Tag:Case McCoy
Posted on: February 22, 2011 5:02 am
Edited on: February 23, 2011 8:54 am
 

Spring Practice Primer: Texas

Posted by Tom Fornelli

College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice. So we here at the Eye on College Football will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers. Today, we look at Texas which begins its spring practice on Thursday.

Spring Practice Question: Is Garrett Gilbert really in danger of losing the starting job?

Last month, Texas head coach Mack Brown declared the Texas quarterback position to be wide open. It seems that after a less than stellar performance from Garrett Gilbert in his first season as a starter, along with plenty of coaching turnover in Austin, Brown isn't ready to hand the job over to just anybody.

Of course, whether he truly meant it or not, we'll begin to find out on Thursday when the Longhorns begin spring practice.

If I had to lean in one direction, I'd believe Brown, but only with the understanding that the job is still Gilbert's to lose. Whether or not Gilbert was successful in 2010, he still has more experience than either Connor Wood or Case McCoy. The true wild card in all of this, however, is the addition of Bryan Harsin as Texas' co-offensive coordinator (Major Applewhite being the other co-coordinator, though something tells me Harsin wasn't brought in from Boise to defer to Applewhite).

Harsin comes from Boise State, and has no favorites amongst the quarterback trio. Gilbert may have started all 12 games for Texas last season, but he did so under Greg Davis and with Greg Davis' plays, so in that sense he's on the same ground floor that both Wood and McCoy are.

Still, this spring could be the deciding factor for Gilbert. If he can show a strong grasp of Harsin's offense over the next few weeks, he can begin to put the job on lockdown. If he struggles, then things will be a lot more interesting this fall, as both McCoy or Wood could wrestle the job away from him.

The most important thing that Gilbert will have to do to earn Harsin's trust, and make better decisions in the pocket. While Garrett was able to make enough plays with his arm and legs last season to tally 3,124 yards and 15 touchdowns, it was the 17 turnovers that most people will remember.

17 turnovers that had an awful lot to do with Texas finishing the season 5-7 and missing out on a bowl game for the first time since 1997. That cost John Mackovic his job as head coach in Austin, and though Mack survived, that fate may still befall Gilbert.

There is reason to believe that Gilbert will be able to cut down on the mistakes. First of all, he'll be a junior in 2011, and with a year of experience under his belt, he'll be a smarter player. Plus, there's some history to look at with quarterbacks under Harsin.

In 2008, as a freshman, Kellen Moore started every game for Boise State and threw 10 interceptions. Over the next two seasons, Moore only threw 9. 

Another reason to believe that Gilbert will improve in 2011 is that his receiving corps will get better as well. Mike Davis -- who caught 47 passes as a freshman -- will be another year older, another year better, and his play could go a long way in improving the performance of his quarterback. Whether that quarterback is Gilbert, McCoy or Wood. If Malcolm Williams and Darius White can start to reach their potential, life will be a lot easier as well.

At the end of the day, I think Gilbert will leave spring practice as the team's starter, and he'll be under center when Texas opens its season against Rice on September 3. He may have had a bad season in 2011, but the truth of it is that he's just more talented than both McCoy or Wood. So unless he has a flat-out awful performance this spring, I just don't see him losing the gig.

Of course, I didn't see Texas going 2-6 in the Big 12 last season, either. So who knows what will happen?
Posted on: January 21, 2011 11:17 am
 

Mack Brown declares Texas QB race 'wide open'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

We already know that there will be plenty of changes with the Texas football program in 2011. It's hard to keep things at the status quo when you hire roughly 87 new coaches during the offseason, and Mack Brown knows that he can't afford another 5-7 season in Austin.  Which means Brown has to be willing to shake things up, and it seems as though he's ready to do just that.

Brown was on ESPN's College Football Live on Thursday and he made an announcement that may come as a surprise to many. According to Brown, the race to be Texas' starting quarterback in 2011 is "wide open."

"Garrett [Gilbert's] got two great years of experience under his belt and we've got some other great quarterbacks as well," said Brown. "That competition, like all the other positions on our team, will be wide open this spring." 

Considering that Garrett Gilbert's 2010 season was, let's just say, less than good, it would only make sense that he wasn't guaranteed anything in 2011. Throw in the fact that new offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin comes to Austin with no connection to any of his new quarterbacks, and it is conceivable that either Connor Wood or Case McCoy could win the job from Gilbert in 2011.

That being said, I don't see it happening. Not only does Gilbert have the edge in experience, but it also says a lot that even with his and the team's struggles in 2010, McCoy and Wood never saw the field. You would think that if either of them were ready to take Gilbert's job that the coaching staff would have given them a shot last season.

Of course, there is a reason none of those coaches are returning, so I suppose anything is possible.
 
 
 
 
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