John Chiles: First time out
Like most freshmen making their debut in college football, John Chiles was nervous. Unlike many of those freshmen, Chiles was able to fight through that and engineer a touchdown drive highlighted by his 49 rushing yards on just four carries during his first series at quarterback of Texas' 58-14 win over Rice.
"I couldn't breathe the first couple plays," said Chiles. "After that, I got settled in and did a little better."
What is even more remarkable about Chiles' debut is that he was leading mostly freshmen and redshirt freshmen occupying the eleven positions.
"We all were nervous, but I tried to encourage the guys," Chiles said of the first drive. "I talked to them in the huddle and told them even though we're young, we can do this."
"He's a heck of an athlete. I don't think there's any question about that," said offensive coordinator Greg Davis. "He is getting better every week, and I'm really pleased with his progress."
Chiles finished with 72 yards on eight carries in leading the second team offense.
His work with the offensive staff and Colt McCoy has also helped create a new package that allows the Longhorns to play Chiles and McCoy at the same time, something that was unveiled in the first quarter of Saturday's game and also happened to be his official debut as a Texas Longhorn.
"I do whatever I can to help the team," said Chiles of the play. "We tried to work something out to where I can contribute right now."
"He's always working hard," said McCoy. "He's in the film room working with me a lot. We sit down and study, we go over game plans the night before the game and I help him in practice. He's improving every week."
Even though Chiles may not have expected to play so early in his time as a Longhorn, he displayed Saturday night that his hard work is paying off.
"Coach Davis and Colt have really helped me a lot," Chiles said. "I've learned a lot since I got here in January and am picking up on more and more every day. Getting the experience and getting past that first time on the field was good."