Gritty McCoy, Texas drub Florida Atlantic in opener

AUSTIN, Texas -- Talk about tough.

Ask Florida Atlantic now if they think the Texas Longhorns can take a few hits?

On a night when Texas retired the No. 10 jersey of Vince Young, McCoy passed for three touchdowns, ran for another and the No. 11 Longhorns coasted to a 52-10 win over Florida Atlantic that got testy at times when the Owls popped McCoy for three late hits.

"I did get hit out of bounds a couple of times," McCoy said. "I compete really hard, so when I get hit out of bounds I don't really know what's going on, I just want to get back on the field ... I guess Vince was right there, he was probably talking trash."

McCoy never wavered as Texas ran up a 28-10 halftime lead. His third touchdown pass made it 42-10 and he left early in the fourth quarter with 222 yards on 24-of-29 passing. He also did his best to imitate Young with 103 yards rushing on 12 carries.

McCoy, who stays in touch with Young and him during a pregame ceremony, joined Young as the only Texas quarterbacks to pass for more than 200 yards and run for 100 more in a game multiple times. McCoy has done it twice. Young did it five times.

"Colt played as good of a game as I've seen tonight," Texas coach Mack Brown said.

Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger had rankled Texas with comments suggesting the Longhorns weren't tough and could be intimidated if hit hard enough. When the Longhorns walked into the stadium about two hours before kickoff, defensive tackle Roy Miller pulled off his shirt on the field and appeared to be yelling at his teammates to get them fired up as several Owls players stood nearby.

"There's a lesson to be learned any time you talk before a game. You learn to keep your mouth shut," Miller said. "This team has a new mentality."

Schnellenberger didn't have to be asked about it after the game.

"I know one thing, they're a lot tougher than we are," he said. "I don't know if my remarks helped their team, if they did, then I apologize to my team."

Texas had no trouble pushing around the Owls' defense. While Schnellenberger had said he wanted to get "three hats" on Texas ball carriers, Florida Atlantic seldom appeared to have three players even close in the first half.

McCoy moved the Longhorns with ease, completing his first 13 passes, tossing TDs of 2 and 9 yards to Chris Ogbannaya and Jordan Shipley in the first quarter. Twice he was hit hard late on the drive that ended with Shipley's TD and his 2-yard TD run in the second quarter made it 28-3.

The Texas defense still has plenty to work out, but got better as the game wore on.

The secondary that ranked No. 109 against the pass last season started two freshmen at safety and the inexperience showed as Owls quarterback Rusty Smith passed for 226 yards in the first half. Florida Atlantic's first two drives got inside the Texas 20 before both ended in turnovers with a fumbled snap and an interception.

One of the freshmen, Earl Thomas, was burned for several big plays and a touchdown, but also caused the interception with a tipped pass and blocked a punt in the third quarter to set up another touchdown.

Smith, last season's Sun Belt Conference player of the year, finished with 253 yards passing and a touchdown pass to Rob Housler, but was pulled in the third quarter. The Owls gained just 53 yards of total offense in the second half.

"I thought the whole defense played well after the young secondary got settled down at halftime," Brown said. "They listened and they got better and better."

Texas has scored at least 50 points in a season opener five of the last six years. The Longhorns rolled up 503 total yards.

"We played a near perfect opener," Brown said.