THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT Copyright (c) 1995, Landmark Communications, Inc. DATE: Friday, December 29, 1995 TAG: 9512290676 SECTION: SPORTS PAGE: C2 EDITION: FINAL SOURCE: BY STEVE CARLSON, STAFF WRITER DATELINE: NEW ORLEANS LENGTH: Medium: 69 lines
Sophomore quarterback James Brown gets a lot of credit for Texas' success, but it goes beyond his role on the field.
Brown is just the second black quarterback to guide Texas through an entire season, and the first since 1981. When Brown was being recruited by the Longhorns, he heard talk about how a black quarterback would never make it at Texas, and it angered Brown to the point where he wanted to prove naysayers wrong.
Brown has. The sophomore from Beaumont, Texas, is 13-1-1 as a starter and was the Southwest Conference's offensive player of the year.
He set Longhorns records for passing yards (2,447) and touchdowns (19) despite playing with injuries the final nine games.
No one talks any more about how Texas isn't fond of black quarterbacks.
``Everyone loves a winner,'' Brown said. ``I've been winning, so I've never had any problems.''
Brown's emergence is believed to have opened up new doors for Texas amongst African-American players. Thirteen of the 19 incoming freshmen this season were black, the highest percentage ever at Texas.
``People told me I had an impact,'' Brown said.
FOURTH QUARTER FACT: Virginia Tech has outscored opponents 107-21 in the final period this season, while Texas has an 82-78 edge.
``One of the things we've been talking about is how they've been killing opponents in the fourth quarter,'' Texas guard Dan Neil said. ``Obviously they're a well-conditioned team.''
VIRGINIA TIES: Texas offensive coordinator Gene Dahlquist was a quarterback and punter for the Norfolk Neptunes in 1965 and '66. Dahlquist said his oldest daughter was born in Portsmouth.
Longhorns freshman running back Ricky Williams played for the Philadelphia Phillies' Rookie League club in Martinsville, last summer. Williams played leftfield and said he hit about .240. With Texas, he was the Southwest Conference co-offensive newcomer of the year and broke Earl Campbell's Texas freshman rushing record with 990 yards.
So where does Williams' future lie?
``I say football, but the Phillies say baseball,'' said Williams, a second cousin of the Detroit Tigers' Cecil Fielder. The Phillies are paying for his college education.
CHECKING THE VIDEO: Texas wide receiver Mike Adams said before learning Virginia Tech would be the Longhorns' Sugar Bowl opponent, the only time he had heard of the Hokies was on the Sega video football game.
``One of my teammates was playing Virginia Tech,'' Adams said. ``They had a good defense on there, too. They have a good football team - if they're good on Sega, they're good for real.''
The Hokies, meanwhile, are playing the old ``we don't get the respect we deserve'' game.
``If I was Texas, I probably wouldn't respect us,'' Tech defensive tackle J.C. Price said. ``We don't have a great tradition like they do, we don't have the facilities they do and we don't have the blue-chip players like they do.''
PARTY TIME: Price was asked if Bourbon Street would be able to handle the Hokies on Sunday night if they beat Texas: ``I don't think it will be able to handle us either way,'' Price said. ``Come New Year's Eve, we're going to party.''
BOWLED OVER: Texas had a 3-1 record this season against bowl teams, losing to Notre Dame and beating Virginia, Texas Tech and Texas A&M. The Hokies were 2-0 against bowl teams, beating Syracuse and Virginia. Miami, another Tech victim, would have been a bowl team had it not received NCAA probation late in the year. by CNB