AMES, Iowa — Charlie Strong would not say if he’ll change quarterbacks after Jerrod Heard turned in another uninspiring performance.
Strong did not he wouldn’t make the switch, either.
Here’s what Strong did say after Saturday’s 24-0 loss at Iowa State: “It’s not only the quarterback position, it’s all of them.”
For the second time in four games, Heard was benched and Tyrone Swoopes played the entire fourth quarter. Based on passing production, Swoopes would appear to have the edge if the job opens because — and this is admittedly a low bar — his incompletions look better than Heard’s incompletions.
Swoopes almost hooked up with Daje Johnson on a wheel route which would have netted Texas’ biggest play of the night had the throw not led Johnson out of bounds.
And had Marcus Johnson held onto a pass in the end zone on the final play, a shutout would’ve been avoided, just like when Swoopes connected with Lorenzo Joe at the end of a 50-7 blowout at TCU.
Again, those are low bars, but Heard’s passing line — 6 of 9, 26 yards, one interception — was ghastly.
Play-caller Jay Norvell said neither Heard nor Swoopes “was very confident.”
Norvell and Strong must know that if they start Swoopes they could, in effect, eliminate the effectiveness of Swoopes’ 18-Wheeler package, which is the best thing the offense has going. It’s unreasonable to think Swoopes could play dual roles of battering ram and drop-back quarterback.
To that end, Swoopes had 58 yards on 10 carries.
Lanning loose: Iowa State has its own quarterback controversy. Or at least it did before Joel Lanning supplanted Sam Richardson last week and made his first start on Saturday.
Lanning justified the switch with three long runs on third downs in the first half. He finished with 64 yards (82 before sacks).
“He’s a pretty good quarterback,” UT defensive tackle Desmond Jackson said. “I’ll give him that. He does a lot of things really well. We had six sacks in the game, and we could have had twice as many if we had just done our assignments.”
Lanning had a mixed night throwing, completing 19 of 37 attempts for 188 yards and a touchdown.
Lanning wasn’t the only Cyclone making his debut on offense; Todd Sturdy replaced Mark Mangino as play-caller.
Short yards: Several Texas players left with injuries, but most of them came back, including Malik Jefferson (stomach illness), Duke Thomas (head), Hassan Ridgeway and Peter Jinkens. Fullback Alex De La Torre got hurt and did not come back. Receiver DeAndre McNeal (ankle) didn’t make the trip. … Michael Dickson, the Big 12’s special teams player of the week, had another strong game, averaging 45.8 yards on nine punts. Three of his nine punts went for 50 yards. … ISU’s Mike Warren ran for 157 yards for his fifth 100-yard effort of his freshman season. He now has 954 yards, leading all freshmen.
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