Every athlete has to have a beginning. However, not every athlete’s beginning is against the No. 1 team in the USA Today Poll. While Case McCoy and David Ash have both had their fair share of reps, they haven’t experienced a team quite like Oklahoma just yet.
The Red River Rivalry is a completely different environment: from the craze of the fans, to the State Fair outside the Cotton Bowl and to the importance of the 111-year-old rivalry itself. The atmosphere can make a spectator’s knees tremble, let alone the starting quarterback’s. So just how have the first-year Texas quarterbacks fared against the Sooners? Let’s take a look at — you guessed it — the stats.
In the 2003 matchup between the Longhorns and Sooners, a redshirt freshman Vince Young had an abysmal 11 completions out of 21 attempts for 135 yards and two interceptions. Texas lost the game in a 65-13 rout, at the hands of Jason White and company. On a brighter note, Young rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown, flashing early glimpses of what was to come.
In 2006, Colt McCoy got his first shot at Oklahoma and didn’t disappoint, passing for 108 yards and two touchdowns, without turning the ball over. Texas defeated the Sooners 28-10, ending the Adrian Peterson reign on a high note.
In co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite’s first taste of the Sooners in 1998, he led the Longhorns to a 34-3 victory, connecting on 14 of 27 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns.
Taking it back a few years to 1944, a freshman Bobby Layne registered two touchdowns in a 20-0 shutout of Oklahoma, back when the Big 12 was the Big 6.
For the most part, first-year quarterbacks have had success against Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry. But how good was Oklahoma in those specific years?
In 2003, Oklahoma was No. 1 in the polls when it met up with the Longhorns. Texas fans needn’t worry about a 52-point blowout though — the Longhorns defense is far too athletic. The Sooners were No. 14 in 2006 and unranked in 1944 and 1998.
So, the consensus answer to the question: not very good.
This Saturday will mark an opportunity for McCoy and Ash to be the first, first-year starters to have success against a top-ranked Sooner team. An underdog, Bryan Harsin-led offense has defeated a powerful Oklahoma team before (see: 2007 Fiesta Bowl, Boise State). Will it happen again?
Printed on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 as: McCoy, Ash making debuts against Sooners this week