2008 KU-Texas football
Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium, Texas junior Colt McCoy tied Vince Young's school record for career victories by a Longhorns starting quarterback.
Fittingly, McCoy bagged win No. 30 - against just seven losses - by using his legs Ã la Young (30-2 career at UT) and once again led No. 4 Texas in rushing during a 35-7 blowout victory against Kansas University.
McCoy carried the ball 16 times for 78 yards and a touchdown, marking the sixth time this season he has led the Longhorns in rushing. The 16 carries were a season high for McCoy, and tying Young's record was something that overwhelmed the humble UT star.
"For my name to even be mentioned in the same category with Vince, that's an honor itself," McCoy said. "That's awesome. I'm just playing, and I'm doing the best I can. My teammates are playing great, my coaches are calling great plays, and we're having fun. That's the most important part."
Although McCoy - the Longhorns' leading rusher this season with 636 yards on 117 carries - did plenty of damage with his feet Saturday, it was his ability to throw the ball into a stiff wind that most impressed his coach.
"Coming north is tough for quarterbacks," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "And I thought Colt played one of his toughest and grittiest games since he's been at the University of Texas. (He) has done amazing things since he's been at Texas, and for him to tie Vince's record with a year left - more than a year left - is really, really significant."
McCoy marched the Longhorns down the field on their opening drive, hitting four receivers for 39 yards, to set up a 14-yard touchdown run by Vondrell McGee.
Late in the second quarter, the UT QB took matters into his own hands by rumbling into the end zone on a four-yard TD run that gave Texas a 14-0 lead at halftime. On that drive, McCoy had four carries for 18 yards and was 2-for-2 through the air for 36 more.
"In these conditions, I thought, as an offense, we played great," McCoy said. "When the wind's blowing 30 miles an hour in your face, it's hard to complete balls, but give credit to the receivers because they caught the ball well."
McCoy's success on the ground against Kansas was more the result of a veteran quarterback taking what the defense gave than part of the UT game plan. The junior from Tuscola, Texas, said the way KU's defense spread its linebackers opened up lanes for him to run.
"There were no called quarterback reads," McCoy said. "I just got the feel that it might open up and I might be able to make a play with my feet, and I ended up doing that a couple times."
McCoy's longest run of the day came on the first play of Texas' fourth scoring drive. With KU threatening to get back into the game, trailing just 21-7 midway through the third quarter, McCoy surged between the tackles and galloped, untouched, 25 yards through the heart of the KU defense. Seven plays later, McCoy found Quan Cosby for a nine-yard touchdown pass with 2:38 to play in the third, a strike that all but buried the Jayhawks.
"Our defense played awesome, especially in the first half," McCoy said. "Offensively, we just went through a slump in the second quarter. We should've capitalized on some opportunities in the first half, and we didn't. But good teams respond, and we came out in the third and fourth quarter and dominated."
As a result, the former top-ranked team in the nation once again is rolling.
After falling out of the No. 1 spot in the polls two weeks ago because of a last-second loss to Texas Tech, the Longhorns have bounced back by drubbing Baylor and Kansas, keeping alive their hopes for a Big 12 title.
"I think all three (Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech) are really good football teams," Brown said. "Obviously, it'll all get sorted out more over the next two weeks. What we've gotta do is just keep playing."