Texas starting QB Case McCoy
He's the new starter for the Longhorns, but has he solidified his position as the leader of this Texas team?
One road start for Case McCoy and one big win against the UCLA Bruins. The Texas Longhorns have finally found their starting quarterback.
After months of speculation in the offseason as to who would start, two games into the season, the offense behind Garrett Gilbert stalled. Enter McCoy and David Ash, in a tandem system, to lead the Horns back to a victory against BYU. The question of which would take the reins had yet to be answered.
Of course, there was the issue of whether or not Gilbert could take the starting job back. It would have been a lot more interesting, but he had season ending shoulder surgery giving him an extra year of eligibility. Any challenge from him is squelched until next year.
The game against UCLA, at the Rose Bowl, where McCoy watched his older brother leave with an injury during the National Championship, would be his time to shine. The very first drive of the game ended with a 45 yard TD pass to D.J. Grant. He finished with two touchdowns, with 168 passing yards with 12 completions on 15 attempts.
Those numbers are impressive for a first year starter, but the importance lies outside the numbers. McCoy managed the game. He was able to lead his team down the field drive after drive. He didn't have to go deep every pass, put up extreme numbers. Instead he did what was required of him. He was able to complete passes when he needed to, and was able to convert on third downs.
Even more impressive, he has all the intangibles his brother had at Texas. He has a will to win, to play and to have fun. Gilbert was always quiet, but McCoy shows all his emotions. He commands the huddle and talks to his players on the sideline.
I argued that a tandem quarterback system was detrimental to players in that they could lose some of the rhythm when they are taken out of the game. McCoy didn't lose a beat, coming back in to make impressive plays.
Ash also looked good, managing the game well when he was in. But he didn't have the same ability to command the offense as McCoy. He was three for three on his passes, but he wasn't used the same way he was against BYU. When he tried to rush he was unable to pick up yardage. The coaching staff showed its trust in Case as they sent Ash in less and less.
Ash has the ability to be the starter one day; he is a prolific passer and he can make plays with his feet. But right now, the younger McCoy with all the same intangibles has control over this offense. And with a victory on the road against UCLA, the team that started the decline of the Longhorns last year, he has won over the Texas faithful.