The Texas Longhorns beloved Colt McCoy quarterbacked the team in the 2009 season to a national championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide. A game that seemed to be just out of reach after winning it in 2005 was no at hand. However, Texas relishes in pointing out the BCS record for the Oklahoma Sooners saying that they could have easily come out with a victory. Here was their chance to put their money where their mouth was. At the half the game would have appeared to have been over although Longhorns would storm back to trail by only three. Fans still hold tightly to the notion that if McCoy doesn't get injured, they would have been bringing another crystal ball home to Austin, TX. Yet, when McCoy went down in the BCS Championship it ushered in the Garrett Gilbert era.
This is where I want to point something out. Texas fans crowned GG as the next best thing after seeing him play in NCG. Most of the heroics in that game belong to Jordan Shipley who made Gilbert (the turnover machine) look like a promising QB as they connected for two TD passes. However reality of the matter was that Gilbert was 15-40 for 186 yards while throwing 4...count 'em 4...picks to the Bama defense. The veil had already been pulled and the hoax was on manifesting itself in a 5-7 season following their run to the NCG.
Now throw in the last kink to the water works that is the Longhorn offense. With an unproven rushing attack, Texas has decided to pierce the veil and drop Gilbert from the starting position. In his place, Case McCoy has been named the official co-starter with David Ash.After Saturday, I cannot say that this comes as any surprise. Texas has replaced everything else so why not the QB?
A 10 TD to 17 INT performance demands a very tight leash and we saw just that on Saturday. Gilbert was inserted into the game only to turn the ball over so what happens? Texas inserts Ash who earns them their first 1st down of the game then pulls him for Gilbert....next? Gilbert proves what his critics have been saying all along with his second interception on a deep ball and the turnover machine was back in full force.
Now that GG has been benched, can we expect a much more fluid offense that gives the defense some rest?
McCoy and Ash were 9-for-11 on the day for a whopping total of 92 yards. Not a bad average but McCoy made 8 of the pass which leaves only 3 attempt for Ash who would add 39 yards on the ground. Best of all for UT fans was that neither recorded an INT. While this performance was enough to escape with a slim victory at home, the road could present an entire new set of challenges. It appeared that neither QB was completely comfortable in the new system which should be expected. But, McCoy was the passer while Ash was the runner nearly every time. As we said on the podcast last night, McCoy was given a few plays to run while Ash took direction on the sideline due to their insecurity in the offense and their lack of total command under center, then they would swap. At this point it looks like McCoy has the edge on Ash and UT could play both intermittently.
This leaves us with some unanswered questions.
Does the rotation at RB continue? - Malcolm Brown is supposed to be the savior at the RB position but the Longhorns had nine total players carry the ball.
Will Jackson Jeffcoat continue to penalize his team?
Will the DE's get pressure on the opposing QB? - there was not a single sack recorded by the starting Longhorn defensive ends
Who will win out on the QB battle and will it be soon or does UT go with the dual QB attack?