Longhorns' defense steps up to harass even Colt McCoy

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

AUSTIN, Texas -- Will Muschamp came into the Orange-White scrimmage wanting a shutout.

The Texas defensive coordinator didn't get that in the Longhorns' spring scrimmage, but he might have gotten the next best thing in an early turnover-producing binge.

After notching only six interceptions in 13 games last season, the Longhorns produced two picks in the first five possessions in Sunday's scrimmage.

"I'm real pleased with making big plays," Muschamp said. "We've got to make more big plays. We've got to make more turnovers and cash in on them when we get the chance. It was big to get a chance to get them when we had the opportunity."

The Orange claimed a 21-7 victory over the White in a game where the two offenses were limited to 188 total yards on 64 snaps.

Included was a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown by safety Earl Thomas, who picked off Colt McCoy on a pass intended for Brandon Collins to account for the lone White squad touchdown.

Safety Nolan Brewster produced the other interception on a 34-yard return on a ball thrown by backup Sherrod Harris.

"I think we won the scrimmage today," cornerback Chykie Brown said. "Look at the turnovers. That says something."

McCoy struggled through an 11-for-24 outing, passing for 95 yards.

Putting those numbers into perspective, McCoy has completed less than half of his passes in only one game in his career -- a 12-for-28 outing against Nebraska as a sophomore in 2007. He set an NCAA record last season by completing 76.7 percent of his passes, breaking Daunte Culpepper's mark of 73.6 percent in 1998.

"You can't say much about today," McCoy said. "The offense and defense both knew what was coming and what we were doing. It makes it a challenge. But working through the wind, the younger receivers, the secondary, I feel great.

"We threw some balls today and had some incompletions. I threw some away today. I'm not worried about that at all."

Texas coach Mack Brown was pleased with the work of watching his first-string offense work against the first-string defense.

"I think to have both sides press some today was good for this football team," Brown said. "We need to know we've got some work to do. The guys really competed with each other. But we also have to know that we can't just roll out the helmets and expect to be really good. We're not going out to understand we're having a cakewalk spring and make things look good for the offseason."