" /> Colt McCoy – Quarterback for the Texas Longhorns: October 2008 Archives

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October 31, 2008

COLT CRAZY!

There are a couple of good stories on ReporterNews.com this morning.

_smallUTlogo.gif The first is titled "Colt Crazy," a great little feature by sports writer Evan Ren about how the tiny town of Tuscola is watching their favorite son's every move.

_smallUTlogo.gif And speaking of favorites, the second story is about one of the most popular Longhorns - Henry Melton and how he is thriving at DE.

October 30, 2008

THE CAPPER

OK, here's the Associated Press preview capsule of the game as promised:

No. 1 Texas (8-0) at No. 6 Texas Tech (8-0), 7 p.m. (ABC)

Line: Texas by 4.

Series Record: Texas leads 43-14.

Last Meeting: 2007, Texas 59-43.

What's at Stake

The biggest game in program history for Tech. After years of playing Big 12 spoiler, a victory shows that the Red Raiders and coach Mike Leach can win the league and be a national title contender. And don't forget the weekly Big 12 battle of Heisman-hopeful quarterbacks, this time between Texas' Colt McCoy and Tech's Graham Harrell.

Key Matchup

Texas' defensive line vs. Harrell. The Tech quarterback has hardly been scratched this season behind a huge offensive line that has allowed only three sacks. Brian Orakpo, Lamarr Houston and Henry Melton have been tormenting QBs and could be the first group to pressure Harrell into making bad throws.

Players to watch

Texas: Linebackers Sergio Kindle, Rashad Bobino, Jared Norton and Roddrick Muckelroy can't miss tackles this week when Tech receivers catch those short passes and try to shake them for big gains.

Texas Tech: Kicker Matt Williams. In September, he was just another student who came out of the stands for one of those wacky kicking contests between quarters. He nailed a 30-yarder, Leach was impressed and gave him a tryout. Williams kicked nine extra points in his first game last week, but hasn't faced pressure like this.<

Facts & figures

Texas has won five in a row over Tech and is 16-2 in the last 18 games against ranked opponents ... the Red Raiders are 8-0 for the first time since 1976 ... In Leach's nine seasons in Lubbock, Tech quarterbacks average 4,745 yards passing ... The Longhorns and Red Raiders almost never fail to put up points. The winning team in six of the last seven meetings has scored at least 42.

STILL WAITING

While waiting for the AP game capsule to move, here are a few random thoughts:

_smallUTlogo.gif HUH? I'd like to know what question was asked of Colt McCoy so that he would take off his cap in the players' press conference earlier this week (accompanying photo).

_smallUTlogo.gif DEE! After all the talk about how great the offenses are and will Colt McCoy or Graham Harrell have the better peformance, the old adage will probably win out Saturday night for the 'Horns and Red Raiders.

"Defenses win championships." Yeah, and that's true for "pre-championships" as well. Sure, there will still be a bunch of Big 12 footballs to "add up" after Saturday's game, but this one is the "two-thirds of the way through the season" championship, and the winner gets to beat up on an inferior Northern foe on Dec. 6 in Kansas City.

_smallUTlogo.gif TRICK-OR-TREAT: Even though this game will be played the day after Halloween, it will look like a function from 24 hours prior. Every Longhorn fan in attendance will be wearning burnt orange, of course, and word has gone out for a "black out" for the Tech fans. Nothing but black and orange in the stands Saturday night.

_smallUTlogo.gif GAME CAPSULE: Coming soon, I swear. Well, maybe tomorrow.

October 29, 2008

COMIC RELIEF

Just thought I'd show you what all the Tech fans are forwarding each other today on email.

Outside of the Tech community, however, there are few who think the Red Raiders have a chance against Colt McCoy and the Longhorns.

At this moment, UT is a 5.5-point favorite. That's because some people don't think Tech has been tested yet. Certainly not as much as the 'Horns, that's for sure. Also, because the Red Raiders have tended to "not show up" for spotlight games.

Since 1992, Tech is 4-4 against the spread in games played at Lubbock, but Texas is 11-5 straight up against the Red Raiders during that same time.

Well, I never put my money in the present based on something that happened in the past.

But if I had to bet anything on Saturday's game, it would be that one of the teams is going to have to go for two in overtime to end the thing.

October 28, 2008

GOOD EVENING

I never played college football, but trust me ... I've been to a lot of games.

And I always enjoyed early afternoon games more. Don't know how the athletes felt about it. I always assumed they liked evening games better because they didn't get so hot.

But I think an evening game gives the athletes too much time to think about it. That's why I liked the OU game starting at 11 a.m. Wake up and get it over with. On the flip side of that coin, though, the teams just might be better rested and alert for the night games.

Saturday will be the fifth game this season the Longhorns have played that started after 6 p.m. I can tell that is OK with the Horns' offense because they've averaged 50.5 points in those four games. And the defense is only giving up about two TDs a game.

Texas Tech has also played four games at 6 p.m. or later - averaging 45 points a game and giving up a little over two TDs.

So, I don't think the time is going to be a factor ... on the field.

HOWEVER, speaking with a limited amount of experience in such matters from my college days up there on the caprock, a 7 p.m. start also gives a certain segment of the crowd more time to get loaded up with analgesic libations, so to speak. In other words, they'll be feeling no pain, and could add - albeit negatively - to the home-field advantage.

On the field, the adrenaline will be pumping heavily by the prime time kickoff, and off the field I just hope I don't overdose on it before the final gun.

Seriously, it's going to be a very hard-hitting game, and I just hope no one is injured. Tech still has OSU, Oklahoma and Baylor to beat, while UT has those same Bears, Kansas and the Aggies to dispatch. No matter what the outcome I predict Colt McCoy and Graham Harrell will both have outstanding days ... just like last year's game.

I hope your favorite team wins, and although I have to be true to my school, sometimes I feel like the parent in the stands who is wearing one of those "Wreck 'Em / Hook 'Em" half-and-half jerseys because he has a son on each squad.

"Go .... Team!"

WORD

Guess you saw to no one's surprise that Colt McCoy officially became a Davey O'Brien semi-finalist yesterday.

Of the 13 named, six are from the Big 12, of course.

Just now got my flu shot from Colt's pharmacist relative James McCoy, and he doesn't have a ticket to Saturday's game, either.

"I bet we'll be able to hear it from here," James said right before he jabbed the needle in me. He could be right. Lubbock is only 158 miles from Abilene.

Colt did a bunch of the talking in yesterday's player's press conference. Here are some of his quotes, and as you can see, some of the questions could easily have made him "eat the poisoned cheese" (believe his own pub), but he wasn't having any of it:

_smallUTlogo.gif On how they have been able to handle all the media and hype the past few weeks: It goes back to staying focused. This team is really focused on what we need to do to get better. We were out there doing up-downs for NOS's that we committed during the game. There are a lot of things that we can do better. I think on offense, for sure, we need to finish. When we get in the red zone, we've got to be able to get at least a field goal to make it a seven-point game. We also needed to punch it in when we had the ball on the 1-yard line. Those things are frustrating, but they are things we can learn from and hopefully fix if we are in that situation again.

_smallUTlogo.gif On if his rise in popularity has altered his everyday life: I think that comes along with being a quarterback and being a part of a number one team. It's fun and it's exciting, and you just have to go out and put a smile on your face and enjoy it. You like that better than the fans not noticing you or wanting to say hi and things like that. It's a fun time right now and the Austin fans are great. I think across the board, everyone in the locker room is enjoying it.

_smallUTlogo.gif On the his mentality with the Heisman Trophy: For us, my focus is on this team and the most important thing is winning. I think if you look at our team and everybody in the locker room, it's their focus as well. If we're going to win games, it's going to be because we're all pitching in and doing what we need to do in order to be successful. That's our focus, and especially for me, that is my focus. I'll do what the coaches ask me to do and lead my team to hopefully putting a 'W' up every week.

_smallUTlogo.gif On the difference in his mental state after a turnover this year than in the past: It was hard last week because I haven't turned the ball over much. It's little things. The (intercepted) pass to Quan [Cosby] was where the ball needed to go, and the guy made a great play with his outside technique. He made a good play and we have to fix that. I think the most important thing is to keep your head up and just to put it behind you. Those things can get in your head. It's so easy for a quarterback to turn the ball over and to let it continue to bother and nag you. The next time you get out on the field, you're still thinking about that, and you end up doing it again. To be able to put it behind you is definitely something that you can learn, and I've definitely learned that in the last two years.

_smallUTlogo.gif On the atmosphere of playing in Lubbock: Lubbock is a tough place to play. They are really loud and it seems like their whole stadium is filled with students. It's going to be a night game, so that's going to make it even tougher. But, we're looking forward to it, and it's going to be fun.

_smallUTlogo.gif On his friends out in Lubbock: Basically, my whole high school goes to Texas Tech. Everybody I know back home goes to Tech, so there are a lot of friends and family out there.

_smallUTlogo.gif On the improvement in Texas Tech's defense: I think the biggest thing this year is that they understand that their offense does not stay on the field that long and that they score a lot of points. So, their job is to go out there to make some key stops and to get their offense good field position. They've been able to do that so far. They are undefeated and they are playing really well on both sides of the ball. We've got our hands full this week.

_smallUTlogo.gif On Mike Leach: I like Coach Leach. I know him, and he's a great guy and great coach. He does a good job of getting his team ready to play every week. Coach Leach is Coach Leach, and there is nobody else like him. He's a great football coach.

October 27, 2008

THE WEEK

Been waiting all season for this one, and the Longhorns and Red Raiders have cooperated nicely with undefeated records, thank you very much.

I'm going to play TV game analyst and talk about keys to the game Saturday (7 p.m., ABC). There are four to this one. The team that takes 3 out of 4 "keys" wins the game - simple as that. If the teams split 2 and 2, then it's anyone's game and probably will be decided on the final play.

Here they are:

Most Rushing Yards - At first glance, you'd have to give this one to Tech, but they haven't faced a defense like Texas yet. Nonetheless, Tech gets the nod.

Least Turnovers - This one is always a key for any game. Give Texas the edge on this. I think Colt got those "gifts" out of his system in the OSU game. Plus, the Longhorns are generally more careful with the ball.

Most QB Sacks - The Red Raiders could win this one. Colt McCoy has been sacked a lot more times that Graham Harrell. Again, on paper ... Tech.

Special Teams - Sure, there won't be a lot of punting going on Saturday night, but I expect there to be a lot of kickoffs after TDs. Judging by success so far, Texas definitely has the edge here.

So, that's pretty close.

And don't forget about:

Motivation: Texas is the "season-game" for Texas Tech, just like it is for Oklahoma and A&M - and others. Tech is always highly motivated to prove something against the Longhorns. This is a big game for Texas, of course, but so is every other one lately. I believe there is such a thing as too much motivation. So, more pressure could be on Tech. Texas gets the edge because of Colt's cool head in a crisis ... just slightly.

Home-field Advantage: Don't underplay this. The OSU Cowboys played inspired football in front of almost a 100,000 people - most of whom were hostile to them. Just think if this game had been played at Stillwater. That might have been just the edge OSU needed for the upset. Jones Stadium can be just as intimidating (ask OU about last year). So, Tech gets the edge.

No clear-cut advantage ... on paper.

But, of course, the game isn't played on paper; it's played on fake grass and little black pellets simulating dirt. That means anything can happen.

Thanks in advance to both teams for delivering the mother of all games!

October 25, 2008

YES!

The dream stays alive.

Texas (8-0) at Texas Tech (8-0) next Saturday is going to be one of the all-time great games in college football.

P.S. I knew the Cowboys would be the toughest game of the year. Whew!

P.P.S. The QB who wins that game will probably win the Heisman.

October 24, 2008

ONE MORE GAME

That's the mantra this season for Colt McCoy and the Longhorns.

But it's also relevant to me for the matchup of undefeated Texas and Texas Tech on Nov. 1. Can't wait for that one!

But first things first. Here's the lastest UT/OSU game capsule from the Associated Press:

Line: Texas by 12 1/2.

Series Record: Texas leads 20-2.

Last meeting: 2007, Texas won 38-35.

_smallUTlogo.gif What's at Stake

Texas' No. 1 ranking, first place in the Big 12 South and whether the Cowboys are ready to be national title contenders. An Oklahoma State win makes the Cowboys big players in the Big 12 and national title chase and would take some of the air out of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy's Heisman hopes.

_smallUTlogo.gif Key Matchup

Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Tim Beckman vs. McCoy. Nobody has figured out a way to slow down McCoy. If Beckman can devise a scheme to confuse or disrupt the QB who is completing 81 percent of his passes, it could be the Cowboys' day. McCoy's numbers are even better at home, where's he completing 86 percent with 12 touchdowns against just 14 incompletions.

_smallUTlogo.gif Players to Watch

Texas: Defensive tackle Roy Miller, a run stuffer and pocket pusher on the line. If Texas can disrupt the running game of the country's most balanced offense, pass rushers Brian Orakpo and Sergio Kindle can go after OSU QB Zac Robinson.

Oklahoma State: Wide receiver Dez Bryant, another big, fast pass catcher who could have a career day against a defense that ranks No. 111 against the pass.

_smallUTlogo.gif Facts & Figures

Oklahoma State has had some historic collapses against Texas, including blowing a 35-7 second quarter lead in Austin in a 56-35 Longhorns win in 2004. Texas trailed by 21 in the fourth quarter last season before rallying to win again 38-35 ... Texas QB Colt McCoy gets all the attention, but OSU's Zac Robinson is the No. 3 passer in the country with a 191.93 efficiency rating ... Oklahoma State is 7-0 for the first time since 1945.

October 23, 2008

MOTIVATION

Colt McCoy and the Longhorns have plenty of motivation for this game. You all know what it includes - continuing the undefeated season, protecting the ranking, defending DKR Memorial Stadium, etc.

The next two opponents for Texas have almost as much motivation. Last season, Colt led a thrilling rally against Oklahoma State, and the Horns came away with a improbable 38-35 victory.

It reminded me of the 2006 season when, as a freshman, Colt did the same thing against Texas Tech, with an equally astounding 35-31 come-from-behind victory.

This is Mack Brown's 11th season at Texas, and the OSU Cowboys have yet to beat one of his teams.

That's dominance, and dominance is always call for motivation. That means this could be the closest game so far this season. Except for Oklahoma (10 points), the Horns have been beating opponents by an average of 34 points a game, so what is close, really?

I predict another thrilling game, but I give UT the edge in talent on both sides of the ball (especially at QB), home-field advantage and, yes ... even motivation.

October 22, 2008

CLOSE AGAIN

If you thought Colt McCoy was close to Sam Bradford and then Chase Daniel in stats that count, Zac Robinson from Oklahoma State is even closer.

Here are the current rankings from ESPN: 1. David Johnson (Tulsa) 212.82; 2. Bradford (OU) 192.22; 3. Robinson (OSU) 191.93; 4. Colt 190.76; and 5. Daniel (Mo.) 175.80.

As anyone who has ever clicked on the "Stats" link above knows, Colt is completing 81.2% of his passes this season (160-of-197) for 1,894 yards, 19 TDs and only 3 picks. Robinson, the 6-3, 210-pound junior (who is NOT from Texas) is completing 70.1% of his passes (94-of-134) for 1,488, 14 TDs and 4 INTs.

Wait, you say ... that's close? Wait, you say again ... he's above Colt in the national QB power ratings? How can that be?

That's a lot of questions for a Wednesday morning, but let me just remind you that Colt thrives on competition, especially if that competition is thought by some people to be better than he is.

One more thing ... ESPN has a poll that asks who should be considered for the Heisman (sorry, I mentioned the H-word) if Colt and Texas falter. Why don't you go on there and vote for Graham Harrell of Texas Tech, thank you very much.

October 21, 2008

IT'S ALL IN YOUR HEAD

You gotta love Mack Brown's coaching this season ... especially of the press corps.

He buried the Oklahoma game ball, not only to get his players' minds off the recent past to focus on the immediate future, but to deflect some of the attention away from his players.

Now he has distracted the media again with his "we're not great" comment. I love it. If the Longhorns run the table this year, it'll be because of Colt McCoy on the field, and Mack Brown off the field.

Speaking of Colt, here are some of his quotes from yesterday's press conference:

_smallUTlogo.gif On offensive coordinator Greg Davis: We spend so much together, he's like my dad. My dad was my high school coach and now he's my coach, so we spend so much time together. He coaches me the same way my dad did. He's not going to let me take a lazy step. He's going to make sure I'm doing the right thing all the time, which I like. That's important, I think, to have in a coach. I think the biggest thing for Coach Davis is he's putting our offense in the right situations. He knows what we do best and I think there is a trust factor there. He trusts us and trusts me in doing what he asks us to do as an offense. We're definitely on the same page.

_smallUTlogo.gif On the offense playing at a high level right now: We are. We're doing a lot of really good things, especially this last week. We came out and tried to get on the board as early as we could and stay after it, and we did, which is important against a high-powered offense like Missouri. (That will be important) this week too with Oklahoma State. They can score pretty much every time they have the ball, so we're going to have to keep playing to that standard and keep getting better. There are a lot of things we can improve on. We just have to stay focused.

_smallUTlogo.gif On comparing last season's game against Oklahoma State to this year's matchup: Oklahoma State always plays us tough every year. We definitely don't want to put ourselves in the situation we were in last year. That's something that is really hard to overcome and we were fortunate. We know they're a great football team, I've watched a lot. They're really aggressive. They come after you. It seems like a lot of defenses have been doing that. We've been able to see that and get those looks. We're going to have to handle it just like we have every week.

_smallUTlogo.gifOn whether he knew at the start of the season how good the team would be at this point: I knew the chemistry that we had on this team. I knew how focused we were and how we wanted to win so badly. We wanted to be better than 10-3. I knew that if we took one game at a time, we practiced hard, if we prepared each week, I knew that we had the greatest coaches around that we know of. We have a tough schedule but if we could just say, "Hey, it doesn't matter. Put it all on the line every week. Practice like you want to win and see where we can go," and we've done that. The most important thing is that we continue to do that and not worry about number one. It means nothing right now us. That's how we played last Saturday, and we're going to do the same thing this Saturday.

_smallUTlogo.gif On dealing with the hype: It's just like I tell my coaches and my teammates - I just want to win. That's the most important thing. 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.

_smallUTlogo.gif On the Oklahoma State defense: They're really aggressive. They're not scared to come after you, they're not scared to blitz people and play one-on-one on the edges. They trust their corner(backs). Their (defensive backs) have been there for a long time. They were all there last year. I think they have a lot of confidence coming into the game. They know they were up 35-14 in the fourth quarter last year. It's important for us to practice hard, to study these guys, get in the film room, because we know they're aggressive, we know they're going to come after us. We've got to have our eyes in the right spot and convert.

October 20, 2008

GAME FACE ON

I put the accompanying Associated Press photo by Harry Cabluck into the UT/Missouri slideshow this morning, but I wanted to make sure you saw it.

Look at the game faces that Colt McCoy, Mack Brown and Major Applewhite have on - especially Colt ... that look in his eyes.

This was sometime during the second quarter when the rest of the country was being introduced to him. Not just another pretty face on the cover of Sports Illustrated, huh?

But if I were Mack Brown, I'd bury that Missouri game ball right next to the OU one. I wouldn't be surprised if the OSU Cowboys have done something with the Baylor ball. OSU didn't blow out Baylor as much as some might have thought, but you have to remember that some of them were looking ahead to the Texas game. Considering that, they did awfully good.

The Longhorns have proven they're good at not looking back or looking ahead, but this is going to be their toughest game of the year so far (even counting OU). The Cowboys won't be in semi-shock like the Tigers were after suffering their first defeat. They have a chip on their shoulders, wanting to show the nation they shouldn't be overlooked. They're mad.

The good news for Burnt Orange Nation is that their quarterback thrives on and lives for these kinds of games.

You notice, I didn't mention the "H-word" once.

Colt is way too busy keeping his game face on to worry about posing.

October 19, 2008

THE BEST YET!

If you still think the Oklahoma game is the best Colt McCoy and the Longhorns have played this season, you weren't watching the same game I was last night.

Colt did his part, of course, with a 90.6% completion rate (29-of-32) and a highlight play that will follow him through this Heisman hype (I'm talking about dribbling the fumble and then throwing a completion for 23 yards).

But the defense, all the running backs and the O-line just played lights out.

My dream of an undefeated Tech hosting an undefeated Texas in Lubbock is almost a reality.

Now if I can only find a ticket.

October 17, 2008

NEXT, PLEASE

I'm still going with my months-old prediction that Texas will only lose one game this year (to Texas Tech), so that means a "W" against Missouri Saturday night.

If the Tigers can forget all that pressure that's on them (one wide receiver said "We can't lose another game!"), then the game will be another barn-burner to the tune of 6 to 8 TD passes and total points in the 80s. I have a feeling the pressure on Chase Daniel will be evened out by his motivation caused by Mack Brown initially passing him over for Ryan Perrilloux.

If, however, the Tigers lose focus it will actually be the Longhorns who will be ready to pounce, and the fourth quarter could be lop-sided.

Colt McCoy may be level-headed and a nice guy, but I think when he smells blood in the water he ramps his game up a couple of notches. And if the Tigers' defensive secondary "leak oils," it is definitely turn out the lights the party's over even though the fat lady is singing.

There, I'm all out of metaphors.

Here's the game capsule from the Associated Press:

Line: Texas by 5½.

Series Record: Texas leads 15-5.

Last meeting: 2005, Texas 51-20.

What's at Stake

In what could be a preview of the Big 12 title game, Texas is trying to hold on to its first regular-season No. 1 ranking since 1984. The Tigers are trying to stay in the national title hunt and get quarterbd ,sdsack Chase Daniel back in the running for the Heisman Trophy after he threw three interceptions in a loss to Oklahoma State.

Key Matchup

Texas LB Roddrick Muckelroy vs. Missouri RB Derrick Washington. Muckelroy leads the Longhorns with 56 tackles and will need to have a big game tracking down Washington, who leads the nation with 13 touchdowns. Washington had just eight carries last week but Missouri but will likely want to control the clock on Texas' home field.

Players to Watch

Texas: Safeties Earl Thomas and Blake Gideon. The freshmen face another huge test in trying to keep up with Missouri receiver Jeremy Maclin and the rest of the Tigers' passing attack. Texas gave up five passing TDs against Oklahoma.

Missouri: Tight end Chase Coffman. Texas struggled to cover Oklahoma tight ends last week and Coffman is the kind of big, fast athlete who can wreck a defense with short and medium routes in the middle of the field.

Facts & Figures

Missouri's only two wins in Austin came in 1894 and 1896. Missouri's only win against Texas in the Big 12 came in 1997 ... Even if Missouri scores early, no lead is safe against Texas. The Longhorns have nine second-half comeback wins since 2006 ... Tigers have 28 players from the state of Texas ... Missouri is 0-10 against No. 1 teams.

October 16, 2008

LINKAGE

Here are a couple of links for you about Colt.

In the chatroom, Lynn shared the recent Colt McCoy audio interview with Dan Patrick - http://www.790kbme.com/pages/frame-danpatrick.html. The actual audio link is near the bottom of the page. You can't miss it ... right next to Colt's picture. You can also get to the same page by keying in danpatrick.com.

Also, here is this morning's Reporter-News story that features Brad McCoy talking about Colt being on the Sports Illustrated cover - http://reporternews.com/news/2008/oct/16/cover-boy/?partner=RSS

The Dan Patrick bullet points follow:

_smallUTlogo.gif McCoy doesn't believe in the Sports Illustrated cover jinx and isn't worried about it.

_smallUTlogo.gif McCoy said Vince Young is the greatest quarterback in the history of college football.

_smallUTlogo.gif McCoy said he doesn't know who the best quarterback in the Big 12 is. He said wait to see who wins the conference.

_smallUTlogo.gif Dan asked him the last time he signed an autograph. His professor asked him after class just yesterday.

_smallUTlogo.gif Colt said he's definitely going to be back in Austin for his senior year. He seems to have no interest in leaving early for the NFL.

_smallUTlogo.gif Dan asked him how important being a leader is for him. McCoy said it's huge and credited the Longhorns for their resiliency.

_smallUTlogo.gif McCoy said he tries to wear white or grey, because coach Mack Brown gets mad if he's wearing red. Dan said he's wearing burnt orange for the interview. I'm in the studio today. It's absolutely true.

This morning my wife wondered if Colt would return for his senior year at Texas if he won the Heisman. Not knowing the answer, of course, I still assured her he would. Just seems like something he would do, whether he won the Heisman or not.

I wondered aloud to my wife how many issues of Sports Illustrated Debra McCoy has purchased in the past 24 hours.

At least all there are in Graham, Texas, that's for sure. ;-)

October 15, 2008

(cricket, cricket)

In the chatroom, Sam from San Antonio observes: "Sure is quiet here."

Being human and knowing about human nature, I would suspect that most people don't want to "jinx" Colt McCoy and the Longhorns as a Missouri team - arguably as good as the team Texas just played - comes to town.

After all, it all came down very quickly - Texas beats OU, Texas ranked No. 1, Colt vaults to the top of the Heisman race ... boom, boom, boom!

But honestly, do you think anyone with a grin like that really believes in jinxes?

Just breathe, everyone ... and go to the chatroom and say something.

P.S. Just a couple of hours after I wrote this, guess who showed up on the cover of Sports Illustrated? I don't buy that jinx, either.

October 14, 2008

REALITY CHECK

Guess you've seen how Texas is down-playing being No. 1. Good idea since the meat of the schedule is just coming up.

Being No. 1 in Week Seven is never the goal.

Guess you've also seen how Colt McCoy has surged up in the Heisman poll to No. 1 as well as being named Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week and Big 12 Player of the Week with Shipley.

Whew! Most people would get a big head over such accolades, but that's never been a problem with Colt.

Here's what he said Monday about being No. 1: "My main goal is to win. I am thankful for the opportunity to play and to play with this team and we are playing well. We are doing things right. There are still things that we can do better. We messed up a lot in the game, but at the same time, it is important for us to stay on track and stay focus and keep playing."

Here are the rest of his quotes from Monday's press conference:

_smallUTlogo.gif On the running game against Oklahoma: We were able to start running the ball there at the end because we had thrown and thrown so much and the defensive was tilting their secondary trying to get their feel for us, so I knew our line would block the linebackers and the corner. Chris (Ogbonnaya) would be one-on-one on the safety. That's how that play works all the time. I knew if I could get the safety to tilt the other way like he had been earlier and Chris could get freed up, which fortunately is what happened, and it worked out for us.

_smallUTlogo.gif On what he and the team have to is do for this week: I continue to do what I have been doing, which is focusing on how good this team can be. It is important to us to take each week like we have been. Oklahoma is behind us now. It was great, we won, and it was an awesome feeling. Now, we have so many challenges still starting this week with Missouri. It is important for us to focus. It is important for us to be practicing hard because being number one you're on top now and you control your own destiny. Our goals are still there. We want to win every game. I look forward to this week.

_smallUTlogo.gif On Chase Daniel: We have been friends for a long time. Probably about sophomore year in high school we started going to camps together and kind of got to know each other. We would go to some of the same camps. We have kept up with each other since he went to Missouri and I came here. We went out to the Elite 11 (camp) this summer. We were roommates out there and we have a good relationship. It is fun and it is going to be a fun week.

_smallUTlogo.gif On what they have in common: If there was something in common it's that we both want to win and that competitive nature in us. It's going to be a fun game. He does a great job in his system and in his offense.

_smallUTlogo.gif On his goals for this week: Your goal is to win. Your goal is to do whatever it takes to win. You have to trust your defense and live off of them. You have to trust your offensive line and do the things you have done all year. I want to beat anybody that I line up against. We have to go back to work and focus on Missouri.

_smallUTlogo.gif On being the best team in the nation: That really is not the focus. Our focus is on winning every game. If we win every game then the most important thing is to be number one in the end. That's our goal. Who remembers at this point last year who number one was? There are still so many games to be played. We have so much competition ahead of us. Our goal in the end is to be number one.

October 13, 2008

DESTINY

I like that word.

I like it so much, I named one of my daughters Destiny.

I also like the phrase "control your own destiny."

Make no mistake about it, I can't control my Destiny (or my other daughter for that matter), but Colt McCoy and the rest of the Texas Longhorns control theirs.

That's the good news. The bad news is the Missouri Tigers will be coming into Austin madder than a ... well, bunch of wet Tigers because they no longer control their own destiny.

Chase Daniel will, of course, be wanting to show everyone what he didn't show them against Oklahoma State, while Colt will no doubt have another day where he'll have to be cool, calm and collected in the face of daunting odds.

How does he do that!? He's in the moment.

I liked the way Colt played one play at a time against the Sooners. He forgot about previous sacks and passes that didn't hit their target. That's a strong plus of his.

Colt obviously likes the big stage. He's 2-1 against OU (better than Vince Young) and could've been 3-0 without that fumble by Charles last year.

Well, it's primetime on ABC this Saturday, and the stage will - believe it or not - be even bigger.

I like Colt's chances of controlling his destiny this week.

Just wait until you have kids, though, dude!

October 11, 2008

I TOLD YOU SO!

Really, that's all I wanted to say at this point.

October 10, 2008

FAITH

Outside of the faithful, not many people give Texas a chance of winning against OU tomorrow.

Jim Vertuno of the Associated Press points out why the good money is on the Sooners. Despite the fact that UT has won 2 of the last 3 games, most often the higher-ranked team wins the Red River Shootout.

In the last 60 games where the teams were ranked by AP, the higher-ranked team has won 78 percent of the time.

Thanks for doing that math, Jim. Oh, and the last upset was in 1992. Also, Mack Brown has never beaten a higher-ranked OU team.

So there. You can do the same math and see the logic.

Well, I'm not one of the "true" faithful (I want UT to win every game except against Texas Tech), but I believe the Horns are going to pull off the upset.

And the main reason is the guy who wears a No. 12 on the back of his jersey.

Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford, the OU gunslinger, could not be much closer stat-wise than they are this season.

Colt is 103-of-130 (79%) for 1,280 yards, 16 TDs and three picks.

Sam is 106-of-146 (73%) for 1,665 yards, 18 TDs and three picks.

That right there tells you how close a game it will be, but Colt gives the Horns the edge with his legs.

Here's some more math for you. As everyone knows Colt's the leading rusher on the team with 317 yards and four TDs.

Also, despite the fact that Sam is slightly bigger (6-4, 218) than Colt (6-3, 210), I think Colt is tougher.

I was in the stands for that Tech/OU game last season, and the hit that put Sam out of the game early didn't look that hard. Not that it wouldn't have sent most of us reeling, of course. It resulted in a concussion, and Sam - then and now one of the best OU QBs ever - had to leave the game.

That said, I've seen Colt take four or five hits just as hard or harder this season already.

The fact that hardly anyone gives Texas a chance against Oklahoma bodes well for Colt and the rest of the Longhorns.

No matter what you're playing in life, being the under-dog is always the preferred way to start the game.

The only game that could be better than this one is a few weeks down the road ... if Texas and Tech both enter that one undefeated.

Keep the faith, baby!

October 8, 2008

FATHER KNOWS BEST

I talked to Brad McCoy this morning, and he says his son is preparing for the Sooners just like he did for the Buffaloes.

In fact, Brad says the reason Colt is having such a good year is because "it all goes back to preparation."

Colt's preparation started just after the scoreboard clock showed 00:00 and UT 52, ASU 34 in the Holiday Bowl last year.

"He recommitted himself and worked hard both physically and mentally in the off-season, spring and summer," said Brad. "He is consistent in what he does now because of that."

Brad talked to his son last night. Colt told him he knows Oklahoma is "really good," but Colt also likes the way his own team is playing right now and their chances of winning the game.

"He's been on that stage twice before, and he's really confident."

Brad agrees with me that the game will be close and that the 'Horns should've won last year's shootout. (Don't get me started on that again.)

In the Colorado game, Brad the coach thought UT might have shown signs of some lack of concentration in an overall great effort.

"I felt like the defense played really well, and our offense didn't quite hit its stride - maybe not quite as in sync as before."

Brad thought there might have been a little problem with the "sync" factor on Colt's first pick in the Colorado game.

"That first one was on him. He had gone through his progressions and the first two looks were covered, so he tried to hit Quan on a drag route. He had some pressure and just didn't get it where he wanted it to be ... but that guy played really good defense, too," added Brad the father.

The three sacks on Colt by the Buffs don't worry Brad as the OU game approaches, where his son was sacked four times last year.

"Two were just a couple of missed blocks. That happens."

Brad said he usually "tries to hide from the cameras" at the games by swapping tickets to get out of the main group of UT parents, friends, etc., but he wasn't able to last Saturday.

"You never know when the camera is on you," said Brad. "They have them sailing through the air now."

Sailing through the air.

I think that's a good phrase to describe what the cameras will be showing footballs doing Saturday morning and early afternoon at the Cotton Bowl.

As a Colt fan and a Red Raider fan/alum, let me just add this:

P.S. Just boom those Sooners!

October 6, 2008

RED RIVER REDUX

Well, that was a rare weekend when all my teams won ... from my daughter's soccer team, to the Red Raiders, Horns and finally Cowboys.

Only the Dallas Cowboys made it interesting.

The fat lady was singing by halftime for the rest of those games.

In a hostile environment, with Colt McCoy throwing two picks against a tough secondary, the Longhorns still managed to take care of business as most everyone else in Burnt Orange Nation looked ahead one week to the Cotton Bowl.

It's good that Colt got a somewhat "average" game out of the way before he made it to the Red River Shootout, where he's a respectable 1-1.

And I hope his offensive line got it out of their system as well ... three sacks?

Sure, 262 yards through the air with two TDs and a 76% completion rate is nothing to sneeze at, and that may be all he needs against the Sooners.

This year's version of the greatest rivalry in the nation is going to be another close game, and luckily all the pressure is going to be on Sam Bradford this time around, not Colt ... like last year.

Bradford is a really good quarterback, but since UT and OU are in the same boat with running back (by committee), you really can't give the edge to OU. If both Colt and Sam have a great day, it's going to be a toss-up who comes away with the "W." If either one slumps, the other team wins.

That's pretty cut and dried. And I don't think either quarterback is going to mail it in ... maybe airmail it in.

And I don't care if you go up and down the rosters comparing the two teams. It doesn't matter on paper who's the best.

I like UT's chances, and have predicted for a long time they will win this one.

And not because they're better, but because they're the under-dog for the umpteenth time against the Sooners and they're ready to shut up the skeptics.

Here's what my crystal ball says - UT 38, OU 35 with 6 ... no, make that 7 TD passes total.

October 2, 2008

A CAPSULE

Below is the Texas/Colorado game capsule from the Associated Press.

Take a look at the "Last meeting" line. That could give the Buffs some added incentive.

And with the number of upsets recently in college football, the Longhorns better not take that two-touchdown favorite deal too seriously.

GAME CAPSULE

Line: Texas by 13½.

Series Record: Texas leads 9-7.

Last meeting: 2005, Texas won 70-3 in Big 12 title game.

What's at Stake

A win in the Big 12 opener. A Texas victory sets up a big showdown next week with No. 1 Oklahoma in Dallas. A Colorado win makes the Buffaloes serious contenders to win the Big 12 North.

Key Matchup

Watch the trenches when Colorado has the ball. Texas has 14 sacks in the past two games, and the Buffs are trying to protect QB Cody Hawkins with an offensive line missing tackle Ryan Miller. He broke his leg last week in a loss to Florida State.

Players to Watch

Texas: QB Colt McCoy. Who else? McCoy is having a stellar season, completing 80 percent of his passes and throwing for 14 touchdowns. He's also the Longhorns' leading rusher with 278 yards and four TDs while averaging 8.2 yards per carry.

Colorado: RB Rodney Stewart, if you can find him. The Texas defense might have trouble spotting the 5-foot-6, 175-pound freshman who has run behind his big blockers for 349 yards. Stewart's early success has stolen the spotlight from freshman Darrell Scott, a top national recruit.

Facts & Figures

Texas and Colorado waged a fierce recruiting battle for Scott and UT's loss looms large. McCoy is leading Texas in rushing in part because the Longhorns haven't found a go-to tailback. ... Texas outscored its first four opponents 198-43. ... The Longhorns have been ranked in the top 10 in each of the last five meetings with Colorado. The Buffaloes' only victory in that stretch came in the 2001 Big 12 title game.

On TV: 6 p.m. Saturday, FSN (Fox Sports)