McCoy threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Dan Buckner in the fourth quarter that gave the Longhorns some room and Texas beat the Red Raiders 34-24 Saturday night.
McCoy's 3-yard TD to Buckner with nine minutes left put Texas ahead 31-17, but it was an otherwise shaky outing for last season's runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.
McCoy finished with 205 yards and two interceptions on 24-of-34 passing for the Longhorns (3-0, 1-0 Big 12).
First-year starter Taylor Potts passed for 420 yards and three touchdowns for Texas Tech (2-1, 0-1), but fumbled on sack by Sergio Kindle to set up McCoy's TD pass.
Texas Tech beat the Longhorns 39-33 last season behind Graham Harrell and star receiver Michael Crabtree, a loss that cost the Longhorns a shot at the national title.
Unlike last season, when the Red Raiders jumped to a big early lead, the fireworks didn't really start until the second half. The defenses didn't let McCoy and Potts get rolling early.
Jordan Shipley's 46-yard punt return in the first quarter for Texas was the only time either team reached the end zone in the first half that ended 10-3.
Shipley caught the ball in the middle of the field, dashed straight ahead, then broke to his right and outran punter Donnie Carona to the corner. His momentum took him all the way to the massive live Longhorn mascot Bevo and he startled the big fella.
The Red Raiders' defense bottled up McCoy like few defenses have.
McCoy was out of sync with most of his receivers the entire half and struggled to find any running room. The Longhorns' first drive ended when McCoy was met at the line of scrimmage and the hit knocked his helmet off. He was sacked on the next play.
The offenses got going in the third quarter.
Texas scored the first offensive touchdown on the first drive of the second half. McCoy converted three third downs with passes before Tre' Newton scooted 19 yards up the middle for a 17-3 Texas lead.
The Red Raiders immediately answered with Potts' throwing the first of two touchdowns to Lyle Leong, who was wide open after beating cornerback Chykie Brown on a fake for a 14-yarder.
Texas Tech coach Mike Leach tried to catch the Longhorns off guard with an onside kick, but the Longhorns recovered at the Red Raiders' 47. Given the short field, McCoy found Buckner with a completion across the middle to the Texas Tech 1 before Cody Johnson punched it in for the touchdown.
Potts was getting better as the game wore on. The Red Raiders marched right down the field to get back within a touchdown on Potts' 10-yard TD pass to Leong again.
After picking apart the Texas defense, Potts gave up two turnovers in the fourth that swung the game.