The Fiesta Bowl, pitting Ohio State and Texas, is at 8:15pm tonight (1-5-09) on FOX.
The day after the Heisman Trophy ceremony, an ESPN The Magazine staffer saw Texas Longhorns QB Colt McCoy and his sister walking through the Chinatown section of Manhattan. This staffer's friend had, innocently enough, just purchased a pair of nunchucks. He contemplated approaching McCoy and claiming to be a Sooners fan or some such, but another friend chimed in: "The guy seems pretty cool under pressure. It likely won't even affect him."
Truth, if you watched college football all season. Here's tangible proof: the current FBS record for completion percentage in a season is 73.6, held by Daunte Culpepper while at University of Central Florida. McCoy enters the Fiesta Bowl completing 77.6 percent of his passes, including 80% on first down and 76.9% in the red zone. He could go 0-for-20 in passing situations tonight and still break Culpepper's record.
We turned to Longhorns offensive coordinator/QB coach Greg Davis to talk about the Austin gunslinger and his uncanny abilities at completing passes.
ESPNTheMag: What would you say about Colt generally?
Davis: "All really accurate passers have great balance and Colt has tremendous balance. He has the ability to move in the pocket and throw the ball from different launch points and not every quarterback can effectively do that. Being able to throw the ball from different arm angles and different foot placement is very important in being an accurate passer."
"In 36 years of coaching, I've never had a quarterback this deep into the season completing 80% of his passing. Of course I'm surprised because that's an amazing number, but I'm not surprised he's having a great year. I told everybody who would listen before the season that he would have a great year."
Is Colt's completion percentage based more on his accuracy, or more on the performance of receivers and the offensive scheme?
"All of the above. Colt's ability to make adjustments at the line, go through his progressions and make good decisions, the receivers ability to run great routes and make catches, all of that factors into the quarterback's accuracy. Most importantly in the end is throwing an accurate ball but there's a lot that goes into it before that."
There's been a lot of talk this season about Colt and Jordan Shipley's relationship. What is his dynamic like with all his receivers?
"Everybody knows that they've play a lot of ball together, that Jordan and Colt are roommates and how much they all work together in the summer. But there is a lot of flexibility built into our offense and the way they use that to their advantage is what makes them so effective. There are a lot of option routes where the receivers have choices of what to run. Because Quan and Jordan are so disciplined as receivers and they are playing within the parameters and using the offense's flexibility to their advantage, we're having great success. On top of it, both Quan and Jordan have great hands and don't drop many balls. Colt helps put them in good positions, they make great reads and they always seem to be on the same page. That's been critical in the efficiency of our offense and a big reason for the great accuracy Colt has had in the passing game."