Texas focuses on their goal
Taylor uses speed, agility to break loose from opponents

By Jake Veyhl
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Texas cornerback Cedric Griffin recovers a ball and takes it to the end zone after the Longhorns blocked an Aggie punt.
Media Credit: Rob Strong
Texas cornerback Cedric Griffin recovers a ball and takes it to the end zone after the Longhorns blocked an Aggie punt.

COLLEGE STATION - Losing yards can frustrate an offense, but with Ramonce Taylor at running back, it's part of a package deal.

Taylor rushed for 102 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns in Texas' 40-29 victory against Texas A&M; on Friday. He also caught one pass for 9 yards and was a major reason the Longhorns moved the ball against the Aggies' defense.

Taylor brings to Texas the unique ability to break an average running play into a big running play. He showed that again against A&M;, but he also revisited a bad habit of running sideways and backward multiple times.

"That's the tradeoff you have," offensive coordinator Greg Davis said. "There's times where another back might have made four, and we lost two, but there's times where that other back makes two, and we make 20. That's his style of play.

"The biggest thing in dealing with running backs is that you want them to run within their framework, but aware of the down and distance."

Five of Taylor's 15 carries resulted in a loss or no gain for a total of minus-17 yards. However, the other 10 carries totaled 119 yards for an average of 11.9 yards per positive running play. The sophomore didn't have a positive gain of fewer than 5 yards and accumulated three runs of 20 yards or longer.

Taylor's workload at running back has increased in recent weeks. He has carried the ball 29 times in the last two games and became the featured back again Friday after Jamaal Charles coughed up a fumble in the second quarter.

"Ramonce had the hot hand, and we left him in," head coach Mack Brown said. "We weren't as excited about his losses as we were his gains. If he hadn't lost today, he'd have gained 150 yards. We have to get him on second-and-one to run north."

That 2nd-and-1 Brown referred to came on the first drive in the second quarter when Taylor lost 6 yards after scrambling around in the backfield. The play put Texas in a third-and-long situation, just outside field-goal range, that they could not convert and was forced to punt.

Later, Taylor tried to cut a third-and-two run outside on the last play of the third quarter but was unable to break free and barely got back to the line of scrimmage. The Longhorns settled for a 41-yard field goal.
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