'Horns unhooked (cont.)
Posted: Thursday October 4, 2007 12:29PM; Updated: Thursday October 4, 2007 2:25PM
No one -- coaches, players, media or even Texas fans -- is pinning the blame solely on McCoy. An offensive line that lost three veteran starters (Blalock, Kasey Studdard and Lyle Sendlein, all of whom are now on NFL rosters) has failed to adequately protect him, while the 'Horns' running game has been equally inconsistent (tailback Jamaal Charles, who burst for 153 yards on 22 carries against UCF, managed just 72 yards on 17 attempts against K-State).
Asked to assess his own performance earlier this week, however, McCoy's response was a bit ... unusual.
"I think I've had some bad luck," said the third-year sophomore. "I'm definitely a better quarterback, definitely more experienced -- I've just had some bad luck. Things that can go the wrong way, have gone the wrong way -- tipped balls and that stuff."
Asked whether he's receiving adequate protection, McCoy responded: "Teams are blitzing us a lot more. We've handled it well for the most part, but there's so many things we can do better... If you ask every person on this offense, they'll tell you there's something individually they can do better."
McCoy's position coach, Davis, puts more of the onus on his quarterback -- and himself.
"There are times [Colt] is putting pressure on himself to [deliver] a perfect play," said Davis. "I feel like I have contributed to Colt's pressure because I've probably given him too many choices [at the line of scrimmage]. We might want to go back and limit some of those things."
Ironically, it was this same week a year ago that Davis took the training wheels off his then freshman quarterback, opening up the playbook and giving him more responsibility in a 28-10 win over Oklahoma. It was McCoy's breakout performance. Of course, not much was expected of him going into that game, either.
A year later, it may be that the weight of his own rapid success is weighing down the QB. Any pressure he's felt so far, however, pales in comparison to what awaits both his team and the Sooners at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday. For two programs accustomed to annual championship contention, an 0-2 Big 12 start would be nothing short of disastrous.
"Every game we play should be of the same urgency," said Texas receiver Quan Cosby. "But it would be really tough to come out of a situation where you're 0-2 in the Big 12 and still meet your goals."
Perhaps, in hindsight, those goals were unrealistic for this year's 'Horns. Perhaps the amount of attrition these past two years has finally caught up to them. Perhaps this is meant to be Texas' "rebuilding year," a la Oklahoma's temporary slide to 8-4 two years ago.
"We're not as experienced with talent as we were the last two years," said Brown, "and we've just got to work at getting back to that level."
To paraphrase a former, distraught Boston Celtics coach, Vince Young is not walking through that door (other than to dispense some friendly words of wisdom). Brown doesn't necessarily need to find another Vince -- but he does need his current players to start assuming some accountability before their season starts spiraling in the wrong direction.
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