3 things to know about Texas quarterback Case McCoy

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Watching Texas play Oklahoma State Saturday? Here's what you should know about the Longhorns' signalcaller.

1. He might be getting better.

Case McCoy is not supposed to be Texas' starting quarterback. That honor was to fall to David Ash, who started the team's first two games. But Ash suffered a concussion that kept him out of the Longhorns' loss to Ole Miss, and despite a comeback attempt against Kansas State the following week, has not returned to regular action.

That has left the Texas offense in the hands of McCoy for the last five weeks, and results have been mixed. The Longhorns have relied heavily on the short passing game with the senior at the helm -- he is averaging just 6.7 yards per attempt -- and avoided asking McCoy to do much. The results: McCoy is posting solid-if-unspectacular numbers. He is completing 59.5 percent of his pass attempts, with eight touchdown passes against six interceptions.

The breakthrough might have come last week at West Virginia, where McCoy completed 27/49 for 283 yards and three scores. The completions and attempts were career highs, and the three touchdown passes tied his career record. Yes, it came against the paper mache West Virginia defense, but McCoy's performance was clearly needed to keep Texas in the Big 12 championship race. Whether it was a one-time event or a step forward could be determined Saturday.

2. He's not his brother.

Case McCoy's brother, Colt McCoy, was a Heisman Trophy finalist while quarterbacking the Longhorns. Colt was a four-year starter who completed 70 percent of his pass attempts and ran for nearly 1,600 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Case, on the other hand, is a traditional pocket passer. He is fairly accurate -- his 62 percent career completion percentage is certainly solid -- but 54 rushing attempts have yielded minus-48 yards on the ground, the vast majority of those coming in sacks. His career long run: 25 yards, in a game against Texas A&M two years ago. McCoy ran for his first career touchdown against Iowa State earlier this season, a sneak with 51 seconds remaining that gave the Longhorns a one-point win.

Case McCoy is not going to beat you with his feet, and his reliance on the short passing game largely means he will not win a game solely with his arm. He will keep Texas in the game, but the Longhorns' receivers and backs will have to make plays against the Oklahoma State defense if the Longhorns are to remain undefeated in the Big 12.

3. He overcame a childhood illness to get here.

As a child, McCoy battled scleroderma, a disease that hardens and thickens skin and blood vessels. In severe cases, the disease can be fatal. McCoy was diagnosed with the disease when he was four years old, and spent much of his childhood traveling to hospitals for treatment, as detailed in a piece on the Longhorn Network:

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