Senior quarterback Case McCoy played as big a role as anyone in Texas’ six-game winning streak to kick off conference play.
After entering the second half of the Longhorns’ Big 12 opener against Kansas State on Sept. 21, McCoy started and won each of Texas’ next five games, throwing for 1,141 yards and seven touchdowns against six interceptions over that stretch.
The senior was unable to replicate this success against No. 12 Oklahoma State in his last game, though, throwing for a season-high three interceptions while failing to connect on a touchdown pass in Texas’ 38-13 loss. McCoy accepted the blame for the loss after his season-worst performance, but he remains confident in the Longhorns’ ability to finish the season strong.
“I, being the quarterback, I being the leader on this team, have to take full responsibility for that,” McCoy said. “From my position, I didn’t play well enough to even give us a chance to win... We’re two weeks past that now. These guys haven’t given up. We understand that if we win two more ballgames, we’re putting numbers on the wall and we’re still sharing a Big 12 title.”
McCoy addressed the team following the loss and admitted that he needs to play better moving forward. Following his subpar performance, head coach Mack Brown said McCoy remains as vocal as ever in the locker room.
“Case has really stood up and he’s accountable for our team, as a quarterback should be,” Brown said. “He’s been a very good leader with this group and he’s been very honest with them. He stepped up after the game the other day and he’s been very vocal at practice.”
Senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat appreciated McCoy’s accountability, but he said the rest of the team was quick to assume much of the blame as well.
“We told him ‘Hey, it’s not on you,’” Jeffcoat said. “‘You’re not there only person out there playing. It’s on all of us. It’s on the whole team; defense, offense, the whole team.’ We told him we just need to get that stuff corrected.”
The most pressing thing that needs to be corrected is the turnovers. Texas lost the turnover battle, 3-1, for the first time this season against the Cowboys, and McCoy knows the importance of keeping the ball out of the opponent’s hands.
“I understand I touch the ball every play,” McCoy said. “I understand that you have to make plays as a quarterback to win games, but also your No. 1 job is to take care of the ball. I didn’t do that. That shows, when you lose the turnover battle like that, the score doesn’t usually go in your favor.”
Texas maintains the ability to win at least a share of the Big 12 title this season, but it needs to defeat Texas Tech to keep its hopes alive. To do this, the Longhorns likely need a big performance on offense to keep up with the high-scoring Red Raiders, and no player figures to be more important in this