Every college football fan knows the saying: The most popular guy on campus is the second-string quarterback.
And after back-up QB Case McCoy led the Texas Longhorns in a come-from-behind victory over the Kansas Jayhawks averting what would have been a disaster, there is already some talk among fans that the Horns may have another quarterback controversy on their hands.
For the Texas Longhorns, true sophomore David Ash should remain the starting quarterback. Period.
Though the Longhorns have had a disappointing season according to their lofty standard with two losses, the offense has been very efficient this year, and the growth of David Ash has been one of the main reasons why.
He has been solid all season, and at times, spectacular. He has shown that he is the future of this football team.
I am not denying that he played poorly against the Oklahoma Sooners, as did the rest of the team, and he didn’t play well in the first half against the Jayhawks either, but how much of that can be blamed on Ash, and how much should be attributed to play-calling?
There is no doubt that the Longhorns have played their best when they have opened up the playbook and dialed up the creative offense which showcases their talented playmakers. They play so much better when they stretch the field and play to win. Every Longhorn fan will tell you this.
Yet, for whatever reason, against the Jayhawks (as well as against the Sooners) the Longhorns entered into the game with an ultra-conservative game plan, and it nearly cost them in the end.
With the Longhorns down a touchdown in the 4th quarter and looking for an offensive spark, the coaches decided to sit Ash, who had thrown 2 interceptions in the redzone on the day, and bring in junior Case McCoy.
To be honest, it wasn’t a bad decision. Ash wasn’t having his best game and McCoy has been known to provided that needed spark.
What was perplexing, however, is that the coaches finally started calling the plays that fans had been yelling for them to call the entire game, including handing off the ball to D.J. Monroe and Marquis Goodwin, getting them to the outside for big gains.
Why they didn’t feel the need to do that sooner, with Ash still in the game, is the big question.
McCoy deserves a ton of credit for leading the Horns in their come-back win. Somehow the kid just has it, and it comes out best when the pressure is on, much like we saw in his come-from-behind victory over the Texas A&M Aggies last season in College Station.
This afternoon, McCoy led the Horns to the game-tying and game-winning touchdowns in his two drives at the helm.
With his team trailing by three points inside of two minutes and after three straight terrible passes (one of which should have been intercepted) McCoy hit Jaxon Shipley on fourth down for an 18 yard gain on a beautifully passed ball. A few plays later, he hit tight end D. J. Grant for the game-winner in the end-zone.
There is no doubt that McCoy has moxie. He is the ultimate team player, and this isn’t the first time he’s provided a spark for the Horns’ offense.
Yet, in the words of Longhorn legend Darrell K. Royal, Texas needs to “dance with the one that brung ya,” and this season, that is David Ash. That’s not to say they shouldn’t use McCoy in certain situations, much like today; Nevertheless, when the coaches let Ash play his game, he has proven all season long that he should be the guy.
But for today Case McCoy absolutely deserves his due.