Texas must learn from last week's lesson

September, 17, 2011
9/17/11
5:26
PM ET
Texas made a double-digit halftime deficit evaporate last week.

The difference: the Longhorns were doing the damage against BYU.

Texas went into halftime against UCLA this week up, 28-10. Last week the Longhorns watched BYU's offense tuck into a shell and play very conservatively in the second half last week.

The Cougars lost to the Longhorns, despite Texas lacking an offense stocked with home-run hitters.

Texas can't allow the same thing to happen this week against UCLA. It would be easy to settle for handing the ball to Malcolm Brown 20 times in the second half and saying, "Oh, well" if it resulted in a handful of three-and-outs.

The Longhorns have to stay aggressive and let Case McCoy and/or David Ash air it out downfield when the situation calls for it and continue to test a suspect UCLA secondary. Both quarterbacks have taken care of the ball and neither has come very close to turning the ball over thus far. Texas has to trust them and let them learn on the road.

McCoy led a touchdown drive before the half, highlighted by a lengthy scramble that featured him sliding out of possible sacks three times on one play. He finally found Mike Davis downfield for a 25-yard gain. He hit D.J. Grant on the next play for a two-yard score.

Most like to call that the "it" factor. McCoy's physical attributes aren't going to wow many people, but plays like that will.

McCoy is 9-of-12 for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Ash is 3-of-3 for 31 yards.

Texas will probably leave the Rose Bowl with a win either way, but keep the offense full steam ahead and Texas might leave Pasadena with a win and two quarterbacks with burgeoning confidence, both from plays made and the trust Texas coaches put in them to secure a win.

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