Over the next few days, time permitting, I will attempt to point out and analyse the 5 main keys (as I see them) to winning the BCS Championship. Some may seem obvious, but hopefully some of you will be enlightened.
#1: Take Advantage of Turnovers
Now, this key alludes to the fact that Texas WILL turn the ball over, and that assumption is a statistically valid one. Simply taking a look at McCoy's susceptibility to turning the ball over, you would find the following:
McCoy has been the starting UT quarterback for Texas' last 51 games. In those 51 games, he has turned the ball over (either by throwing an interception or fumbling) a total of 56 times. That's right, 56. And this was not simply a case of Freshman fumblitis or Sophomore Slump (although that was his worst year); his uncanny ability to cough up the football has been fairly even. In his Freshman year - 9 T.O.s, Sophomore - 21, Junior - 10, and thus far in his Senior year - 16.
Also of note is the fact that in his 51 games, he has only 14 games where he has not been responsible for any turnovers; and this includes only 3 games this year where he has not recorded a turnover. These three teams that could not force McCoy to turn the ball over included: Texas A&M (107th in defense nationally), Baylor (95th), and Oklahoma State (33rd). The two best defenses that UT faced were Nebraska (8th in defense nationally) and Oklahoma (7th). Both of these teams forced 3 McCoy turnovers in each of their respective games.
So with Texas (namely McCoy) turning the ball over with such regularity, how have they remained so successful over the past 4 years? DEFENSE! Just because the Horns (again, namely McCoy) have been T.O. prone does not necessarily mean they have lost the turnover battle. Against Nebraska, UT's defense forced 3 Nebraska turnovers of their own, while in the Oklahoma game, they forced 5 Sooner turnovers. Teams have not been very successful in converting UT's mishaps into points. Nebraska was able to convert UT's three turnovers into 9 points, but that's not going to get it done most of the time.
So all of this is to say that statistically it's not a matter of "if" we can force McCoy to turn the ball over, but "when". And "when" that/those turnover(s) come, if we can make them hurt. Bama will need to get some hits on McCoy, and force him to think a little quicker; thus forcing him to make bad decisions. Also, McCoy does not seem to let his turnovers affect his play for the rest of the game. He does not get flustered, and likely will not lose confidence if he gives the ball away; so the key is not to get into his head, but to simply convert his mistakes into points each and every time we get the opportunity.
Comments welcome, and ROLL TIDE!