AUSTIN, Texas —Colt McCoy and Texas showed Florida Atlantic a few things about being tough.
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.
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 hugged Young during a pregame ceremony, joined him 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.
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.
Texas had little 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.
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.
Texas has scored at least 50 points in a season opener five of the last six years.