The question is whether Colt McCoy, assuming he starts, can effectively finish the ballgame. The RS-freshman, of course, was helped off the field during his last two outings after suffering a severe pinched nerve in his neck. Colt acknowledged that his effectiveness gradually diminished during the second half of Texas' 12-7 loss against Texas A&M.
"As I started taking more hits, I just got fatigued," he said. "That's no excuse, but that's how it was."
The Horns practiced in full pads for the second time Wednesday in preparation for the Alamo Bowl. McCoy said he expects to participate in non-contact drills until he is cleared by trainers. Brown's general policy is that if a player has not practiced three days before kickoff, he will not play in the ballgame.
"I'm taking it day by day, and every day it feels better," Colt reported. "It feels better every time we practice. A lot of the pain has gone away. Now, it's a matter of time to rebuild my arm strength."
Brown will not consider lifting freshman Sherrod Harris' redshirt for the bowl game. Texas' contingency plan calls for WR Quan Cosby to step in as the No. 3 signalcaller if either McCoy fails to finish the contest. Cosby will operate from a limited package involving little more than five passing routes if pressed into duty. Cosby was a two-time Texas 2A All-State QB at Mart.
"I'm emergency only," Cosby said. "We're hoping the McCoys we have can go the entire time, all 500 of them."
Brown believes Texas can run its same offense if Matt McCoy was behind center.
"He can do all that stuff. He runs real fast. He runs a 4.5 and he can throw. Usually when he was in a game, we didn't want to throw because of the score."
Matt McCoy is a fifth-year senior who received no scholarship offers from Division-I programs. He "fell in love with the campus" while visiting a sister who was enrolled at the Forty Acres five years ago. An Episcopal School of Dallas graduate, McCoy entered the football program in 2002 as a non-scholarship player. Now, he is one snap away from starting his first -- and final -- game as a Longhorn.
"It's one of those things that you never know what's going to happen," he said. "A senior walk-on, the last game of your career, the possibility of playing quarterback at The University of Texas could be a storybook ending. But hopefully Colt will be prepared the whole game."