Phil Taylor's Sidelines

Oct. 13, 2003
Oct. 13, 2003

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Oct. 13, 2003

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Phil Taylor's Sidelines


This is an article from the Oct. 13, 2003 issue Original Layout

The names have changed, but the debate hasn't. Texas has a
quarterback controversy again. Chance Mock and Vince Young are
playing the roles of Major Applewhite and Chris Simms, who waged
a three-season battle for the job that didn't end until
Applewhite left after the 2001 season.

Mock, a junior, was the clear No. 1 until last Saturday, when
Kansas State sacked him four times, prompting coach Mack Brown to
play the far more mobile Young, a 6'5", 225-pound redshirt
freshman, for the entire fourth quarter. Young led Texas to the
decisive touchdown in a 24-20 win, and by Saturday night the
debate was raging in every bar on Sixth Street in Austin: Who do
you like?

The Longhorns would be wise to go with Young against Oklahoma on
Saturday. For one, they'll need his speed against the Sooners'
fast, fearsome defense. And it's practically inevitable that
Young, named the nation's best high school quarterback by some
publications two years ago, will eventually win the job. Texas
might as well make the change now. Considering the endless
Simms-Applewhite debate, the best thing Brown can do for the
Longhorns is to pick Young and stick with him.


It might be a stretch to say that Karl Dorrell was on the hot
seat after four games as UCLA coach, but the temperature was
rising. The 2-2 Bruins had been inept in defeat and--perhaps even
worse--boring in victory. The innovative offense that Dorrell,
the former Denver Broncos receivers coach and a Mike Shanahan
protege, had promised was nowhere in evidence, and the UCLA
faithful were grumbling that it had been a mistake to hire a guy
with no previous head coaching experience.

The Bruins' 46-16 victory over Washington should calm the critics
for now. The UCLA offense finally made big plays. Quarterback
Drew Olson threw for 258 yards, and Craig Bragg had eight catches
for 142 yards. "We didn't expect to light up the scoreboard
overnight," says the 39-year-old Dorrell. "We don't worry too
much about outside criticism. We just concentrate on getting
better." They should. As a former Bruins receiver, Dorrell must
know that no one wins the Pac-10 with a vanilla offense.


An NFC scout gives his picks for this year's top five seniors.

1. Roy Williams, WR, Texas "The kind of receiver everybody's
looking for--fast and physical with the ability to break tackles
and get big yardage after the catch."

2. D.J. Williams, LB, Miami "An every-down linebacker, big
enough to play the run and fast enough to cover backs out of the
backfield. His fundamentals are great."

3. Will Smith, DE, Ohio State "The ability to rush the passer is
so important at the pro level, and this kid is a natural at it.
He's relentless, and he doesn't get frustrated when he is

4. Eli Manning, QB, Mississippi "He does the little things
right--footwork, body position and release point. Put top-notch
pro talent around him, and he might be scary good."

5. Vernon Carey, OL, Miami "He can play both tackle spots, and
he's got a nice mean streak. Even when he's pass-blocking, he can
put people on their backs."


Who'll replace John Mackovic at Arizona? Some boosters want Ricky
Hunley, a former Wildcat who's the Cincinnati Bengals'
linebackers coach. But Oklahoma co-defensive coordinator Mike
Stoops may be the top choice. Arizona reportedly got permission
from Oklahoma to do a background check on Stoops.... Despite
Florida's 3-3 record, athletic director Jeremy Foley insists that
embattled coach Ron Zook will get a full three years, which would
take him through the end of next season, to put the program back
on track.