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Thursday, January 17, 2013
Decisions that defined Texas in 2012: No. 2

By Carter Strickland

Ah, decisions. Coaches make them and then everyone criticizes them. Of course, not all of them are bad. Many are celebrated. For Texas this year it was a little bit of both. This week, HornsNation takes a look at the top five critical decisions made by Texas in 2012 and the result of each of those. Today, at No. 2, is Case McCoy leading the Longhorns to a come-from-behind win vs. Kansas.

Case McCoy
Case McCoy replaced an ineffective David Ash to lead Texas over the Jayhawks.
AUSTIN, Texas -- The decision very nearly cost Texas a game and quite possibly its coaching staff.

Down 14-7, and, as any team would be facing such a score in the fourth quarter, desperate, the Longhorns benched quarterback David Ash in favor of Case McCoy. McCoy proceeded to throw his first downfield pass -- there was a shuttle pass earlier -- right into the arms of Kansas defensive back Greg Brown. Proving once again that athletes at KU only know how to handle a round ball, Brown dropped it.

Had he held onto it, Mack Brown and company might not have been able to do the same. A loss to Kansas, which went winless against the FBS, would have been a death knell for the second most successful and popular coach in Texas history.

What’s more, the decision to insert McCoy into the game had the potential to be roundly criticized. As it turned out, it was one of the best decisions the Texas staff made all year.

McCoy rallied the team on the first drive, handing the ball off with aplomb as Texas went 84 yards to tie the score. The big play on the drive was the aforementioned shuttle pass to Marquise Goodwin -- by the way, that Texas didn’t run this play at least twice a game was consistently one of the worst decisions made by the staff all season -- that went for 41 yards.

The Texas defense, being what it was, could not protect the tie. But McCoy was not done. After nearly costing everyone everything, the junior went 6-for-7 on passes, including an 18-yarder on fourth-and-6, as Texas rallied to win 21-17.

McCoy's stay at the top was brief, as Ash was back as the starter the next week. But McCoy's ability to deliver in the clutch saved Texas and almost assuredly saved its coach from a doomed and final season.