The public mind games against opposing teams regarding the quarterback situation for the Texas Longhorns went to the next level on Thursday when head coach Tom Herman indicated that he might play all three quarterbacks on Saturday.
On Monday, Herman declined to say whether sophomore Shane Buechele or freshman Sam Ehlinger would start against the TCU Horned Frogs, then added junior Jerrod Heard to the mix late in the week.
“I would imagine that all three quarterbacks are probably going to play at one point or another,” Herman said.
Moved back and forth between quarterback and wide receiver due to injuries this season, Heard spent this week practicing at the quarterback position, Herman said.
The goal could simply be to force head coach Gary Patterson to spend preparation time going back and reviewing the plays that Texas ran with Heard in his package against San Jose State and USC. During those two games, Heard did attempt two passes.
And with freshman running back Toneil Carter out with a concussion, Heard would be the obvious choice in such a package — last week it was Carter behind center taking direct snaps.
The issue is that those plays didn’t work particularly well for Carter and Heard’s limited package puts as much pressure on Texas to execute and catch the defense off guard as it pressures TCU by introducing another blocker.
Texas hasn’t exactly found much success calling any type of trick plays this season, leaving a choice for the coaching staff. Continue calling them in an effort that one finally hits or focus on finding an identity and calling other constraint plays?
Heard obviously isn’t going to start, so the bigger question than his potential usage is whether it will be Buechele or Ehlinger. According to Herman, Buechele took most of the first-team reps this week, even though Ehlinger is cleared to play after missing the Baylor game with a concussion.
So Buechele is probably the favorite to start at this point, but it’s probably not worth reading too much into anything that Herman is saying publicly on the subject.