What a Difference a Day—and a QB--Makes

Fans of the Texas Longhorns are breathing a little easier now that there’s a new sheriff in town.

Texas avenged the loss that started the downward spiral last season with a commanding 49-20 win over the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

"We never think about revenge, but we do think about playing good," said new starting quarterback Case McCoy.

Play well is exactly what they did. Case McCoy, starting in place of Garrett Gilbert, led the way by completing 80 percent of his passes (12 for 15) for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Malcolm Brown helped pave the way with 110 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Fozzy Whitaker added a pair of touchdowns on the ground, and Jaxon Shipley threw for one to go with five catches. Holding the Bruins to just over 300 yards of total offense and forcing four turnovers, three of them interceptions, certainly helped as well.

"Like (defensive coordinator) Manny Diaz says, picks lead to points," said Longhorns safety Kenny Vaccaro.

Two weeks ago the Longhorns looked like they were about to face another uncertain season. Even though they defeated the Rice Owls, it was not in real convincing fashion. Against the BYU Cougars they benched their starting QB and needed some stellar second half play on both sides of the ball to pull off a win.

Sitting at 2-0 and ranked No 23 in the nation, Texas head coach Mack Brown knew that his season was standing on the edge ready to fall back into the mediocrity of the 2010 season. Switching starters at any position is a tough decision for a coach, but especially when it comes to the quarterback.

How the season will pan out for the Longhorns still remains to be seen. While the win over the Bruins was a dominant one and the type of play that Longhorn fans have come to expect during Mack Brown’s tenure, it did come against a team that is struggling to find an identity of its own.

What the win does do is give the Longhorn Nation reason for hope not only for this season, but for the next few seasons. Case McCoy is only a sophomore. Running back Malcolm Brown is just a freshman. Wide receiver Jaxon Shipley is just a freshman as well.

The starting unit on offense has only two seniors on it while the defense has four. Of the 22 positions, 12 are manned by either a freshman or sophomore.
"We have a lot of maturing to do," Case McCoy said. "But this season is going to be a fun ride."

If last Saturday is any indication, the Longhorns will have more than just some fun to look forward to.
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