By Dennis Washington
PASADENA, CA (WBRC) - Texas senior quarterback Colt McCoy ended his college football career Thursday night in a way he never imagined nor hoped would happen.
The Heisman finalist was hurt during a running play about halfway through the first quarter of the BCS National Championship game against Alabama. McCoy was hit in his right shoulder. He immediately came out of the game and went to the locker room for x-rays. He never returned to play.
Texas head coach Mack Brown said McCoy was in pain.
"He was really in pain at halftime, and he and his dad were sitting there with the doctors," Brown said. "I never even asked the doctors because I could tell, he didn't need to be back out on the field. He was trying at halftime to get back in. I knew he wasn't healthy, and he wanted to play, and he shouldn't have. But that's how tough he is."
Brown said the loss of McCoy hurt them.
"After Colt got hurt, obviously we were limited in some of the things we could do, and the play before the half they tried to throw a little shuffle pass and tried to take a shot in the end zone because we knew points would be hard, that one went against us," Brown said after the game.
Freshman Garrett Gilbert took his place, and after struggling in the first half, Gilbert led the Longhorns to two second-half touchdowns. But it wasn't enough to stop Alabama, who scored two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Brown said he encouraged Gilbert to do his best.
"What we told Garrett to do was just keep playing," Brown said. "You're a good player, it's a hard learning curve, learn fast, and at one point I thought he was going to come back and win the game."
Brown said McCoy has left a huge legacy at Texas.
"Colt has got a career at Texas that is second to none," Brown said. "45 wins. It's unbelievable. He has played so tough and so hard all year. You look at some of the great quarterbacks in Texas football history, and Colt will go right down the middle of them."
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