Time for McCoy to make Case as Texas Longhorns quarterback

Posted Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

As we approach the finish line of the 2011 Texas Quarterback Derby, we discover a surprise winner: Connor Brewer, the four-star recruit from Scottsdale, Ariz. who has announced plans to sign in February.

From all indications during the Longhorns' first 10 games, Brewer will be walking into an unsettled situation next season. And, like David Ash before him, Brewer will deserve every opportunity to win the job as a true freshman because none of the incumbents in Austin have made the position their own.

That's good news for Brewer, not so good for quarterbacks currently wearing orange. Four players began fall drills seeking to lead the Longhorns. Two have cast their lots with other schools. Two remain. None have surfaced as the long-term solution.

That could change, of course, if someone makes a Case for himself over the team's final three games, starting tonight against Texas A&M.

Case McCoy's opportunity beckons, thanks to an Aggies pass defense that ranks 118th among the nation's 120 FBS schools. Regardless of which quarterback starts at 7 p.m. in College Station -- and all signs point to McCoy -- it's clear that No. 25 Texas (6-4, 3-4 in Big 12) needs more in the passing game than it's getting from Ash, who has thrown six interceptions and no touchdown passes in five games as a starter. Of Ash's last 80 attempts, eight have been intercepted.

That has swung the quarterback pendulum back to McCoy, who posted a 2-1 mark as a starter before coaches became smitten with Ash's larger frame, stronger arm and superior running skills.

But the Longhorns have scored only one touchdown in their past 28 possessions. That drive was led by McCoy in last week's 17-13 loss to No. 11 Kansas State. It ended with a 36-yard touchdown strike to Blaine Irby, giving McCoy a 4-0 ratio of touchdown passes to interceptions in limited duty this season.

A strong Case could be made for rewarding that type of decision-making with more aerial opportunities against A&M (6-5, 4-4). Statistically, it's a near-perfect fit. McCoy is a 62 percent passer and A&M has allowed opponents to complete 62.2 percent of their attempts.

McCoy led Texas to 10 of its 13 points last week after replacing Ash, providing the Longhorns with a much-needed "burst of energy," coach Mack Brown said.

"Case gave us momentum," Brown said. "Hopefully, we can build on some of the positive things in the second half."

Texas coaches have made it clear that both quarterbacks will play against A&M. The more effective player will get most of the snaps.

"We're developing two quarterbacks for these types of situations ...to come in and play and win a game," co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin said. "To do that, we have to eliminate [turnovers]."

Harsin said McCoy did that against K-State while providing "a spark that we needed" along the way. Although he lacks Ash's physical skills, McCoy -- like his older brother, Colt -- has the intangibles that inspire teammates.

"Case has got a sense of confidence that whenever he comes in the game, he just has a calm state of mind," Irby said. "I think that's what you need at quarterback. Even if Case hasn't played in a lot of the games in the past [month], he's getting just as many reps in practice ...He's just like a first-teamer to us."

But the bottom line shows that no Texas quarterback has remained in a good groove for an extended period since Colt McCoy took his 45-8 career record as a starter to the NFL after the 2009 season. Case McCoy longs for a second chance to change that after being benched after the team's 55-17 loss to Oklahoma on Oct. 8.

"This isn't my first year being a backup, so I've learned," Case McCoy said. "I've been preparing ...and I know if we can keep our eye on the game, we can go to College Station and play a good game and beat a good team."

If so, McCoy has an opportunity to edge Brewer as the biggest winner in Texas' disappointing quarterback derby of 2011.

Follow Jimmy Burch on Twitter @Jimmy_Burch

Jimmy Burch, 817-390-7760

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
Kansas City0Bottom 1st | Box
San Francisco0@theBallpark | TV: FOX
110th World Series, Game Four. Kansas City leads series, 2-1.
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
Thursday
San Diego21Final | Box
Denver «35Gridiron Replay
Sunday
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Monday
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
Buffalo «2Final | Box
San Jose1
Boston12nd Prd 17:24 | Box
Toronto0TV: NHLN, CBC, NESN
NY Rangers12nd Prd 18:45 | Box
Montreal1TV: CITY TV, MSG, TVA Sports
New Jersey02nd Prd 15:10 | Box
Ottawa0TV: SN1, MSG+2
Dallas32nd Prd 13:10 | Box
NY Islanders3TV: FSN-SW, MSG+
Detroit12nd Prd 10:49 | Box
Philadelphia0TV: FSN-DET, CSN-PHI
Chicago11st Prd 15:21 | Box
St. Louis0TV: FX-CA, WGN, FSN-MW
Pittsburgh11st Prd 13:21 | Box
Nashville0TV: ROOT-PIT, FSN-TN
Tampa Bay01st Prd 13:53 | Box
Minnesota0TV: SUN, FSN-N
Florida 10/25 9:00 PM ET
Arizona TV: FSN-FL, FSN-AZ
Washington 10/25 10:00 PM ET
Calgary TV: CBC, TVA Sports 2, CSN-DC
Full Scoreboard