For just the third time this season, sophomore Shane Buechele will start at quarterback for the Texas Longhorns during Saturday’s Week 9 matchup with Baylor, Tom Herman announced during a media availability on Thursday.
Texas coach Tom Herman confirms that QB Shane Buechele will start vs. Baylor.— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) October 26, 2017
The news comes in the wake of Sam Ehlinger being sidelined as he goes through concussion protocol after the Oklahoma State game.
Buechele began his sophomore season as the Longhorns starting quarterback in Texas’ 51-41 loss to Maryland, completing 34 of 52 attempts for 375 yards and two touchdowns and an interception, but the performance came at the price of a bruised shoulder.
In his place, true freshman Sam Ehlinger notched his first career start in a 56-0 win over San Jose State before Buechele’s bruised shoulder kept him sidelined the following week against USC, as well.
Buechele did return to start against Iowa State, guiding Texas to a 17-7 win on the road, but an ankle injury once again paved the way for Ehlinger to lead the first-team offense against Kansas State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Now, after injuries opened the door for Ehlinger to take hold of the Longhorns offense, a finally healthy Buechele will once again be afforded the opportunity to do the same with Ehlinger missing his first game with a concussion.
Herman on Buechele: “The kid just wants to win. He wants to do his part to help his team win.”— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) October 26, 2017
Buechele briefly saw time in the Oklahoma game, as well, as Ehlinger suffered what appeared to be a head injury late in the fourth quarter and missed several plays. In his place, Buechele completed each of his two passes for eight yards, along with three rushes for three yards; an effort hampered by a sack.
Unlike against Oklahoma, though, if Texas loses its starting quarterback against Baylor — the starter being Buechele this time around — Tom Herman acknowledged the scarcity of healthy options to turn to.
“(Buechele’s) going to start. Le’s not be silly here,” Herman said after practice on Thursday. “The issue is going to be if he breaks a shoelace or sprains his ankle, who can we jog in the game? Is Sam cleared to go jog into the game and do that or is it going to have to be Jerrod?”