Mccoy And Co. Turning Broken Plays Into Big Plays For Texas

Thursday, October 18th 2007, 11:06 am
By: News On 6

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The running game has been shaky and pass protection for quarterback Colt McCoy has been spotty.

But if there's one thing the No. 19 Texas Longhorns have done really well, it's turn busted plays into big plays and more than a few touchdowns.

McCoy's ability to avoid rushers and throw on the run have gotten the Longhorns out of more than a few jams and created some flashy touchdown highlights, such as:

-- The scramble and TD pass to Jordan Shipley in the first half of the 28-21 loss to Oklahoma.

-- McCoy's twist and turn out of the grasp of an Iowa State defender to hit Nate Jones for a touchdown and his 44-yard touchdown run later in the game in last week's 56-3 victory.

-- A scrambling 33-yard TD pass to Quan Cosby against Kansas State.

``Colt can really run,'' coach Mack Brown said, even tossing in a comparison to Vince Young.

Shipley said the Longhorns have teased McCoy about his running skills when comparing him to Young, who carried Texas to the 2005 national championship.

``He'll come over to the sideline and someone will ask 'Is that No. 10 (Young) or No. 12?''' Shipley said.

Much of Texas' success when plays break down depends on the wide receivers, who have to recognize when their quarterback is in trouble and quickly find open space in the secondary.

Like kids on a playground, it can look like a mad scramble, although the receivers know that one will have to go deep, while others look for middle and short routes.

``It comes from playing sandlot football,'' Shipley said.


TURNING AROUND THE RATIO: With four touchdown passes last week, Colt McCoy now has more TD passes (14) than interceptions (10) for the first time since Texas beat Rice a month ago.

It also puts him close to last season's TD pace when he tied an NCAA freshman record with 29. With five regular season games remaining and assuming Texas plays in a bowl, McCoy's current rate of two per game puts him on pace for 26.

Texas (5-2, 1-2 Big 12) plays at Baylor (3-4, 0-3) on Saturday. McCoy set a school record with six TD passes against the Bears last season.

Iowa State was only the second game this season McCoy hasn't thrown a pick. With two more touchdown throws, he'll pass Young (44) for fourth place on the school career list.


STORM'S A-COMING: The Longhorns have nicknamed their second-team offense ``Storm'' and it comes with a twist. Against Iowa State, all 11 players were freshmen when the group hit the field early in the second quarter.

With two losses in the Big 12 already, it seemed the time was right to get some young guys significant playing time. Texas committed to it early, sending the Storm on the field with Texas leading 14-3. It produced only 17 yards and one first down.

On its next series, in the third quarter, the unit was again forced to punt.

Coach Mack Brown said he challenged them to do better. They finally did when quarterback John Chiles scored in the fourth.

``You guys want to get in the game, you've got to score,'' he said.


UPSET SPECIAL: With all the upsets in college football leaving upstart South Florida and Boston College sitting at No. 2 and No. 3 in the first Bowl Championship Series standings, coach Mack Brown was asked if he thought a Bulls-Eagles BCS title game would be good for college football.

``It's not good for Texas,'' Brown said.


MAGIC NUMBER: Ten. Texas has won at least 10 games the last six seasons, the longest such streak in the country. After opening the Big 12 schedule with two straight losses, some players turned their focus on keeping the streak alive.

``It's a brand new start,'' defensive end Brian Orakpo said. ``We're starting over and we have a chance to get to 10.''