More about: RSS | Wireless Wireless

SPORTS

E-MAIL PRINT MOST E-MAILED Share

Rodolfo Gonzalez
AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Quan Cosby's 65-yard return of a short field-goal try by UTEP's Jose Martinez set Texas up with a first down at the Miners' 35-yard line.

Rodolfo Gonzalez
AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Colt McCoy threw four touchdown passes against Texas-El Paso, giving him 58 career TD tosses and tying him with Chris Simms for second on the all-time Texas list.

MORE SPORTS NEWS

LONGHORNS FOOTBALL

Texas turns aside UTEP 42-13

McCoy throws for four touchdowns as Longhorns win in El Paso


AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Monday, September 08, 2008

EL PASO — The savviest play in Texas' 42-13 victory over Texas El Paso late Saturday won't even show up in the official statistics.

It occurred midway through the second quarter, when Jose Martinez, the Miners' long-distance kicking ace, attempted a 65-yard field goal to try to slice Texas' lead to 14-9. The Longhorns sent in their punt return team anyway.

Martinez missed badly to the right, and Quan Cosby caught the ball in the end zone. UTEP assumed he was taking a knee. Instead, Cosby streaked downfield for 65 yards, deflating UTEP's aspirations of an upset of the 10th-ranked Longhorns.

Cosby's return, which went into the stat sheet as miscellaneous yardage, set Texas up at the Miners' 35. Five plays later, Cody Johnson bulled over from 1 yard out to give the Longhorns a safe 21-6 lead.

"I'd seen it done in the NFL," Cosby said early Sunday. "It was a fun play."

The 10th-ranked Longhorns didn't truly enjoy themselves until early in the fourth quarter, after they survived a sloppy, scoreless third quarter.

That's when Texas scored 14 points in 11 seconds, turning a potential down-to-the-wire affair into a lopsided victory.

First, quarterback Colt McCoy threw his fourth touchdown pass of the evening — this one on an up-and-out to receiver Jordan Shipley to give Texas a 35-13 lead with 13 minutes and 33 seconds to go. McCoy's 58th touchdown pass at Texas tied him for second place in Longhorns' history with Chris Simms. Major Applewhite, the former Longhorn quarterback who now coaches the team's running backs, ranks first with 60.

One play after the ensuing kickoff, outside linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy scooped up a Terrell Jackson fumble, which was forced by end Sam Acho, and returned it 26 yards for the final touchdown of the evening.

"It got the momentum back to our side," said Muckelroy, who made a team-high 14 tackles. "I've been dreaming (about the touchdown) all my life."

A record crowd of 53,415 fans, most of whom were dreaming of an improbable UTEP victory, took in the game, which didn't end until almost 1 a.m. Sunday, Austin time. Texas (2-0) returned to Austin in the wee hours of the morning so that players and coaches could immediately start working on their Saturday home matchup against Arkansas, one of UT's old-school rivals from the Southwest Conference days.

Earlier Saturday, the Hogs (2-0) needed a 14-point, fourth-quarter rally to ease past Louisiana-Monroe 28-27.

Chances are the UTEP defense, with its constantly blitzing 3-3-5 alignment, won't resemble anything like what McCoy and his offense will face against Arkansas or any other team on the schedule.

McCoy looked at ease against the Miners in the early going, completing 14 of 16 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. Cosby was his favorite receiver, with five catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. Cosby finished with a career-high 154 yards on eight receptions.

Then UTEP tinkered with its defense at halftime, sprinkling in zone with its man-to-man coverage schemes. McCoy was frustrated at times in the second half, completing 5 of his 12 third-quarter attempts for 80 yards and an interception.

He didn't right the offense until late in the third quarter, leading Texas on a 10-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in the 15-yard touchdown pass to Shipley. On the play, McCoy faked a hitch pass to Brandon Collins, then threw downfield for Shipley.

"That was tough," said McCoy, who ended the game with impressive stats, throwing for 282 yards and four touchdowns, "but we rode through it."

The same could be said for the Texas defense, which allowed UTEP to open the game with two consecutive field-goal drives.

The Longhorn defense was expecting UTEP to pass. Instead, quarterback Trevor Vittatoe read the Texas defensive front and often changed his called passes to running plays. Jackson, the Miners tailback, gained 94 yards on 17 carries.

Vittatoe then started passing after the Longhorns built a 28-6 lead in the second quarter. He was 25 of 46 for 267 yards, with a 12-yard touchdown toss to Tufick Shadrawy late in the first half.

"We made a lot of mistakes — a lot of mental errors," said Texas defensive tackle Roy Miller. "I don't have a good feeling about it."

By game's end, the Longhorns were celebrating the victory. After Muckelroy's touchdown, Texas coach Mack Brown sent in the substitutes.

"Give El Paso credit; this place was electric," Brown said. "They surged at the first of the game. Then our guys stood up and handled it."

shalliburton@statesman.com; 445-3954

TEXAS UTEP

26 FIRST DOWNS 23

122 RUSHING YARDS 145

282 PASSING YARDS 267

20-29-1 COMPLETIONS-ATTEMPTS-INTERCEPTIONS 25-46-0

97 RETURN YARDS 51

4-40.2 PUNTS-AVERAGE 5-38.2

0-0 FUMBLES-LOST 1-1

5-45 PENALTIES-YARDS 11-97

2-17 SACKS BY: NUMBER-YARDS 1-5

22:33 TIME OF POSSESSION 36:41

GAME 1 • AUG. 30

Texas 52, Florida Atlantic 10

Colt McCoy passes for three touchdowns, runs for another in season-opening rout of Owls.

GAME 2 • SEPT. 6

Texas 42, Texas-El Paso 13

Quan Cosby's return of missed FG sparks Horns in front of raucous Sun Bowl crowd.

GAME 3 • SEPT. 13

Arkansas at Texas, 2:30 p.m.

Longhorns remember Hogs' last trip to Austin — a 38-28 Arkansas victory in 2003.

GAME 4 • SEPT. 20

Rice at Texas, TBA

Horns and Owls have played last five years — all lopsided Texas victories.

GAME 5 • OCT. 4

Texas at Colorado, TBA

Longhorns hit the road to open Big 12 play, and could see star-in-the-making Darrell Scott.

GAME 6 • OCT. 11

Texas vs. Oklahoma, 11 a.m.

As usual, Sooners appear loaded. Will go a long way to determining South champion.

GAME 7 • OCT. 18

Missouri at Texas, TBA

Heisman-hopeful QB Chase Daniel looks to prove North division can play a little, too.

GAME 8 • OCT. 25

Oklahoma State at Texas, TBA

Cowboys usually play Texas pretty tough (for a half). Will likely be high-scoring affair.

GAME 9 • NOV. 1

Texas at Texas Tech, TBA

Harrell-to-Crabtree combo will appear in UT coaches dreams leading up to this one.

GAME 10 • NOV. 8

Baylor at Texas, TBA

New coach, but probably same old Bears. Horns catch breath after trip to Lubbock.

GAME 11 • NOV. 15

Texas at Kansas, TBA

Lake Travis-ex Todd Reesing leads resurgent Jayhawks, who won Orange Bowl last season.

GAME 12 • NOV. 27

Texas A&M; at Texas, 7 p.m.

Horns have lost two in a row in this series for the first time since 1993 and 1994.

Vote for this story!

Advertisement