|Facing Titans' Young brings back bad memories for some Raiders|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 24 October 2007 13:17|
Coach Lane Kiffin watched as an assistant when Young shredded the Southern California defense in the national championship game at the Rose Bowl two years ago, denying the Trojans a share of a third straight national title.
Kiffin said this week he has vivid memories of the game when Young threw for 267 yards and ran for 200 more, including the game-winning touchdown in Texas' 41-38 victory.
Now he has to prepare his Raiders defense for Young, who is expected to return from a strained right quadriceps to start for Tennessee on Sunday against Oakland.
``He's an extremely dangerous quarterback that I'm all too familiar with watching him run up and down the field in the Rose Bowl,'' Kiffin said.
``He's not very easy to tackle. He presents a lot of challenges because you can have everybody covered up and you can have a good rush and it only takes one seam for him to go. He's not going to slide after 6 yards. He's going to make somebody miss and go get 30 yards.''
Cornerback Fabian Washington doesn't need to be convinced of that. He still has the vision of Young sprinting through his Nebraska defense for a 65-yard touchdown run in 2003 etched in his memory.
Washington summed up Young's ability in one word, ``amazing,'' and said he still marvels at that play, discussing it with Raiders safety Michael Huff, who was Young's teammate at Texas at the time.
``I took literally about five steps and said there's no way I can catch this guy and he scored,'' said Washington, known for his own blazing speed. ``I still remember that play. That's something that you can't do. You can't let him get outside the pocket and run with the ball. He's good enough passing the ball but once he starts using his legs he's a different beast.''
Young said that run helped him earn the respect of his teammates as a freshman while he was still sharing time at quarterback with Chance Mock. He won the job for good after that, and led Texas to the national championship in his final year in college.
Washington called Young a ``complete quarterback,'' but it's his ability with his feet that truly makes him special. Whether it's running for big plays or scrambling in the backfield while waiting for receivers to get open, Young puts immense pressure on opposing defenses.
``Rush lanes are never more important than in a game like this when you have a quarterback who is so mobile and so elusive,'' said rookie defensive end Jay Richardson, who lost to Young as an Ohio State Buckeye in 2005. ``The second somebody vacates a gap or something opens up, he's gone. Before you can even think about it he's gone. That's just how it is.''
When Young came out in the 2006 draft, Raiders owner Al Davis met personally with him and the team hoped he would fall to them with the seventh pick.
Instead the Titans took him with the third pick and Oakland ended up with safety Michael Huff, who has made much less of an impact than his former teammate at Texas in the NFL.
Despite starting all 22 games as a pro, Huff has yet to record an interception, forced fumble or fumble recovery. Huff gets to go up against a pair of former college teammates this week in Young and Tennessee tight end Bo Scaife.
``I'll be happy for him to get an interception, but not this week,'' Young said. ``Probably next week against the next team.''