Yet another Texas Longhorns Orange-White spring game is in the books.
Yes, it’s just a spring game, so everything should understandably be taken with a grain of salt, but there were a few key takeaways worth noting.
Texas has four quarterbacks, but it doesn’t have its quarterback yet
Last season, the lack of depth in the quarterback room was a major concern, with just two scholarships options available in Shane Buechele and Sam Ehlinger, who split starts as the position was plagued by injuries. This spring, depth doesn’t appear to be an issue with a pair of four-star early enrollees in Cameron Rising and Casey Thompson joining the mix. Both made a handful of notable plays in limited second-half action.
But of course, the quarterback competition is a clear battle between Ehlinger and Buechele.
Co-offensive coordinator Tim Beck said just days ago that he doesn’t expect this battle to be decided until fall camp, and understandably so. Both quarterbacks made their fair share of quality connections, but each also missed on opportunities that Texas must capitalize on in hopes of taking the next step next season. For example, Ehlinger was a bit late in finding a streaking Humphrey down the sideline and consequently, Kris Boyd recovered in time to notch a pass breakup, and later, he missed an open Reese Leitao down the seam that would have been a gain of more than 30 yards.
Buechele overthrew what would have been a pair of touchdowns to a wide open John Burt.
Although each made plays, neither looked like the clear-cut starter of the group, and there’s certainly progress to be made from both prospective starters throughout the summer and on into fall camp. At this stage, Texas probably isn’t going to win many shootouts.
Although the stats were quite similar, Buechele looked to be a bit more polished as a passer, as expected, while Ehlinger predictably made more on an impact outside of the pocket as a scrambler.
Ehlinger completed 13-of-22 attempts for 151 yards as the starter. Buechele connected on 12-of-21 masses for 120 yards and one score. As far as the backups are concerned, Rising completed 6-of-9 attempts for 57 yards and flashed confidence and plenty of zip on his throws, while Thompson added another 88 yards on 5-of-9 passing attempts, and of course, made plays with his legs to the tune of 18 yards, despite a sack.
Lil’Jordan Humphrey is in for a special junior season, as is Collin Johnson
Lil’Jordan Humphrey was the most productive Longhorn on the field on Saturday night, and the only one to come relatively close was his running mate, Collin Johnson. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as spring practice reports have raved about the flashes these two have provided throughout the recent weeks, and on Saturday, the burnt orange nation got a glimpse of what that looks like inside DKR.
Humphrey was quite clearly Ehlinger’s favorite target, and the same can be said for Johnson with Buechele, as the latter pair connected for the game’s only passing touchdown in the first half.
Humphrey finished as the team’s leading receiver after hauling in seven receptions for 100 yards. More notably, he bolstered a struggling ground game with four carries for 14 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson, on the other hand, looked the part of an All-Big 12 performer. Not far behind Humphrey in the productivity department, Johnson pulled down six receptions for 91 yards and one score, and a couple of his catches were simply remarkable.
Regardless of which quarterback ultimately emerges as the starter, one thing is for certain: He’s going to have to premier talents at his disposal.
Texas awaits freshman Keontay Ingram’s arrival
Last season, Daniel Young, Kyle Porter and Toneil Carter combined for just 886 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Not much changed in the spring game.
Yes, it’s just a spring game, but the trio wasn’t anything to write home about during their lone public appearance before the 2018 season.
Carter, who fumbled his first carry of the game, totaled 25 yards and 10 carries, making for a 2.5 yards per carry average. Porter touched the ball just twice, netting a whopping four yards. On the Orange team, Daniel Young’s three carries produced 17 yards, as he saw Thompson (six carries, 18 yards) and Tim Yoder (four carries, 24 yards, 1 touchdown) each outperform him in limited reps.
As an entire team, the Longhorns racked up a mere 106 yards and three touchdowns on 39 attempts — 47 of those yards came from Ehlinger and Thompson, and all three touchdowns came from either Humphrey or Yoder, a walk-on.
Again, it’s just the spring game and reps were limited, but the early returns speak to why the Longhorns coaching staff has told incoming All-American freshman Keaontay Ingram to arrive on campus ready to compete for a starting job. And make no mistake about it: He’s more than capable of taking control of that role.
- Kicker Joshua Rowlandmade each of his two attempts, connecting from 29 yards and 50 yards.
- The pledge isn’t public just yet, but fUTure19 added another member tonight:
— Bʀʏᴀɴ Cᴀʀʀɪɴɢᴛᴏɴ (@BCarringtonUT) April 22, 2018
- The Longhorns had just eight scholarship offensive linemen available, so the starting unit remained on the field for much of the action. The group did allow a few sacks and committed a couple-drive killing penalties, so they’re clearly not where Herb Hand hopes to have them by September, but considering the among of reps put in, it was an improvement over last season.