Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes celebrates with fans after beating Baylor at McLane Stadium in Waco on Saturday December 5, 2015. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Football

Notebook: Swoopes, Norvell put together winning formula

Pop pass a success in key fourth quarter drive

Posted December 5th, 2015

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WACO — In what may be their final games in their current roles, Jay Norvell and Tyrone Swoopes went out as winners.

The Texas play-caller and his quarterback enjoyed their finest moments in crunch time of Saturday’s 23-17 upset over No. 12 Baylor.

Twice, Norvell dialed up a nifty pop pass on third down, and Swoopes delivered on both of them. The end result was a field goal, and perhaps more importantly, the eating of 5:35 off of the clock.

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The genius of Norvell’s calls were in the details, as pass target Andrew Beck escaped undetected to the flat, and not up the field where the tight end typically goes on that play.

“It was just something we had been practicing for a while, just kind of keeping it for games like this,” Swoopes said.

Swoopes, who made his second start of the season, will enter his senior year presumably in another battle with Jerrod Heard, Kai Locksley, Matthew Merrick and possibly Shane Buechele.

Norvell is not expected to return as play-caller, a role he was not hired for and inherited only after Shawn Watson was demoted after week one.

“That will all get worked out in time,” Norvell said.

Staff changes: UT coach Charlie Strong said he’ll meet with his coaches “next week” to discuss their futures with the university. Many expect an overhaul on offense, but lately there have been critics calling for defensive coordinator Vance Bedford to be fired. Among them is former NFL running back Chris Warren, the father of Longhorns freshman Chris Warren III, who tweeted during the game “#VanceBedford you should be fired on the spot.” The Tweet has since been deleted.

Bedford has supporters, too, namely cornerback Duke Thomas.

“Coach Bedford’s the man,” Thomas said. “He’s a defensive guru. I don’t see anybody that can lead this defense the way he can and he’s Texas alumni, so he’s got pride behind his work.”

Last week, Bedford admitted he’s worried about his job security but that he always is. His unit finished the season as the worst in school history.

Short yards: Baylor was held scoreless in the first half for the first time since Oct. 29, 2011 against Oklahoma State. … Swoopes, who limped off the field, said he had a “dead leg.” Shiro Davis also left with an injury. … Strong called athletic director Mike Perrin, who last week was given the position full-time, “super and unbelievable.” … Nick Rose made 3 of 4 field goals, including a career-long 53-yarder before halftime. On the season, he was 13 of 17. …  For the eighth straight season, Texas finished without a 1,000-yard rusher. The closest was D’Onta Foreman, who missed the final two games with an injury and finished with 681 yards. The last Longhorn to run for 1,000 yards was Jamaal Charles in 2007. … In Foreman’s absence, Chris Warren had 382 yards in two games. … Let the record show that Texas was a 21-point underdog in this win.

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