Texas quarterback Shane Buechele heads into opening game with a lengthy leash

Posted August 28th, 2017


A familiar face will (probably) lead Texas’ offense on Saturday.

On Monday, sophomore Shane Buechele was listed as the starting quarterback on UT’s initial depth chart. The ho-hum announcement — tucked away on Page 16 of a weekly packet of notes distributed by the school — was unsurprising. There had been hints throughout the offseason that Buechele would start.

Tom Herman, however, would not commit to Buechele. Texas’ head coach even corrected a reporter who referred to Buechele as UT’s starter against Maryland. Interjected Herman: “Shane is the starter today.”


The job appears to be Buechele’s to lose. Herman said if Texas had played Monday, the Longhorns would not have trotted both Buechele and freshman Sam Ehlinger onto the field. The plan is for Buechele to take all the snaps. UT still has a few practices scheduled before Saturday, though.

“Again, around here, if the receiver goes out and has three really bad practices, the backup is going to probably play a little bit more,” Herman said. “We’ll know more towards the end of the week. But if we were to play today, Shane would play the whole game as long as he’s playing well.”

Buechele threw 21 touchdowns last season, and his 2,958 passing yards set a freshman-year standard at Texas. Ehlinger, a four-start recruit from Westlake, has pushed Buechele for playing time throughout the offseason.

Safe and sound: According to Herman, Texas has just over 20 football players from the Houston area. He reported that none of his players have families who were placed in a disastrous situation by Hurricane Harvey. All the players had checked in with their loved ones, and “everybody is safe.”

“I think the fact that we do have this bit of an escape to come to the facility and kind of get away from the real world for a few hours is welcome,” Herman said. “But especially now that I know that our players’ families are safe, I mean, what our guys are going through is nothing compared to what the residents of the city of Houston and the surrounding areas are going through.”

Texas coach Tom Herman calls out DB Chris Brown and gives him a high-five at practice on July 31, 2017 at Frank Denius Fields. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Injury update: Chris Brown (ankle) won’t play against Maryland, and fellow freshman defensive back Eric Cuffee (forearm fracture) will likely be sidelined. Herman listed second-string center Terrell Cuney as probable after the junior sprained his ankle while slipping on some stairs. Herman also said that defensive lineman Andrew Fitzgerald and offensive lineman Garrett Thomas are also out.

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