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December 1, 2009

Huskers have plenty of respect for McCoy

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy's career accomplishments speak for themselves.

In four years as the Longhorns starting quarterback McCoy has won an NCAA record 44 games and has passed for 13,066 yards and 112 touchdowns. Maybe even more impressively though, he's completed 70.6 percent of his passes over his four year career, including 76.7 percent in 2008 and 71.8 percent this season.

On the ground McCoy has been equally impressive with 1,591 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns over his career. In last week's win at Texas A&M, McCoy ran for a career high 175 yards on 18 carries to go along with 304 yards passing.

When Nebraska's defense starts to look at the challenge they face from McCoy and the Longhorn offense, they know they'll have their hands full in Saturday night's Big 12 Championship game.

"He's one of the best out there," senior defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said. "Obviously he's up for the Heisman and is doing everything to deserve that and continues to do that and stays consistent. That's one of the biggest things, he doesn't really falter. You've just got to hopefully catch him on a bad day and get in his face to disrupt him."

When head coach Bo Pelini talks about McCoy's game, he too doesn't see very many flaws are things NU can exploit.

The one defense that had some success against McCoy this season was Oklahoma's, as they held him to just 127 yards passing and a 53.8 completion percentage-by far his lowest numbers of the season.

"He's real good," Pelini said of McCoy. "He has all the tools. He's a very smart player, first of all. He's well-coached. He can make all the throws. Obviously, as he showed last week and throughout the year, but especially last week, he can hurt you with his feet. He can do it all. He's a good football player. He just runs their system really well."

Pelini also said he's not going to get too caught up in trying to duplicate other games plans different teams have used against McCoy.

"I'm not worried about what other people have done," Pelini said. "We're going to play our style of defense and let it all hang out."

When Texas head coach Mack Brown talks about McCoy's maturation process this season, he said it hasn't been as easy as people may think,

Brown said Texas has had to make a lot of adjustments to their offense and it's taken McCoy a while to develop confidence in his young wide receivers.

"We weren't very good early on the season because we were erratic at receiver and we were running some inconsistent routes and we had some news guys and the quarterback needs to trust his receivers and that wasn't happening," Brown said. "We had some injuries on the offensive line, we had a different running back playing every week and (McCoy) was sick, he had the flu one week. I really feel like (McCoy) is such a perfectionist and he had such a great junior year that he thought it was going to just happen.

"We had to kind of reinvent this offense and go back and figure out who we are. We are running the ball better now. We put a tight end back in, because we lost four tight ends. Last year we were able run down the field in four or five wide all the time and now we've become a more physical offense. As of the Oklahoma game, we became a better offense because we were more balanced and we can get the ball downfield and have better protection in the play action."

As McCoy starts to breakdown the Nebraska defense, he knows he'll face a stiff challenge from the Husker secondary.

NU has allowed just seven passing touchdowns in 12 games and they feature two first-team All-Big 12 defensive backs in Prince Amukamara and Larry Asante.

"We are just going to have to come into the game ready to play," McCoy said. "We've seen a bunch of secondary's all year that are pretty physical and pretty strong. For us we have to be ready to go.

"They aren't afraid to play man-to-man and they aren't afraid to bump-and-run man-to-man. They aren't afraid to line up on the line of scrimmage and bump you off your routes. We are going to have a tough week ahead of us. We are really going to have to go to work and get ready for them and be able to play our best Saturday."


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