It took only one game — two at the most — for the nation to take notice of Texas Longhorns true freshman quarterback Shane Buechele’s remarkable confidence, poise, and calm demeanor. Now following the Longhorns’ third game of the season against the California Golden Bears, despite the loss, we have an idea of the kind of toughness the Arlington native brings as Austin’s field general of the future.
On Texas’ opening drive in Berkeley, Buechele was sacked after being wrapped up from behind on an attempt to get away from the pressure. The following play, Buechele took another hit after a roughing the passer penalty led to a red zone trip and the 18-Wheeler package.
A series later, Cal’s DeVante Wilson would drive Buechele into the ground on a hit that sent the freshman to the locker room with a chest injury, forcing a temporary collective panic among the burnt orange faithful.
As Buechele walked into the locker room, his helmet was stored away for the next three drives while Tyrone Swoopes led the offense to two touchdowns before throwing his first interception in seven attempts this season.
Back came Buechele.
Following a few handoffs, a couple completions to Collin Johnson and a scramble away from pressure before wisely throwing the ball out of bounds, Buechele delivered a statement pitch-and-catch to Jacorey Warrick for the 41-yard touchdown bomb, hanging in the pocket and taking a big hit just after his release.
There was no hesitation from the 18-year-old following his first college rough up.
As simple of a play as it seemed for Buechele, who is already establishing a reputation as a pinpoint passer, it spoke volumes about the toughness he displayed throughout a night in which Buechele received his share of bumps and bruises.
“He has a lot of toughness to him,” Charlie Strong said of Buechele during Monday’s media availability. “The thing that impresses you about him, he just is one of those guys that he just has the confidence about him.”
The toughness to stand in the pocket and absorb another big hit on his first drive back in the game, the confidence to deliver a perfect deep ball in the face of pressure.
By the end of the night, Buechele would be sacked twice and get hit a total of seven times, most of which were fairly significant and often ended with two defenders atop the 6’2, 185-pounder. But in displaying the same toughness and confidence we can come to expect from Buechele going forward, he continued to pop back up and move on to the next play.
On the same night that we learned that Buechele is, in fact, human and does make mistakes as a true freshman typically does, we also caught a glimpse of the resiliency and toughness he displayed throughout a performance that proved to be a humbling one for the ‘Horns.