Message boards and sports radio have been peppered with speculation this week that Snead might opt for a transfer at season's end. But Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis took Snead aside this past week to re-assure him that he's competing every day in practice for playing time, if not the starter's spot.
"We're evaluating every throw he makes in practice, and every decision he makes in practice," Davis said. "We want to continue to get him in there and get him involved. He's a really good player, but we're not going to tell him something that's not going to happen. I told him to keep working, and we're going to continue to try to get you in there. I don't know when it's going to be, but we're asking him to trust us to do what's best for the team. He seems to understand that."
Unlike previous seasons, coaches are not predetermining when a backup shall enter the game. Chris Simms and Major Applewhite rotated in 2000 before Brown named Applewhite the starter following the blowout loss to OU. Three years later, RS-freshman Vince Young tended to take the field on every third series; Young would remain in the starter lineup instead of Chance Mock if he had the so-called "hot hand" (e.g., Young's 24-20 comeback win against Kansas State). Young, of course, was named the starting QB following the 65-13 loss to OU later that season.
But now Texas has consecutive wins over OU and a pair of remarkably accurate freshman QBs. Snead's career numbers stand at 13-of-18 for 181 yards. He has one TD (a 56-yarder against Sam Houston) and one INT (in the home-opener against North Texas). He has rushed 15 times for 89 yards, including a rushing TD against the Bearkats. Snead never took a snap in big games against Ohio State and Oklahoma.
"Obviously, they all want to play," Davis said. "Watching Jevan in the dressing room (Saturday), he was big-time excited about the Horns winning."
McCoy has completed 80-of-115 passes (69.6 percent) for 954 yards, including tosses to 11 different receivers. He has 12 TDs and just two INTs. He is No. 8 nationally in passing efficiency with a passer rating of 170.2, making him one of only four freshmen listed among the Top 40. McCoy completed all five of his attempts in the decisive third quarter Saturday when Texas turned a half-time deficit into a double-digit lead.
Davis' lists McCoy's strengths as his "poise, accuracy, toughness, comprehension of what we're trying to do." A prime example, Davis said, was McCoy's TD pass to SE Limas Sweed on Texas' opening series of the third quarter Saturday.
Built into every pass-play are routes that go to the "concept side", and routes that go to the "individual side" of the field. The "individual" routes are more difficult for young quarterbacks, Davis said.
"Not only did Colt go away from the 'concept' side', he changed the 'individual side'", Davis said.
McCoy noticed that Sweed was in single-coverage and signaled for a go-route. The result was a 33-yard TD toss, and Texas never looked back.
That's pretty heady stuff for a guy playing in his first season and on that stage," Davis said.