Applewhite on Quarterbacks, TCU Defense

Texas offensive coordinator Major Applewhite discusses the Texas quarterback situation and TCU's defense.

One of the positive things to come out of Texas's 36-20 victory over Oklahoma was the emergence of Case McCoy as a stable triggerman for offensive coordinator Major Applewhite.

"You just can't miss his passion," Applewhite said. "That's the one thing that you can't miss. It's hard to miss his passion for the game. He loves it. He really loves being in the locker room. He loves all walks of life in the locker room. He just needs to keep doing it, and around here you can love yourself pretty quick. I've been apart of that, done it myself as a player, and you just have to fight it, like I said, every day and focus on your team."

Applewhite said some of that could come from the chip on McCoy's shoulder.

"It's there. You know, the little bother syndrome or the back-up quarterback syndrome, whatever you want to call it … he certainly has a chip on his shoulder," Applewhite said. "And it doesn't come out in just feistiness or words, it comes out in his preparation and his dedication to his teammates. I see it every day. I think you have to have that no matter what position you play and no matter how talented or gifted you are physically, if you don't have that you're going to have a tough time playing."

Applewhite said that McCoy did a great job of overcoming his physical limitations, though he said those were somewhat oversold.

"I mean, we all have limitations," Applewhite said. "Does he have John Elway's arm? No he doesn't. Does he have an adequate arm that can make throws, yes. Yes he does. At the Kansas State game he threw two 15-yard out routes to the field on third down. So he can throw a 15-yard out to the field, which is whatever everybody says you have to have to be a strong-arm quarterback. He can make those throws. Is he Vince [Young]? No he's not Vince. But can he run and scramble if he has to? You know he has before. The [Texas] A&M game he did a decent job.

"So he can do some things," Applewhite said. "The thing that he knows is he knows his limitations. That's what I've noticed as he's grown into his senior year. That chip on his shoulder, that edge, would manifest in turnovers and aggressiveness. And now it's slowed down a little bit. And we've just got to keep that same attention to detail and that same mindset in terms of protecting the ball."

Does McCoy's success mean that the Texas staff will try all the harder to keep Tyrone Swoopes's redshirt on?

"The mindset on Tyrone and Jalen [Overstreet] is whatever we have to do to win," There is just a myriad of ways that this could go down. So you know we treat each of them differently. You know if Case was injured the first play of the game versus the last play of the game. If his helmet came off versus you know something catastrophic happening. So that would depend on who we would put in quarterback. Would it be Swoopes or Jaylen, or would we play both of them in that matter, you now in that instance. So there's a lot of different things. And we work both of them during practice with the twos, the threes and with the ones."

Whoever plays at quarterback, the Texas offense is coming off one of its strongest performances in recent years against a good defense. And now, said offense faces arguably a bigger challenge in TCU, likely the top defense in the Big 12 this season.

"They have just done a great job all over, quite honestly," Applewhite said. "They do a great job in the back end, in the passing game as well. They do a great job matching routes. When they do disguise and play man, they do a great job playing man coverage. And then upfront, you can't miss the two guys inside. (Davion) Pierson and (Chucky) Hunter are great players, they move around over and over and over and over and they are very tough.

"They are tough to run the ball on," Applewhite said. "They also have great defensive ends. I don't care where their field [safety] is playing or not, they have great players inside and they do a great job on defense. They don't try to fool you all the time. They line up and play you."

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