Austin, Texas Colt McCoy finally got a win over Texas A&M, and No. 4 Texas put a historic whipping on a bitter rival.
The question now is, was it enough?
Was a 49-9 victory impressive enough to give McCoy a fighting chance for the Heisman Trophy and keep his team in the hunt for the Bowl Championship Series championship game?
Longhorns coach Mack Brown thought so.
“I felt they made the statement they needed to make,” Brown said. “Starting with Colt.”
McCoy passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more as the Longhorns (11-1, 7-1 Big 12) posted the largest margin of victory in the rivalry since a 48-0 Texas victory way back in 1898.
McCoy finished with 311 yards on 23-of-28 passing and ran for 49 more to earn his first win over the Aggies in three tries. He also got career victory No. 31, passing Vince Young to set a Texas record for starting quarterbacks, and set a Longhorns season record with 3,594 yards passing.
Defensively, Texas held the Aggies (4-8, 2-6) to 245 total yards and minus-24 yards rushing. The Longhorns sacked quarterbacks Jerrod Johnson and Stephen McGee six times
Texas, currently No. 2 in the BCS standings, now must wait until this weekend to see if its national title dreams are intact. The Longhorns are in prime position for at least a berth in a BCS bowl, but need some help if the team that spent a month at No. 1 will be able to play for the Big 12 title and BCS national championship.
A potential three-way tie for the Big 12 South division could swing to No. 3 Oklahoma if the Sooners beat No. 11 Oklahoma State on Saturday and leap Texas in the BCS rankings. Even if the Sooners lose, No. 7 Texas Tech still holds a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Longhorns going into the Red Raiders’ game against Baylor.
That’s why Texas needed a big win over a big rival in front of a national television audience. Style matters at this point in the season and the question now is whether Texas’ victory impressed BCS voters. The Associated Press rankings are not part of the BCS.
“The voters have a real tough decision,” Brown said. “Oklahoma is a great team. Texas Tech is a great team. I do not want to sit here and take anything away from them. This league is better than it’s ever been.”
McCoy deflected questions about what should happen to his Longhorns at this point.
“We can’t control all that. We wanted to leave it all out on the field and we did that,” he said. “It’s been a great season.”
While the final score was lopsided, the Longhorns quickly found themselves in a physical battle.
The game got chippy even before the start. Shortly before kickoff, dozens of Longhorns and Aggies players were exchanging words in the end zone before coaches and game officials broke it up. After McCoy capped an 80-yard opening drive with a 14-yard TD run, he was sacked three times in the first half and knocked down on several other occasions.
The Texas defense, however, held the Aggies to minus-1 yard on their first three possessions. Texas A&M tried to find a spark in the second quarter with McGee, who beat Texas the last two years but has been relegated to backup duty most of this season.
McGee passed for 207 yards but could only lead A&M to a first-half field goal. Johnson returned in the fourth.
“I just wanted to get out there and play, just get out there with the guys and play the game I love so much,” McGee said. “I’m just thankful for one final opportunity to put on the maroon and white and suit up and go get in there and compete.”