McCoy exceeds Ash in late-game situations

Hank South

Not four weeks ago, David Ash was positioned securely as the Longhorns’ quarterback and drawing early Heisman hype after leading Texas to an undefeated record. Following a dismal showing against Oklahoma and a rough three quarters against the No. 83 ranked defense in Kansas, junior quarterback Case McCoy stepped in and replaced Ash. With Texas trailing in the fourth quarter in Lawrence, McCoy helped the Longhorns surmount the Jayhawks, avoiding what could have been one of the worst upsets in Texas history. Rewind to last year, and the Longhorns were in a similar position of quarterback indecisiveness, although this year Ash remains the lone starter. Let’s take a look at how the two quarterbacks have compared throughout their Longhorn careers.

Ash has shown flashes of greatness during his tenure at the 40 Acres. The quarterback has compiled 2,805 yards passing, 16 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. The former Belton prep-star has a 63 percent completion rate and has averaged a 131 passer efficiency rating.

Let’s compare that to McCoy, who received the majority of his playing time in 2011. In his career, McCoy has passed for 1,268 yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions (all four interceptions came against Baylor last season.) The junior has a 61 percent completion rate and has averaged a 170 passer efficiency mark. Fairly similar numbers, considering that McCoy had five starts compared to Ash’s 14. Let’s dive deeper into the stats, comparing the two quarterbacks in crunch-time situations.

Ash has a proven clutch gene, validated by his performance against Oklahoma State last month. The sophomore completed a 4th-and-6 pass to tight end D.J. Grant to keep the Longhorns’ game-winning drive alive late in the fourth quarter. Throughout his career at Texas, in fourth-quarter plays Ash has 477 yards passing with a 65 percent completion rating and four touchdowns. Ash has one game-winning drive under his belt.

In pressure-packed situations, McCoy exceeds Ash greatly. Like Ash’s 4th-and-6 completion at OSU, McCoy converted the exact same situation against Kansas on the Longhorns’ game-winning drive, connecting with receiver Jaxon Shipley for an 18-yard gain. McCoy has 568 yards alongside a 64 percent completion rate and five touchdowns in fourth-quarter plays. The junior has three game-winning marches of his own, including the final drive at Texas A&M, one of the most historic Longhorn victories to date.

This weekend Texas takes on the No. 20 Red Raiders, who hold the No. 12 total defense in the country. In his career against AP-ranked teams, Ash has 971 yards passing, a 61 percent completion percentage with five touchdowns and nine interceptions. McCoy has 654 yards passing, a 58.2 percent completion rating, six touchdowns and four interceptions.

Regardless of the comparisons, Ash has done too much for the Longhorns this season to be shelved after a couple of bad outings. However, if the sophomore struggles in Lubbock this weekend, expect to see McCoy inserted into the game to do what he does best: jumpstart the offense. 

Printed on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 as: McCoy outplays Ash in pressure situations