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Bears to face another Heisman hopeful

Nov. 3, 2005

by JOSHUA FLANAGAN, sports writer

Vince Young and the University of Texas come to town this weekend to battle Baylor. As many know, Young has continually been lauded as a Heisman Trophy candidate.

Baylor defenders are well aware of that fact.

"(Vince Young) is probably the best quarterback we'll face all year," junior cornerback Anthony Arline said. "He's good running and passing the ball."

Baylor head Coach Guy Morriss agrees and commends Young for his talent.

"He's such a tremendous athlete, a great football player," Morriss said. "He's got a good cast around him. Nobody's really shut him down, and I don't know that anybody can."

Facing Heisman hopefuls is nothing new for Baylor, having faced Texas A&M's Reggie McNeal this year.

Last season, Baylor struggled mightily against Heisman hopefuls.

Current Chicago Bears running back Cedric Benson was the first to face Baylor last season, and he didn't make it easy for the Bears.

Benson ran for 188 yards against Baylor, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. His three touchdowns carried the University of Texas in a 44-14 win.

Following Benson, Baylor went until the last game of the season before facing the next Heisman contender. The only problem was the University of Oklahoma had two hopefuls, Adrian Peterson and Jason White.

Baylor did well against White, a previous Heisman winner, holding him to 194 yards passing although he threw for two touchdowns.

Despite good play against White, Peterson made a strong case for the Heisman Trophy in Baylor's final 2004 game.

Peterson made his presence felt with 32 carries for 240 yards, scoring three touchdowns.

Baylor seemed to buck the Heisman trend this season against A&M's McNeal. Coming into the game, McNeal was highly touted as a Heisman hopeful. Baylor squashed any hope he had for the award.

McNeal only managed 12 completions, two interceptions and 132 yards passing.

This weekend, Baylor faces a similar player in Vince Young, but better.

"He's another option quarterback," junior defensive tackle M.T. Robinson said. "We'll just have to stay disciplined."

Young has been a jack-of-all-trades this season forcing teams to respect his legs and his arm. He's even caught a pass for 48 yards.

Young has passed for 1,835 yards this season along with 16 touchdowns for a 163.65 quarterback rating.

Young keeps defenses honest with his arm, but is truly dangerous when he decides to run.

"Most quarterbacks scramble to pass. Vince Young scrambles to run," Arline said.

Young has run for eight touchdowns for 24 total touchdowns this season. He averages seven yards per carry and his longest run is five yards longer than his longest pass.

Robinson said he's confident Baylor will be able to slow Young down.

"We have good enough team speed that if he breaks free, we'll be able to corral him," Robinson said.

Baylor defensive coordinator Bill Bradley is well aware of Young's capabilities.

"We've got to stop Vince Young," Bradley said. "Everybody has to stop him and we have to figure out a way."

Sports editor Riaz Dhanani contributed to this report.