Texas takes big step toward title game
Published 2:09 am Friday, November 27, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Colt McCoy threw four touchdown passes and No. 3 Texas overcame a huge game by Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson to wrap up an undefeated regular season with a 49-39 win over the Aggies on Thursday night.
The Longhorns (12-0, 8-0 Big 12) have only next week’s conference championship game against Nebraska standing between them and the BCS title game.
For a while, though, it seemed as though Johnson would rally the Aggies (6-6, 3-5) to a gigantic upset, shattering McCoy’s Heisman Trophy hopes and opening the door for TCU and Cincinnati to vault into the national championship picture.
Jeff Fuller caught three touchdown passes from Johnson, the last with 7:10 left to cut Texas’ lead to 42-39. But Marquise Goodwin returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, and the Longhorns could finally breathe easy after A&M’s Randy Bullock missed a 23-yard field goal try with 3:05 remaining.
McCoy completed 24 of 40 passes for 304 yards and ran for a career-high 175 yards on 18 carries. But Johnson was just as spectacular, completing 26 of 33 passes for 342 yards with four TD passes against the Longhorns’ third-ranked defense.
The two quarterbacks embraced at midfield after the game, and Johnson’s nationally televised showcase just might put him in the conversation for next year’s Heisman.
McCoy is a favorite to win it this year and he put together a monster first half, completing 18 of 26 passes for 222 yards with three TD passes. He also broke a 65-yard run up the middle early in the second quarter, the third longest rush by a Texas quarterback. McCoy had 111 yards rushing by that point, already a single-game career high.
The Longhorns piled up 398 yards by halftime against the nation’s 100th-ranked defense, but only led 28-21.
The Aggies took a surprising 7-0 lead on the third offensive play, a 70-yard pass from Johnson down the sideline to Fuller. It was the second-longest play from scrimmage against the Longhorns this season.
Early on, though, the Aggies’ defense couldn’t get close to McCoy even when they blitzed, and he tied it with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Shipley with 3:42 left in the first quarter.
The Longhorns’ defense, meanwhile, had just as much trouble controlling the quick-footed Johnson, ranked 10th in the nation in total offense (293.9 yards per game) coming into the game.