Texas quarterback Colt McCoy celebrates after the Longhorns’ 49-39 win over Texas A&M. He finished with 479 total yards and was involved in five TDs in the win.Ap photo
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas quarterback Colt McCoy needed a Heisman Trophy-type game.
How about 304 yards passing, 175 yards rushing and five total touchdowns in a nationally televised win over a bitter rival?
He needed a Heisman moment.
How about a 65-yard touchdown run that evoked memories of Vince Young in Texas’ national championship season of 2005?
In a Heisman race that until this weekend seemed rather ho-hum and wide-open, McCoy had the kind of game that could break him out of the pack in the No. 3 Longhorns’ 49-39 win at Texas A&M on Thursday night.
“I don’t get to vote for the Heisman, but if anyone has a better Heisman moment than that, I’d like to see it,” Texas coach Mack Brown said.
The next week should provide plenty of highlights among the top contenders for Heisman voters to compare.
Running back Mark Ingram and No. 2 Alabama played rival Auburn on Friday. Tim Tebow and top-ranked Florida play rival Florida State today in his final home game with the Gators. Alabama and Florida meet next week for the SEC title.
Clemson and all-purpose standout C.J. Spiller play South Carolina this week before heading to the ACC championship game.
Way out West, Stanford and star running back star running back Toby Gerhart play Notre Dame tonight, a game that could draw a lot of viewers with Irish coach Charlie Weis’ job on the line.
And McCoy gets one more game when Texas plays Nebraska next week for the Big 12 championship. A win there and the Longhorns are headed for the BCS title game.
McCoy got the final Heisman push started with his special game.
After a 2008 season in which he finished runner-up for the Heisman to Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, McCoy endured lots of “what’s wrong?” questions after some early season sputters and misfires.
Even when Texas beat rival Oklahoma 16-13, his biggest play of the day was a touchdown-saving tackle after a fourth-quarter interception.
Since that game, McCoy has turned his so-so season into one of the best in school history.
During Texas’ last five wins, McCoy has passed for 1,791 yards and 18 touchdowns against two interceptions. His 3,328 total passing yards this season now ranks fourth best in Texas history.
In his highlight play of the season against A&M, McCoy zipped through the middle of the Aggies defense on a called run, shook off a tackler and broke into the open field. He was fast enough to leave behind three tacklers on his 65-yard romp to the end zone.
“I don’t know if I looked slow,” McCoy said. “I felt slow.”
McCoy was in a game where he had to keep making big plays to save the Longhorns from a huge upset. Texas A&M and quarterback Jerrod Johnson ripped the Texas defense for 532 total yards and counter-punched just about every time McCoy seemed to get some room.
“When they’re having a rough night, we’re going to step up,” McCoy said. “We bailed the defense out.”
Texas A&M defensive back Jordan Pugh, one of the A&M tacklers McCoy left behind on the long run, was impressed.
“I think I played (the Heisman trophy winner). He led the team,” Pugh said. “Before the game we talked about how we were going to miss this. After the game, I told him to go get a championship, a Big 12 and national championship.”