McCoy's moxie irrational, infectious

AUSTIN, Texas -- There's a story behind the skin below Case McCoy's left eye, one he usually doesn't spend much time telling. He didn't know what to say when he was younger. People asked if it was a burn or scar. He'd just call it his birthmark.

He feels no shame about the stretched, discolored skin that marks portions above and below his cheek. Those blemishes are what remain from his eight-year, childhood battle with a rare autoimmune disease.

They serve as his daily reminder to keep battling.

"Every time I look in the mirror and see it, I know what I'm doing. I know why I'm fighting the way I am and what I'm fighting for," McCoy said. "I knew as a young boy that those marks aren't going away. It is who I am and I can either embrace them or be embarrassed by it."

All his hard work has led to this. Texas' self-assured senior quarterback is finally getting his moment. He's won three straight games to begin Big 12 play and is playing the best ball of his life. This is his team now.

He's injected much-needed swagger into these Longhorns, but where does that come from? The source of McCoy's moxie isn't found in a 3,000-seat high school stadium in Graham, Texas, nor the Cotton Bowl, where he beat Oklahoma two weeks ago in the finest game of his career.

The story of how Case found his confidence takes place in a hospital.

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