Longhorns top North Texas 56-7
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Colt McCoy could finally relax and he was only one minute into the first game of his career.
A quick "Hook 'em Horns" sign to the crowd and the butterflies sitting in McCoy's stomach were gone.
The redshirt freshman was going to be just fine.
McCoy passed for 178 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another in the Longhorns' 56-7 win Saturday over North Texas.
It was a solid tune-up for next week's showdown against top-ranked Ohio State and should help calm some of the anxiety Texas fans have about their young quarterback.
"I've been waiting for this my entire life," said McCoy, who was 12-of-19 passing. "I don't want to lie to you. It felt pretty good. It was a dream start."
McCoy's numbers would have been even better if not for a few dropped passes. While seldom pressured, he looked comfortable reading blitzes and checking through his receivers.
He even showed some of Young's pizazz with his feet, scrambling 27 yards to set up a second-quarter touchdown.
"He was even better than we would have expected him to be," coach Mack Brown said. "I think that was the biggest question mark, would he be able to run? We need him to do that more."
Texas has won 21 straight games, including a 25-22 win over the Buckeyes in Columbus last season that helped propel the Longhorns to their first undisputed national title in 36 years.
The Longhorns returned 16 starters from that team. But when Young departed for the NFL, it left Texas without its leader and without a scholarship quarterback with game experience.
McCoy was chosen the starter Monday after winning the battle to start with freshman Jevan Snead. And it was a whirlwind of a week: first with the interviews, then walking around campus with everyone knowing he was guy who would replace Young.
While his first pass -- a completion -- was a bit underthrown, his second was nearly perfect as he found Sweed streaking deep in the secondary.
The big receiver stepped around a defender in the middle of the field and bobbled the ball, but hauled it in and outran four tacklers for 7-0 lead just a minute into the season.
"I wasn't nervous at all after that," McCoy said. "I can't tell you how good it felt to have that many people cheering for me."
Texas' second drive was hampered by two penalties and ended with a punt. It was McCoy's only drive of the half that didn't end with a touchdown. He capped the next with his first touchdown, a 1-yard sneak.
McCoy led the Longhorns' two-minute offense at the end of the half, driving 63 yards in 10 plays. His long run up the middle of the field set up a 5-yard shuffle pass TD to Selvin Young with 16 seconds left.
"There was no stuttering (in the huddle). He had that look in his eyes and had us feeling comfortable," Young said. "I was impressed. He's starting his legacy that he's going to have at Texas.
The one time North Texas nearly got him on a blitz, McCoy stepped aside and avoided a sack. His pass into the end zone was dropped by the receiver.
"I thought he showed a lot of poise with a veteran team around him," North Texas coach Darrell Dickey said.
Defensively, the Longhorns held North Texas (0-1) to 95 totals yards with four sacks. Brian Robison tied safety Michael Griffin with his sixth career field goal block and Aaron Lewis recovered a fumble in the end zone for the final touchdown.
North Texas' only success came on the second drive when the Mean Green drove 80 yards for Brandon Jackson's 12-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter.
McCoy and Sweed quickly killed any momentum.
The next Texas drive appeared stalled at midfield when Brown called a fake punt to convert the first down. McCoy then found Sweed on a curl route and the receiver shook one defender, then stiff-armed another on his way to the end zone.
Sweed finished with five catches for 111 yards.
As good as McCoy felt against in his first game, it came against an overmatched opponent that had little chance of winning, even if he had a bad game.
Ohio State will be another story.
"I have to get better. We have the No. 1 team in the nation coming here," McCoy said. "We want to be ranked No. 1 in the end."