Texas quarterback Shane Buechele (16) looks to throw during a spring NCAA college football game, Saturday, April 16, 2016, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Football

Orange-White spring game: Five key plays

Posted April 17th, 2016

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There were 110 snaps taken in Saturday’s Orange-White spring game.

Here are five that ended up making a big difference.

1. Takeaway

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Remember the ridiculous one-handed practice catch DeAndre McNeal made last season?

Well, McNeal nearly came up with another highlight grab on Saturday before Antwuan Davis made an ever better interception to take away a 50-plus yard completion. Replay showed the ball touched the turf before it landed in Davis’ lap, but, oh well, it was ruled a takeaway.

This was a good battle between guys fighting for playing time at their respective positions. Davis, now a junior, has lost ground to sophomores Davante Davis and Holton Hill, and McNeal is still searching for his first catch after a disappointing freshman season in which he slipped from camp star to obscurity.

2. Window shopping

Praise of Shane Buechele centers on some of the big throws he made, but he should also be given credit for a short pass he rifled threw a tight window to Lorenzo Joe to extend a TD drive. It went for 11 yards and illuminated the edge Buechele holds accuracy-wise over Tyrone Swoopes and Jerrod Heard.

Credit Buechele with quickly targeting Joe, who was uncovered at the line.

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3. Fadeaway

Buechele proved unflappable. The very next play after Kevin Vaccaro knocked Buechele to the ground — a no-no because QBs were to be limited from hard contact — Buechele struck back against the defense with a beautiful fade to Armanti Foreman in the short corner of the end zone.

Foreman, who is hoping to bounce back from a disappointing 2015 season, got the better of Holton Hill for the 27-yard catch.

Afterward, Foreman’s twin brother, running back D’Onta, said he’s expecting Armanti to put it together as a junior.

“He didn’t have the best season last year, but he’s still one of the best receivers on our team,” D’Onta said. “I believe that deep down in my heart.”

4. Stiff-arm

Running back Chris Warren goes about 250 pounds, which is about 60 more than the listed weight of safety John Bonney. Their encounter in the open field went about as expected with Warren using his off-arm to shuck Bonney aside on his way to a 51-yard touchdown.

The run was reminiscent of Warren’s physical superiority when he rumbled for 276 yards against Texas Tech on Thanksgiving.

Chris Warren III runs the ball during 2016 University of Texas Orange-White Game April 16. 04/16/16 Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Chris Warren III runs the ball during 2016 University of Texas Orange-White Game April 16. 04/16/16 Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

 

Between Warren and D’Onta Foreman (238 pounds), opposing defense would much prefer Texas throw the ball 40 times a game in 2016.

That’s unlikely.

“Let’s ride those big ole guys until we can’t ride ’em anymore,” UT coach Charlie Strong said after the game.

5. Blazin’ Burt

Sheroid Evans was no match for John Burt, who blew by the sixth-year cornerback and his twice surgically-repaired knee for the game’s fourth touchdown, a 65-yard strike from Buechele. Evans bit hard on a hesitation move by Buechele, the sort of mistake that is to be expected from someone who hasn’t played in a game since October, 2013.

After the throw, Buechele came to the sideline and was greeted by a hip bump from Heard, who sat out with a shoulder injury. Buechele then made his way to the bench and smacked hands with Burt, who will now focus all of his attention on the Longhorns’ track and field team. Burt, who competes in the 110-meter hurdles, qualified for the finals and finished ninth at the Texas Relays this month.

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