Colt or Matt? Walk-on could start for injured starter

Updated: December 4, 2006, 7:04 PM ET
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- Count on a McCoy starting the Alamo Bowl at quarterback for No. 18 Texas.

Which one -- Colt or Matt -- depends on how quickly the former's injured shoulder heals before Dec. 30.

If it doesn't, or he gets hurt again, well, the Longhorns just hope it won't come to that.

"You would hope," coach Mack Brown said Monday, "Colt would be back."

Colt McCoy set a Texas school record with 27 touchdown passes as a redshirt freshman, then suffered a pinched nerve in his neck each of the last two games, both losses.

Matt McCoy, no relation, is a senior walk-on who hasn't thrown a pass in college. According to news accounts, he threw for 585 yards in 2002 when he led Episcopal School of Dallas to the Division II title game of the 18-team Southwest Preparatory Conference.

The conference Web site says it is often referred to as the "Ivy League of college prep schools."

Texas is stuck in this QB quandary because freshman Jevan Snead decided to transfer rather than ride the behind Colt McCoy.

Snead, a much-ballyhooed recruit, was the backup all season, getting his most extensive playing time in a 45-42 loss at Kansas State when Colt McCoy was hurt on the first drive.

The next injury came in the final minute against Texas A&M. Doctors called that pinched nerve "severe," and McCoy had to be carted off the field in the 12-7 loss.

After his first pinched nerve, McCoy had 12 days off between games. It will be 35 days between the loss to the Aggies and the Alamo Bowl.

Texas trainer Kenny Boyd said late last week that McCoy is progressing well in his recovery. But even if he starts, Texas (9-3) knows the Hawkeyes (6-6) could send him back to the bench with one hit.

Which leads to Matt McCoy.

His career stat line in mop-up duty reads 10 rushes for 45 yards in seven games. Unlike the scholarship players who get short bios printed in the team media guide, his entry consists only of his picture with his name.

A scout team QB for his first three years, Matt McCoy has been No. 3 on the depth chart this season, meaning he took part in some of the weekly game planning and taking snaps with the offense.

His twin brother, Mark, is a senior walk-on receiver at Texas.

Their high school coach, Hayward Lee, calls Matt a "gifted athlete and extremely bright."

Although lightly recruited, several Division I-AA and Division III schools were interested in the brothers, Lee said. The coach wrote Mack Brown about them when they decided to walk on at Texas.

"Their principal interest was going to the right school in terms of academics, quality of life," Lee said. "After that, football entered the thought process. They chose Texas because they love the school."

Brown said he'll also prepare an emergency QB in case neither McCoy works out.

Receivers Quan Cosby and Billy Pittman both were standout quarterbacks in high school but became receivers in college. Cosby was a USA Today All-American at Mart in 2000 before signing a minor league baseball contract and leaving football for a few years.

"We always try to keep an extra QB available," Brown said. "We'll take a look at an emergency guy. We've got plenty of time to do that."

Cosby threw two passes on trick plays this season, completing one for 34 yards. The other was dropped. He's also the team's second-leading receiver with 38 catches for 466 yards and two touchdowns.

Pittman has 32 catches for 419 yards and four TDs.

Texas also has freshman QB Sherrod Harris, who redshirted this season. Brown said his status won't change for the bowl game.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press