarter at Royal-Memorial Stadium the outcome
was still very much in doubt, with Texas up 17-10. But by the 13:42 mark of the
third quarter--only nine offensive plays later--the Longhorns had scored three
touchdowns to pull away 38-10.
"At any given
point we can break off 75 yards," said Taylor, a running back turned
wideout who caught five passes for 66 yards, "so you just have to watch
exemplifies the Longhorns' big-play capability better than Taylor's close
friend and fellow receiver Pittman. A year ago the then-redshirt freshman was
ready to quit football after a shoulder injury and a bout with Bell's palsy
that left half of his face paralyzed. "I quit coming to the games; I quit
suiting up. I could barely watch," he said.
Sept. 10 win over Ohio State, the Cameron, Texas, native hadn't caught a
collegiate pass; now he's the Longhorns' big-play receiver. Against Tech,
Pittman chased down a Young pass in the end zone to put UT up 24-10. Shortly
after that, when Young led him too far on a deep ball, Pittman grabbed it with
one hand and took off for 48 yards to set up another score. Later he broke free
for a 75-yard TD catch that capped Texas's 21-point onslaught.
Pittman is playing better than anyone would have dreamed," said coach Mack
Brown. "It just shows you what confidence can do."
-- Stewart Mandel
Reprinted from SI.COM, Oct. 22, 2005
AT STILLWATER, OKLA.
OKLAHOMA STATE 28
A RALLY TO REMEMBER
Down by 19 points in the second quarter, Vince Young donned his cape and flew
to the rescue. He rushed for a career-high 267 yards and passed for 239 yards,
including a 20-yard toss to David Thomas. Young would finish with a
school-record 506 yards of offense.
In his first career start at tailback Ramonce Taylor rushed for 102 yards and
scored four touchdowns as the Longhorns beat Baylor for the eighth straight
time. "Our team wanted to send a message today," said Mack Brown,
"the message being that we're one of the two best teams in the