October 18, 2005

Davis unveils Texas' dangerous passing game

Make Vince Young beat you with his arm. That was supposed to be the No. 1 rule of the game plan for any defense facing Texas. But not anymore. Not after the No. 2 Longhorns' 42-17 win against then-No. 24 Colorado in Austin on Saturday.

Despite Young's reputation as a mediocre passer entering the season and Texas entering the game with the nation's No. 2 rushing offense, Longhorns offensive coordinator Greg Davis relied heavily on his star player's ability to make plays with his arm. The result was Young's best passing game ever and an aerial show. He finished with a school-record 86 percent completion percentage (25-of-29) and a career-high 336 passing yards and two touchdowns. That's why Davis is Rivals.com's Coordinator of the Week.

Nearly every play Davis called was productive and many resulted in big chunks of yardage. The Longhorns scored touchdowns on their first five drives and finished with a remarkable 17:48 advantage in time of possession.

The first march might have been the most impressive. The Longhorns drove 90 yards on 16 plays, which included eight passes (seven completions) from Young, who connected with Brian Carter, Billy Pittman, David Thomas and Limas Sweed for double-digit gains and first downs. Young ended up completing passes to seven different receivers. He ended the drive by diving into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown run.

Young hit Thomas and Pittman on the next drive for 18 and 25 yards. On a second-and-9, he then took off for a 16-yard touchdown run.

The third drive started with Young firing a 63-yard improvisation to Pittman, setting up running back Selvin Young's 5-yard touchdown run three plays later.

Young, who also scored on a 9-yard run, fired 35- and 13-yard touchdown passes to Sweed in the second half to seal the convincing win.

The performance was certainly a scary one for the rest of the Big 12, which has spent the last two years worrying about Young's running abilities and elusiveness in the open field. The junior ran for 1,079 yards last season and already holds several of Texas' running records for quarterbacks.

Other coordinators who had strong performances last week include:

• Clemson racked up 489 yards of offense in its 31-10 win at N.C. State. It was the most yards a talented Wolfpack defense had allowed all season and if running back James Davis, who had 12 carries for 143 yards and two touchdowns, didn't get hurt early in the second half that number would have been bigger. Tigers offensive coordinator Rob Spence also found a way to get the ball into hands of receiver Chansi Stuckey, the team's top playmaker, more and it paid off. Stuckey had eight catches for 103 yards and two runs for 22 yards.

• Northwestern racked up more than 600 yards of offense for the second consecutive week in a 34-29 comeback win at Purdue. Offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar relied heavily on quarterback Brett Basanez, who went 37-of-55 for 463 yards and three touchdowns. The Wildcats also put together an 11-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by Tyrell Sutton's 1-yard touchdown plunge in the final stages of the fourth quarter that put them ahead for good.

• Virginia offensive coordinator Ron Prince may have given the rest of the ACC a blueprint on how to move the ball on FSU's mega-talented defense in the Cavaliers' 26-21 upset. Prince stuck heavily to the passing game and exposed a young Seminoles secondary as Marques Hagans passed for a career-high 306 yards and two touchdowns.

• Oregon State shut down one of the nation's top rushing duos as California's Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett combined for a season-low 76 yards on 23 carries in the Beavers' 23-20 upset. Bears quarterback Joseph Ayoob also looked confused all game long, going 13-of-39 (33 percent) with two interceptions. Beavers defensive coordinator Mark Banker owes a thanks to the offense, which held the ball for more than 35 minutes.

• Ohio State racked up a school-record 12 sacks in its 35-24 win against Michigan State. Buckeyes defensive coordinator Jim Heacock made a handful of adjustments to get pressure on the Spartans star quarterback Drew Stanton. He disguised coverages and lined up speedy linebacker Bobby Carpenter as a defensive end. The moves led to Stanton failing to throw a touchdown pass for the first time all season.


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