AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Colt McCoy could finally relax and he was
only one minute into the first game of his career.
The fresh-faced kid who replaced Vince Young at quarterback for
No. 3 Texas hit the pass that got the Longhorns rolling into the
new season: a 60-yard touchdown pass to Limas Sweed.
Perhaps replacing Vince Young won't be so difficult after all. The Longhorns jumped all over North Texas in their first game without last year's Rose Bowl MVP, thanks largely to the efforts of freshman starting quarterback Colt McCoy. Classmate Jevan Snead, who begins the season as McCoy's backup did not fare as well in his collegiate debut. Here's how the two stacked up on Saturday.
A quick "Hook'em Horns" sign to the crowd and the butterflies
sitting in McCoy's stomach were gone.
The redshirt freshman was going to be just fine.
McCoy passed for 178 yards and three touchdowns and ran for
another in the Longhorns' 56-7 win Saturday over North Texas.
It was a solid tune-up for next week's showdown against
top-ranked Ohio State and should help calm some of the anxiety
Texas fans have about their young quarterback.
"I've been waiting for this my entire life," said McCoy, who
was 12-of-19 passing. "I don't want to lie to you. It felt pretty
good. It was a dream start."
McCoy's numbers would have been even better if not for a few
dropped passes. While seldom pressured, he looked comfortable
reading blitzes and checking through his receivers.
He even showed some of Young's pizazz with his feet, scrambling
27 yards to set up a second-quarter touchdown.
"He was even better than we would have expected him to be,"
coach Mack Brown said. "I think that was the biggest question
mark, would he be able to run? We need him to do that more."
Texas has won 21 straight games, including a 25-22 win over the
Buckeyes in Columbus last season that helped propel the Longhorns
to their first undisputed national title in 36 years.
The Longhorns returned 16 starters from that team. But when
Young departed for the NFL, it left Texas without its leader and
without a scholarship quarterback with game experience.
McCoy was chosen the starter Monday after winning the battle to
start with freshman Jevan Snead. And it was a whirlwind of a week:
first with the interviews, then walking around campus with everyone
knowing he was guy who would replace Young.
While his first pass -- a completion -- was a bit underthrown, his
second was nearly perfect as he found Sweed streaking deep in the
The big receiver stepped around a defender in the middle of the
field and bobbled the ball, but hauled it in and outran four
tacklers for 7-0 lead just a minute into the season.
"I wasn't nervous at all after that," McCoy said. "I can't
tell you how good it felt to have that many people cheering for
Texas' second drive was hampered by two penalties and ended with
a punt. It was McCoy's only drive of the half that didn't end with
a touchdown. He capped the next with his first touchdown, a 1-yard
McCoy led the Longhorns' two-minute offense at the end of the
half, driving 63 yards in 10 plays. His long run up the middle of
the field set up a 5-yard shuffle pass TD to Selvin Young with 16
"There was no stuttering (in the huddle). He had that look in
his eyes and had us feeling comfortable," Young said. "I was
impressed. He's starting his legacy that he's going to have at
The one time North Texas nearly got him on a blitz, McCoy
stepped aside and avoided a sack. His pass into the end zone was
dropped by the receiver.
"I thought he showed a lot of poise with a veteran team around
him," North Texas coach Darrell Dickey said.
Defensively, the Longhorns held North Texas (0-1) to 95 totals
yards with four sacks. Brian Robison tied safety Michael Griffin
with his sixth career field goal block and Aaron Lewis recovered a
fumble in the end zone for the final touchdown.
North Texas' only success came on the second drive when the Mean
Green drove 80 yards for Brandon Jackson's 12-yard touchdown catch
in the third quarter.
McCoy and Sweed quickly killed any momentum.
The next Texas drive appeared stalled at midfield when Brown
called a fake punt to convert the first down. McCoy then found
Sweed on a curl route and the receiver shook one defender, then
stiff-armed another on his way to the end zone.
Sweed finished with five catches for 111 yards.
As good as McCoy felt against in his first game, it came against
an overmatched opponent that had little chance of winning, even if
he had a bad game.
Ohio State will be another story.
"I have to get better. We have the No. 1 team in the nation
coming here," McCoy said. "We want to be ranked No. 1 in the