Scott Haynes, College Football Senior Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
The Texas Longhorns won the national championship following the 2005 season behind superhuman efforts from current Tennessee Titans QB Vince Young. His early departure to the NFL opened the door for present signal-caller Colt McCoy to take the reins in Austin, and McCoy has certainly proven to be the right man for the job.
As a redshirt freshman in 2006, he earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors, as he became the first freshman QB in UT history to win 10 games. McCoy was efficient, despite his youth, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes for 2,570 yards, with 29 TDs and just seven INTs.
In 2007, McCoy once again excelled, completing just over 65 percent of his throws for 3,303 yards and 22 TDs. He also started to show his prowess as a runner, amassing almost 500 yards on the ground (492), with four touchdowns.
Colt McCoy is 27-6 as |
a starting QB, ranking
third in school history.
While those numbers are certainly worthy of mention, they could be dwarfed by his 2008 stats. Through seven games, McCoy has completed over 81 percent of his passes, for 1,894 yards, with 19 TDs and just three picks, and boasts of a ridiculous 190.76 efficiency rating. In addition, he leads the Longhorns in rushing as well, with 371 yards and six more scores.
He has shined when the spotlight has been the brightest, leading his team to the top spot in the national rankings while dismantling powerhouses Oklahoma and Missouri in consecutive weeks.
In knocking off the then top-ranked Sooners two weeks ago in the Red River Rivalry, McCoy completed 28-of-35 passes, for 277 yards and one score.
He then made sure that Texas held onto its first regular season number-one ranking since 1984, with an unbelievable effort against Missouri. All he did, was complete 29-of-32 passes, for 337 yards and two TDs, while adding two more scores on the ground against the Tigers. He set a UT single-game record by completing 90.6 percent of his passes last weekend.
For his career, McCoy is 27-6 as the starting QB, ranking third in school history behind Bobby Layne (28-6) and Vince Young (30-2). He owns the school- record for pass efficiency, with a 157.7 career rating.
Presently, it is clear that McCoy has matured into one of the top players in all of college football and enters this week as perhaps the favorite to take home the Heisman Trophy. Still, the obvious added pressure of trying to lead his team to a national title and balance a Heisman campaign doesn't seem to faze the savvy signal-caller.
"It's just like I tell my coaches and my teammates. I just want to win. That's the most important thing," said McCoy. "If we win all our games, then maybe some awards will come. But it's a reflection of the team. It feels good that I'm playing well. I'm playing well because of my teammates. They're doing the little things right, we're working hard, we're practicing hard, we want to win and we're focused. We're focused on being the best that we can be and that makes you feel good."
With the kind of media attention that is starting to flock to McCoy's side, it was inevitable that questions regarding just how long he plans on staying in Austin would arise.
McCoy nipped any such speculation in the bud this week.
In a recent report by The Sporting News, McCoy revealed that he has no intentions of leaving UT after his junior campaign.
"I'm going to play here for four years. I've been blessed to be able to play here. Not very many people get to [start] here for four years, so what an opportunity."
One fan of that decision has to be Texas coach Mack Brown, whose team seems to have all the pieces in place to stay atop the polls and win the national title, and McCoy's decision to address his status now eliminates one more trivial distraction along the way.
Whether or not McCoy is actually ready to take his game to the next level remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, the rest of the Big 12 hopes that day comes sooner rather than later.