Texas Longhorns: Player of the Week

Player of the week: Big 12

October, 14, 2013
10/14/13
4:00
PM ET
A week ago, Texas quarterback Case McCoy called playing Oklahoma his legacy game. And he was right.

He might have just nine career starts, but McCoy has two large feathers in his cap as a Longhorn. He won the final game against Texas A&M, and now he’s handed his senior class a victory against Oklahoma to end three years of futility.

For his efforts, McCoy is ESPN.com’s Big 12 Player of the Week. In between all of Texas’ rushing, McCoy threw for 190 yards on 13-of-21 passing with two of the finest touchdown throws of his career.

The first was a 59-yard score on a Marcus Johnson wheel route on third down. McCoy dropped back and fired off a 30-yard pass that dropped right into Johnson’s hands. The second, a 38-yard fade pass that Mike Davis hauled in one step from the end zone.

McCoy admitted they were about as good of throws as he’s had, and there’s no question he’s playing with as much confidence as ever.

So is Texas facing a bonafide quarterback controversy now? Brown offered his take on the McCoy-David Ash debate on Monday during the Big 12 teleconference.

"It is Case's team until David returns, and then we'd have to consider David and Case and go back and figure it out,” he said. “Until we're told Davis is returning to practice, Case is the only one who's taken a snap at quarterback. At this point it is Case's team. When David returns we'll obviously have to look at it, but that's not an issue today."

Texas players have had no issue rallying around McCoy, who spoke proudly after the game of being an underdog his whole career and life.

Right now he’s at the top of the Big 12, with a 3-0 conference record and a large heap of hope after a win over the No. 12 team in the country. That legacy of his is in pretty good shape, and it gets even better if he can keep Texas' three-game win streak going.

Player of the Week: Big 12

September, 23, 2013
9/23/13
4:00
PM ET
AUSTIN, Texas – Ever since the day he signed with Texas, Johnathan Gray has been lauded for his selflessness.

Mack Brown proudly declared on signing day 2012 that Gray, a five-star recruit ranked No. 2 in the ESPN 300, came to Texas excited about the chance to share carries with two other backs. He’s been doing so ever since and hasn't complained.

[+] EnlargeJohnathan Gray
Jim Cowsert/USA TODAY SportsJohnathan Gray rushed for a career-high 141 yards against Kansas State.
A week ago against Ole Miss, he had 14 carries in the first half and five in the second. Gray shrugged when asked if that bothered him. Not his call, he said. No big deal.

But the Longhorns found out Saturday, in their 31-21 victory over Kansas State, just what can happen when Gray gets a full workload and becomes the focal point of the offense.

ESPN.com’s Big 12 Player of the Week rushed for a career-high 141 yards and two touchdowns on 28 rushes to carry a Texas offense that lost David Ash and just kept rolling in a needed victory to begin conference play.

The sophomore, who rushed for a record 205 touchdowns at Aledo (Texas) High School, had never received more than 20 carries at UT before Saturday. He proved just what he can do when Texas coaches trust him to take over a game. Behind improved play from the Longhorns offensive line, Gray had runs of 21, 16, 15, 13 and 12 yards and picked up first downs on eight of his carries.

“Backs have to get in a rhythm,” Gray said. “Our line did a great job and just gave us a chance. We took the opportunity and got yards.”

Gray is now the Big 12’s second-leading rusher at 350 yards on the season. The Texas offense has been hampered by all sorts of injuries, but Gray has stayed healthy and happy. The Longhorns might not know when the rest of their offensive weapons are coming back, but they know what they’ve got in Gray.

Player of the Week: Big 12

November, 12, 2012
11/12/12
3:00
PM ET
You hear coaches talk about it enough to make it one of the most cliché of all clichés, but it's also very true.

Everybody in college football is going to falter at some point. It won't always be perfect. Who you are as a player is defined by how you react to those low points.

Texas quarterback David Ash hit his lowest point just over two weeks ago when he got the hook from Texas' coaching staff in favor of backup Case McCoy. McCoy rallied the Longhorns to a dramatic game-winning drive on the road against Kansas, and all of a sudden, Ash's job looked like it might be in jeopardy.

It was his second game in three starts that resulted in fewer than 120 passing yards, a completion rate of 50 percent or below and no touchdown passes with a pair of interceptions.

The Longhorns' staff had faith in Ash, though, and let him keep his starting gig. On Saturday, he rewarded that faith, bouncing back with one of his best games of the season and taking home our Big 12 Player of the Week honor. It began with a 47-yard bomb on a trick play out of the wishbone as a tribute to Darrell Royal and Ash went on to complete his next 10 passes to start the game 11-of-11.

He finished 25-of-31 for 364 yards and two touchdowns, completing his second consecutive game without an interception. It was his third game this season with a quarterback rating of 200 or higher, and the Longhorns put together a complete performance behind Ash's efforts in a 33-7 win over Iowa State.

Not everybody can keep it going after having their confidence shaken. It's clear now that Ash can, and the Longhorns are looking good with their sophomore quarterback leading the way.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Heated Rivalries Extend To Recruiting
National recruiting reporter Jeremy Crabtree joins ESPN's Phil Murphy to discuss the impact of negative recruiting and break down some prospects torn between rival schools.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

BIG 12 SCOREBOARD

Thursday, 11/27
Saturday, 11/29