Sept. 26, 2009
Natalie England, Texas Media Relations
AUSTIN, Texas -- After Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium had emptied on Saturday evening, with swatches of sunlight getting squeezed away from Joe Jamail Field, a few Texas Football guests remained on the turf.
Young boys, wearing burnt orange jerseys, ran in circles, and in that way, they of course mirrored the Longhorns. They were also throwing, catching and smiling -- and that mirrored the Longhorns too. Colt McCoy and the second-ranked Longhorns played football for the fun of it on Saturday, and that resulted in a dominating 64-7 triumph against the UTEP Miners.
McCoy looked like the quarterback fans across the nation fell in love with last season, when he grinned his way to a record-setting completion percentage and was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Player of the Year and consensus All-America.
Against the Miners, McCoy played, once again, with that calm precision. Despite only appearing in one series in the third quarter, McCoy threw for 286 yards on 28-of-35 passing and three touchdowns.
"He just does a great job managing the game," UTEP head coach Mike Price said of McCoy.
The Longhorns wore down the Miners with an up-tempo offense, and McCoy pushed all the right buttons. His 36-yard TD pass to Dan Buckner late in the first quarter broke the game open for the Longhorns, but it was the play that happened right before it that is possibly the most telling.
On third-and-two from the UTEP 46, McCoy took the ball on a keeper, and ran up the middle for a 10-yard gain. Feeling the flow, McCoy hit Buckner on a crossing pattern on the very next play to put the Longhorns out front, 26-7.
"They're ranked No. 2 for a reason," UTEP quarterback Trevor Vittatoe said. "Fighting from behind in the game against the No. 2 team in the nation is not something you want to do."
On UT's next possession, McCoy orchestrated a 15-play, 88-yard TD drive that drained more than five minutes off the clock. McCoy was 8-of-11 passing on that drive, and capped it with a 16-yard toss to Jordan Shipley in the end zone.
After Shipley scored, McCoy retreated to the sideline and celebrated alone with a few fist pumps. He appeared to take particular pride in the scoring push -- which required a nine-yard completion to Shipley on third-and-10 and a gutsy quarterback sneak on fourth down to keep the drive going.
It showed the Longhorns were finding their rhythm and their stride. And the scoreboard showed what can happen when McCoy and the Longhorns do it all with a smile.
"I think they're the best team in the country," Price said of the Longhorns. "They're going to be in every game. They have a chance to go all the way."