Balancing Act

Texas entered Saturday's muggy contest against Iowa State with a powerful rushing attack and a passing game that had been effective yet unspectacular in a 2-1 start. Against the Cyclones, though, the Longhorns' offense displayed a more balanced attack, piercing the Ames crew with a passing arsenal that was both efficient and, at times, spectacular indeed.

Quarterback Colt McCoy turned in the best game of his career, completing 18 of 23 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. And if McCoy represented the efficient portion of the offense, add receiver Limas Sweed and tight end Jermichael Finley to the spectacular side of the ledger.

Sweed notched some head-turning stats in the ballgame, snaring seven passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. Finley earned the first touchdown of his career, catching a 10-yarder from McCoy in the third period. Finley's 6-5, 236-pound frame came in handy on the score, as he wrestled the ball from a pair of defensive backs in the end zone.

Eight different receivers caught the ball for Texas in the ballgame, but Sweed's performance topped them all.

"Limas is doing a good job of catching those quick balls," said Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis. "A lot of times, we'll have a run called and depending on what the secondary does, Colt will raise up and throw it out there. We talked to our quarterbacks this week about how Iowa State plays defense, and we told them that we ought to be able to complete a high percentage of passes. Colt and the receivers did a good job for us today."

McCoy wasn't the only effective passer. Receiver Quan Cosby got into the passing act on a reverse pass, hitting Sweed for a 34-yard reception on a touchdown drive in the first quarter.

"Quan made a great throw," Davis said. "And Limas is really doing a good job of using his size and strength to go up and make catches."

Sweed said the play was called, ironically, ‘Cyclone.'

"The object is to trick the defense," Sweed said. "But the defensive back had good coverage, and I felt him on my back. When I felt him, I knew I was going to have to ‘body him up' and Quan threw a good pass."

Sweed said he especially likes the quick-hitch type passes he was given on Saturday, and like Davis, he indicated that some of the plays came from McCoy audibles.

"Sometimes they had seven or eight in the box, and then they'd blitz," Sweed said. "Coach Davis says then if Colt gets it to me, if I play for the University of Texas, I'm supposed to make at least one player miss."

The Longhorns certainly didn't abandon the running game despite the success through the air. Running back Jamaal Charles gained 78 yards on 17 carries (and scored a touchdown), and Henry Melton gained 66 yards on eight carries and also added a touchdown.

The Longhorns picked up a 193 yards rushing and recorded 246 yards passing. The balance was also apparent in the scoring: five different players scored touchdowns, three rushing and two passing.

Davis wasn't surprised by the balancing act.

"Iowa State's defense was only giving up 84 yards rushing a game coming in," he said. "We told our kids we were going to have a good mixture of run and pass early, and then later we wanted to come back with the zone read and running the football. I was pretty pleased."


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