Case

Case McCoy, like his older brother, began his career at Texas as a backup before beating out a more highly-touted quarterback to win the starting job.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Peart | Daily Texan Staff

These McCoys sure love proving people wrong.

Colt did it time and time again during his time in Austin, winning a starting quarterback job he wasn’t supposed to win, having a freshman season he wasn’t supposed to have, piecing together a bounce-back junior year we didn’t think he was capable of.

And now it’s Case’s turn to turn doubters into believers.

Surprise, surprise.

Who thought, coming into this season, that the youngest McCoy would emerge as Texas’ best quarterback? Wasn’t he the guy with insufficient arm strength and mobility rivaled only by the South Mall statues? Garrett Gilbert was the quarterback with the rocket arm and David Ash was the mobile, make-things-happen one, right?

Wrong. Again.

Colt beat out Jevan Snead in 2006, in a rather surprising move. After all, Snead was the No. 3 quarterback in his class. McCoy was 15th, behind names like Rob Schoenhoft, Demenic Natale and Harrison Beck.

Who? Exactly.

Colt beat out Snead and then threw for 29 touchdowns his freshman year. The rest, as they say, is history.

But we didn’t think his younger brother could do the same. Or at least, I didn’t. Not with the quarterbacks around him.

He wasn’t even the “best” (according to the recruiting pundits) that Texas brought in 2010. Per the ratings, that’d be Connor Wood, Rivals’ No. 3 quarterback and current clipboard-carrier for the Colorado Buffaloes. McCoy — get this — was Rivals’ 24th-best quarterback.

McCoy beating out Wood for the backup spot last season and then proving himself better than Gilbert (who, by the way, wears jersey No. 7 just like Snead did) is proof of two things:

First, recruiting sites can’t always be trusted. Second, don’t ever discount anybody with “McCoy” on the back of their jersey.

This season began with Gilbert atop the depth chart, followed by Case and then Ash. But after the first game against Rice, in which Gilbert played well and Ash came in for a specialized package, it seemed McCoy would be the forgotten man. He could back Gilbert up, but he couldn’t run like Ash could — and he wasn’t being eased into action as Ash was.

We all know what happened against Brigham Young, where McCoy and Ash tag-teamed the Cougars. They were listed as co-starters against UCLA. McCoy was to be the game manager, Ash the instant offense.

So we thought. Should have listened to co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite last week when he warned of typecasting the quarterbacks.

“[The media] always try to draw polarization,” Applewhite said. “One guy is hot, one guy is cold. One guy is black, one guy is white. Obviously, one of them may do something a little bit better than the other, but they’re not polar opposites.”

Case quickly shrugged off the notion that he didn’t have the arms or legs to be the next special Texas quarterback, finding D.J. Grant for a long touchdown — there’s the arm — while rolling to his right — there’s the legs — in the first quarter. More than a few times he scrambled left and right throughout the pocket only to find his downfield receiver. He only had three incompletions.

Two months ago, I wrote that Texas needed Gilbert to have a big year or else the team might be in for another losing season. I just didn’t think Case, or anybody else, had it in them.

I was wrong — by a long shot.

Those damn McCoys.

Printed on September 20, 2011 as: Flying under radar, exceeding expectations run in McCoy family