McCoy Eclipses Applewhite's Mark in Win

With Major Applewhite there to see it, junior quarterback Colt McCoy broke the Texas running backs coach's school record for career touchdown passes with his 61st TD pass in a 52-10 win over Rice on Saturday.

Colt McCoy has always been a bit of an afterthought. After his senior season at Jim Ned High School, McCoy was given a chance to be a Texas quarterback, but only as a No. 2 to the much-ballyhooed Ryan Perrilloux. But Perrilloux put an LSU Tigers hat on his head rather than a Burnt Orange one on signing day in 2005 and McCoy was thrust into the spotlight.

It seemed he wasn't originally supposed to be Texas' starting quarterback. Yet Saturday night against Rice, McCoy set the Texas record for touchdown passes in a career – he tossed the 61st scoring pass of his career on a short toss to Quan Cosby. Perrilloux, in the meantime, is now plying his craft at Jacksonville State in Alabama.

Even after arriving at Texas, McCoy was in the background. He was a redshirt when Vince Young was finishing his career in the Rose Bowl. He entered his redshirt freshman season in a battle for the starting job with incoming true freshman Jevan Snead. He ultimately earned the job, however, and only after beating Oklahoma during his first year as a starter was he clearly the number one man under center.

Saturday night in Austin – when he completed 19 of 23 passes for 329 yards, four touchdowns and one score on a pounding touchdown run – he became a quarterback of historic proportions at Texas. The list of legendary quarterbacks at Texas, of course, is topped by the trifecta of Bobby Layne, James Street and Vince Young. Where does McCoy fit among the next tier of signal callers: Eddie Phillips, Alan Lowry, James Brown, Major Applewhite and Chris Simms?

That's an argument that won't soon be completed. But with more than a year and a half left in his collegiate career remaining, McCoy must already be considered one of the best quarterbacks who has ever played at Texas. He's not the most athletic QB in Texas history (VY gets that designation), nor is he considered the purest passer (give that nod to Layne, or even Simms).

But McCoy is, if nothing else, devastatingly efficient.

Just ask the Owls.

The junior averaged more than 14 yards per completion on Saturday night, and led the team in rushing with 87 yards on just eight carries. His touchdown run was punctuated by blasting his way through two potential tacklers on an eight-yard run. He also engineered a 12-play, 99-yard touchdown drive that ended with a perfect scoring pass to Jordan Shipley.

And still, McCoy will be an afterthought in the college football world. Heck, McCoy's an afterthought in his own conference, where Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel, Graham Harrell and Todd Reesing often receive more accolades. Nationally, you can of course put Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow above McCoy on the QB food chain, and USC QB Mark Sanchez was seen live Saturday morning on the ESPN Gameday set, though he'll not win nearly as many games in his career as McCoy.

Playing second fiddle doesn't seem to bother McCoy. But you wonder if he uses the lack of notoriety as food for thought, motivation, impetus. McCoy's not saying, of course. But the Rice Owls must believe that McCoy belongs in the same conversation with the other more marquee names.

Certainly Mack Brown does.

"Colt was magnificent," Brown said. "He's been running the ball great, escaping pressure, accurate with his passing…I think he's playing as well as any quarterback in the country. With all of the good quarterbacks we have in this league getting the attention, I don't think anybody deserves more attention than Colt."

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