Too tough?

Colt McCoy is known as one tough quarterback. And Saturday against the Texas A&M Aggies, that toughness might have worked against him and the rest of the Texas Longhorns.

Colt McCoy left the field immobilized and on a cart with 20 seconds remaining in the stunning 12-7 loss to the Aggies in a game that could have clinched a berth in the Big 12 championship game. This came after a game in which the redshirt freshman from Tuscola took numerous hits, and after a game two weeks ago against Kansas State in which he was knocked out with a "stinger" at the end of the first drive of the game.

McCoy's status was unknown immediately after the game, but the final play of his game against the Aggies came as he was trying to rally the Longhorns for a game-winning score. Immediately after throwing incomplete to Selvin Young, McCoy was whacked under the chin by Aggies' defensive lineman Michael Bennett, and he remained on the ground several minutes before being carried off.

McCoy was also helped from the field following the previous drive when, after tossing an interception to Mark Dodge, he took a blindside hit from Kellen Heard following the play, resulting in Heard's ejection from the game.

Rest assured, in the aftermath of this game, Texas fans will be left to ponder whether or not McCoy was completely healthy. In a season highlighted by McCoy's efficient protection of the ever-coveted football, he tossed a career-high three interceptions, two of which came on balls that were significantly underthrown.

Maybe he was simply due for an uncharacteristically inconsistent game.

McCoy's final numbers were 17 of 28 for 160 yards, and he failed to throw a touchdown pass.

Of course, hard-core fans will tell you he did throw a touchdown pass. McCoy's pass to Limas Sweed with 4:02 left to play in the second quarter appeared to have been a five-yard touchdown score, but Sweed was flagged for pass interference. On the next play, on third down from the A&M 20, McCoy's pass was intercepted by Melvin Bullitt at the A&M 1 yard-line.

And on McCoy's second interception – on Texas' first play from scrimmage from the A&M 44 – his deflected pass was intercepted by Cyril Obiozor. McCoy was trying to hit an open Sweed when he was hit on the play.

Whether McCoy was completely healthy is moot now. The Longhorns must hope Oklahoma loses at Stillwater against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in order to reach the Big 12 championship game.

"We can sit here and whine about a call all we want, but that would be unfair to Texas A&M," said Texas coach Mack Brown about the nullified Sweed touchdown. "But there were a lot of crucial plays in the game. They scored in the red zone and we didn't."

The Longhorns trailed 6-0 at halftime, but appeared to have gained control in the third quarter, recovering a fumbled Texas A&M reverse and scoring the go-ahead touchdown on a 6-yard Jamaal Charles run.

But Texas did not take further advantage of the wind at their backs in the third period and could not add to the lead. And while McCoy appeared to be more out of synch than at any time this season, his quarterback counterpart Stephen McGee rushed for 95 yards on 18 carries for the Aggies.

As a team, the Aggies rushed 51 times for 244 yards against what was previously the top-ranked rushing defense in the country. In a game filled with "what-ifs", McCoy's inconsistent play was obviously not the only reason the Aggies managed to beat Texas for the first time since 1999.

And ironically, McCoy started the game where he left off in Manhattan, hitting on all five of his passes on the first drive of the game, which ended when Texas running back Henry Melton was stopped short of a first down on 4th and 1 from the A&M 8 yard-line.

After that, it was a day of struggling for McCoy and the Longhorns' offense, which failed to make the big plays that have been their trademark for the last few years.

"We didn't make a 4th and six inches play," Brown surmised. "They scored in the red zone and we didn't, so give them credit. I thought we came back strong in the second half, but we didn't score like we usually do. I thought when we didn't score in the third quarter, that was a factor in the game.

"But I never thought we were going to lose, even when we got the ball back with 41 seconds left to play. But it wasn't going to happen today."

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