3. Colt McCoy
Texas, quarterback, Jr.
Previous ranking: 3rd
2007 Heisman voting: Not in top 10.
2008 stats: 12 games, 291 of 375 passing for 3,445 yards, 32 TDs, 7 INTs; 128 rushes for 576 yards, 10 TDs.
2007 stats: 13 games, 276 of 424 passing for 3,303 yards, 22 TDs, 18 INTs; 114 rushes for 492 yards, 4 TDs.
Last game (49-9 victory vs. Texas A&M, 11/27): McCoy put in yet another solid performance to keep his Heisman hopes alive.
He was a sparkling 23-of-28 for 311 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran it 11 times for 49 yards and two more scores.
The win also gave him career victory No. 31, passing Vince Young to set a Texas record for starting quarterbacks. He also set a Longhorns single-season record with 3,594 yards passing.
McCoy’s best moment is when he hit Quad Cosby with a nine-yard TD pass with 12 seconds to go in the half. It came just three plays after he was staggered with a hard hit to the chest. McCoy dodged a pass rusher, ran to his right and fired back across the field to Cosby in the end zone.
"Colt started making plays to turn that thing around," said Texas coach Mack Brown said. "He made a huge statement tonight. I do think he's the best player, he's the most valuable player, on one of the best teams in the country."
Season review: If not for one dropped interception (Blake Gideon) that would have sealed a win over Texas Tech; if not for one great throw (Graham Harrell) that followed and one great catch and TD run (Michael Crabtree), McCoy would have playeed in the Big 12 title game and would have been the odds-on favorite to take the Heisman.
That’s how razor-thin this race was.
Still, despite the dramatic ending in the 39-33 loss to Tech many still consider McCoy the best player in the nation.
He wasn’t considered a serious Heisman contender to start the season, as questions surrounded his consistency and ability to protect the football. As a sophomore he threw for 22 TDs but had 18 picks and few, if any, believed he would have a breakout year.
But he did, and then some.
He finished the season leading the nation in competion percentage, a staggering 77.6 percent, and threw 32 touchdowns against just seven picks, a marked improvement from last year.
McCoy played big in big games, made big plays all season; basically did everything you expect a Heisman winner to do. But fate, or luck, was just not on his side.
Next season: McCoy told the Austin (Texas) Statesman on Monday that he's 'not going anywhere.'
McCoy said he wants to play for a national championship, after falling one spot short of the title game this season.
“I’m coming back because we have a solid coaching staff,” he told the Statesman. “And I’m coming back because I feel like I can develop the young receivers we have.”
If he indeed returns, he would certainly be a Heisman frontrunner from the start and would return to an offense that would return eight starters. Defensively, the Longhorns would return just five. In either case, his football future looks bright.
Schedule/results: vs. Florida Atlantic (W, 52-10); at UTEP (W, 42-13); vs. Rice (W, 52-10); vs. Arkansas (W, 52-10); at Colorado (W, 38-14); vs. Oklahoma at Dallas (W, 45-35); vs. Missouri (W, 56-31); vs. Oklahoma St. (W, 28-24); at Texas Tech (L, 39-33); vs. Baylor (W, 45-21); at Kansas (W, 36-7); vs. Texas A&M (W, 49-9); vs. Ohio State in Fiesta Bowl (1/5).
Heisman Trophy winners
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Check out quarterback Colt McCoy in action.
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