For the first time in months, the Longhorns won’t need a quarterback battle in practice to determine Saturday’s starter. Case McCoy gets the call in the regular season finale against Baylor.
The sophomore did enough on Thanksgiving night against the Aggies to earn his second straight start. Texas defined its starting quarterback Monday for the first time since Sept. 5, Garrett Gilbert’s final week as the starter. Since then, the Longhorns depth charts had an “or” between McCoy and freshman David Ash. But the job is solely McCoy’s — for now.
McCoy and Ash each have been spotty in the passing game, but McCoy made the throws when UT needed him most. He went four of five on the game-winning drive against Texas A&M and finished 16 of 27 for 110 yards.
“Case will give us a chance to consistently throw it better,” said head coach Mack Brown.
McCoy didn’t turn the ball over either, something Ash failed to do in his five starts. He’s yet to be intercepted in 107 pass attempts, the third longest streak to start a career in school history.
“If he’ll continue down that road of not turning the ball over and managing the game, doing a better job on third downs, then you’ve got something,” said Bryan Harsin, the Longhorns play-caller.
Still, McCoy will need to do more than protect the ball if the Longhorns want to beat the No. 19 Bears and begin bowl preparation on a high note. He’s completing 61.3 percent of his passes but Texas hasn’t thrown for over 200 yards since the Oklahoma game.
“For us to beat Baylor we need to throw the ball better,” Brown said.
McCoy, though, has given the Longhorns a jolt each time he’s entered the game off the bench, and his game-winning drive on a big stage against the Aggies cemented himself as a leader the Longhorns can follow. Now, it’s up to him to carry that over into his next start.
“He’s resilient,” said senior linebacker Emmanuel Acho. “He has a will to win that surpasses all of his other talents. Knowing on that last scramble not to slide but rather get the extra five yards to make it an easier kick, that’s something that winners do, that resilient quarterbacks do.”
He may not be the most graceful quarterback, but McCoy is 3-1 as a starter.
“A win’s a win, just like Tebow’s doing it,” said junior safety Kenny Vaccaro.
Printed on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 as: McCoy named starter after win