Texas offensive coordinator Tim Beck hasn’t told the players which quarterback will start against 12th-ranked Oklahoma. “We haven’t said anything to anybody about what we’re doing,” he said after Wednesday’s practice.
Oh, but it sure sounds like Beck is pushing all his chips in on freshman Sam Ehlinger.
Asked how Ehlinger played in a 40-34 double-overtime win against Kansas State, Beck launched into a laudatory monologue.
“Sam played well. Better than well. I thought he played very well,” Beck said. “He made a lot of plays. He played with a lot of passion, that’s the one thing. A lot of juice. He brings that to the offense, and I really like that.
“He still has to fix a few things,” he added. “You know what I told him? You play fast. That’s what I liked. He made a decision, and he lived with it — whether it was right or wrong. He probably had some throws that he could have thrown instead of running. But he played fast, and he made plays. I don’t want to take that away from him. I want him to continue to do that.
“When guys play hard, they put their foot in the ground, as coach (Tom) Herman says, they go really, really hard and good things happen.”
Ehlinger became just the third quarterback in UT history to throw for 300 yards and run for 100 more in the victory. The Westlake product now has his name alongside Colt McCoy and Jerrod Heard in the record books.
Beck even smiled a little bit when asked how he felt about Ehlinger running though a K-State safety in double overtime.
“Sure, absolutely. Love that,” Beck said. “Toughest guy on your team has to be the quarterback, because that’s the nature of your football team. Whether he likes it or any quarterback around the country likes it or not, they’re the leader because it says QB next to their name.
“When he can play like that, be a physical player and presence and play with a lot of juice and play fast, usually the offense is playing the same.”
Asked point blank if Ehlinger was the starter going forward, Beck hesitated and referenced sophomore Shane Buechele.
“I’m not down on Shane’s play,” Beck said. “I don’t think that Shane has played bad. Right now, Sam’s the hot name. I know all the media and fans and everybody feels he’s the guy.
“Our job is to win football games with the best guy out there,” he added. “Whoever that is, week to week, day to day, game to game is going to be the guy. Whoever moves the football is going to play.”
Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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