October 19, 2006

Not so close on paper

Grading scale

A - All-American level
B - All-Conference level
C - Solid
D - Disappointing
F - Complete failure

Quarterback

Forget about last weekend's six-touchdown performance that earned him National Player of the Week honors because this trip to Lincoln was Colt McCoy's best performance as a Longhorn this season. In the face of a blitz-crazy Husker squad on the road and in nasty weather elements, McCoy played with poise and confidence throughout the game, and his ability to lead his team to a game-winning drive in the final minute of the game was Vince Young-like. McCoy's numbers were nice, as he completed 25 of 39 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns, while turning the ball over just once with a second quarter fumble. However, we told you last week that a performance can never be judged by mere stats and that's the case this week because they just don't do McCoy enough justice. It actually occurred to me that this game will serve as the turning point for McCoy's season, not Oklahoma, because for the first time this season you started to forget that the kid was just a freshman. When Texas created a turnover in the final minutes to give the offense one last chance to steal back a win, there was never any doubt that McCoy could lead this team down the field with no timeouts. He's proven himself as a leader and player, with the last drive only adding further validation. This might have been the day that we will eventually look back on as the day that cemented the beginning the Colt McCoy era.

Grade: A

Running backs

It was really a strange day for the tandem of Selvin Young and Jamaal Charles, as both players ran the ball well at times against the Huskers, but neither seemed to be able to settle into any kind of rhythm throughout the game. Really, for the first time all season this was a game where the two running back rotation might have worked against the Longhorns. As a pair, Young and Charles rolled up 113 yards on 23 carries, with Charles leading the way with a team-best 63 yards on nine carries. Just when it seemed like Charles was getting into a great rhythm at the end of the second quarter, he rarely touched the ball for long stretches of the game. Yet, Charles really made some important runs at important times and that can't be lost in the grading. The ground game was uneven over the course of four quarters and the staff had little confidence it in the red zone, but this team doesn't win this game without the hard running from these two.

Grade: B-

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