McCoy's arm helps Texas stomp Louisiana-Monroe

AUSTIN, Texas -- Colt McCoy to Jordan Shipley looked as unstoppable as ever for No. 2 Texas. However, it was the Longhorns' new speedy weapon that was drawing raves after an easy opener.

McCoy passed for 317 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown to Shipley, and freshman tailback D.J. Monroe returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown the first time he touched the ball as the Longhorns romped past Louisiana-Monroe 59-20 on Saturday night.

"We've known he was going to be great the whole time," McCoy said of Monroe, who also rushed for 64 yards. "He's a playmaker for us."

Monroe redshirted last season and dazzled Texas coaches with his speed in practice. His TD return in the second quarter came at a big moment after Louisiana-Monroe had struck for a 75-yard touchdown catch by Luther Ambrose.

Monroe, a state high school champion in the 100 meters, took the kickoff at the 11, split a seam in the defense and bolted nearly untouched to the end zone.

"I don't remember anything during the play. It was a really great feeling," Monroe said. "I just wanted to be ready when they called on me."

Cody Johnson scored Texas' first three touchdowns on three 1-yard runs and the Longhorns got the rout for which they paid Louisiana-Monroe $850,000.

A Texas record crowd of 101,096 jammed into refurbished Royal-Memorial Stadium to watch the start of what they hope is a repeat of the 2005 national championship season. Many of those who stayed to the end gave a large roar at the news of rival No. 3 Oklahoma's loss to No. 20 BYU.

Louisiana-Monroe dreamed of quieting the crowd like it did two years ago with a shocking upset on the road against Alabama.

"We think about that game in any game we go into, big game-wise. It always reminds us that it can be done," Louisiana-Monroe running back Frank Goodin said.

Any chance of an upset lasted mere seconds between Ambrose's touchdown catch and Monroe's big return. The Longhorns rolled up 568 yards in total offense to win their 11th consecutive season opener.

Still, Texas didn't get out without fumbling the ball away a few times and a few rare miscues by McCoy.

McCoy's seven incompletions in the first half were more or equal to his total in eight games last season when he set an NCAA record with a 76.7 percent completion rate. Three came on dropped balls and he threw an interception.

There were a few other problems.

New starting tailback Vondrell McGee fumbled twice, likely putting his position in jeopardy despite rushing for a game-high 70 and a late touchdown. Until his two drops, Texas had gone 17 games without a lost fumble by a running back.

On defense, broken coverage led to Louisiana-Monroe's long touchdown pass in the second quarter. Trey Revell led the Warhawks with 197 yards passing.

"Colt wasn't as pleased with himself in the first half, but his standard is set really, really high," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "If we were great tonight, why practice any more? Opening games should be your worst."

While McCoy tries to break in young receivers, he and Shipley are as in-sync as ever. Granted a sixth year of eligibility after losing two seasons to injuries, Shipley had a career-high 180 yards on eight catches.

The 78-yard TD was the longest of his career and came after he easily beat the defender on a deep route.

"If I throw it up for him, he's going to get it," McCoy said.

And quarterback-turned-receiver John Chiles shook off an early drop to catch a 14-yard touchdown in the third.

McCoy finally came out early in the fourth with Texas leading 52-10. Freshman Garrett Gilbert, a former high school All-American, showed a bit of McCoy's style by completing 4 of 5 passes and capping his only drive with a 12-yard touchdown run.

"You always remember the first time you run out in the stadium," McCoy said. "I remember my first time. It's a good feeling."