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Texas' Colt McCoy keeps it simple

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Longhorns' quarterback leads a small-town life while leading a big-time program. He doesn't drink but his numbers are smokin', in an offense tailored (and, yes, simplified) for his skill set.

January 05, 2009|David Wharton

"He was being told, you can't do what Vince did, and in his mind, he's agreeing," Davis said. "What I kept telling him was, no one can do what Vince did. But you may be the next best."

Look at his numbers this season. McCoy completed 77% of his passes for 3,445 yards with 32 touchdowns. Only seven of his throws were intercepted. His 576 yards rushing led the team.

"He can throw the ball, run the ball, but most of all, it was just the way he ran their operation and executed their offense," Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino said after McCoy passed and ran for five touchdowns against his team. "We tried to blitz, and then he would make a pass-check for a touchdown. We would try to blitz another way and he'd make a run-check and get a big play."

All of which added up to a winning streak through the early season, Texas steadily rising from No. 11 to become the top-ranked team in the nation.

Don't look back

One more second.

If the Longhorns had held on another second, they might have reached the national championship game and their quarterback might have won the Heisman Trophy.

But on a November night in Lubbock, Texas Tech hit a desperation pass to pull off the upset, which ultimately put Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship and the Bowl Championship Series title game. Sooners quarterback Sam Bradford won a razor-thin Heisman vote, with McCoy finishing second.

"Only thing we could have done was go up to Lubbock and win that game, and things would have been fine," McCoy said. "But you can't look back."

It seems that last season taught him some important lessons off the field too.

McCoy has done his best to avoid distractions, both the praise and the criticism that come with being the Longhorns' quarterback. He says he doesn't read the sports pages very often and politely asks Brown to turn off ESPN whenever they meet in the coach's office.

As for the suggestion that Texas -- which defeated Oklahoma in October -- should be playing for the BCS title, he'll leave that for other people to chew over.

Right now, there is a big game to worry about, a matchup against the 10th-ranked Buckeyes.

"You do your thing and lead your team," he said.

The kid from Tuscola is keeping things simple.

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david.wharton@latimes.com

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Fiesta Bowl

No. 3 Texas (11-1) vs.

No. 10 Ohio State (10-2)

Tonight at Glendale, Ariz.

5:30 PST, Channel 11

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Rocking the BCS title game's world

Matchup of Heisman

winners pits a rock star and a country boy, Chris Dufresne writes. PAGE 7

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BOWL SCHEDULE

*--* BOWL Teams LOCATION WHEN (PST), ODDS TV Fiesta Texas vs. Ohio Glendale, Ariz. Today, 5:30 Texas, 8 State p.m., Ch. 11 GMAC Tulsa vs. Ball State Mobile, Ala. Tuesday, 5 T, 2 1/2 p.m., ESPN BCS Championship Florida Miami Thursday, 5 Fla., 3 1/2 vs. Oklahoma p.m., Ch. 11 *--*

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