November 11, 2007

The grades are in - Tech report card

The Longhorns had been waiting for a game like Saturday's 59-43 win over Texas Tech all season. Despite the high number of points allowed, the Longhorns came out on both sides of the ball and dictated the pace and style of the game from the opening whistle. With a BCS bid potentially up for grabs, the Longhorns dominated the Red Raiders from the outset and are now one win away from finishing the season with a 10-2 record. Here's a position-by-position review of Saturday's win.

Grading scale

A - All-American level
B - All-Conference level
C - Average
D - Below average
F - Complete failure

Quarterback - It was a tale of two different games for sophomore quarterback Colt McCoy. With the Longhorns running the ball at will in the first half, McCoy operated as a caretaker in the first half, but once Jamaal Charles went down with an injury, the Longhorns were forced to adjust their offensive game plan and it put McCoy in a position to make more plays with bith his arm and feet. Overall, McCoy threw for four touchdowns and ran for two more, completed 70% of his passes, accounted for 319 yards of offense and pulled off a double-spin, game-clinching touchdown run in the fourth quarter. It was a virtuoso performance for McCoy, who wasn't perfect on the day, but made big play after big play against a defense that was willing to serve as his personal piņata for four quarters. Only a terrible interception late in the second quarter that cost Texas a shot at points to end the half keeps him from getting an A-grade.

Grade: B+

Running backs - For the first time in three weeks, junior Jamaal Charles didn't wait until the second half to really get cooking, as he came out from the outset and imposed his will on a Texas Tech defense that didn't have any answer for him. Had it not been for an injured heel, he had a chance to put up a 300-yard afternoon. Perhaps in the grand scheme of things, the most important development for Charles was his hunger to return to the field after the injury. In previous seasons, Charles might not have returned to the game in the fourth quarter after heading to the locker room, but this is a new day for Charles (174 yards on 23 carries) and you better believe that NFL scouts are going to take notice. For a player that has had to face questions about his toughness, Charles answered back with a statement about his hunger as a player. The only real negative this week was Charles letting the football touch the ground twice, although he didn't lose either fumble. With Charles out for most of the second half, redshirt freshman Vondrell McGee and junior Chris Ogbonnaya teamed up 86 yards of offense and a touchdown. Overall, this group teamed up for 260 yards and two touchdowns.

Grades: A

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