Football

Orange-White scrimmage: Our four pre-game questions — answered

Posted April 15th, 2017

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On Saturday morning, we asked four questions about the Orange-White scrimmage.

Here’s how they played out:

Texas Longhorns (7) Shane Buechele during the Orange and white spring football game at the Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2017 RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

1. WHO HAD THE LOOK OF A STARTING QUARTERBACK?

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Shane Buechele.

Tom Herman declined — fairly emphatically — after Saturday’s scrimmage to name Buechele his starter coming out of the spring. But really, if this was the grand audition, Buechele and Sam Ehlinger weren’t very close. From a numbers standpoint, it was Buechele. From an eye test standpoint, it was Buechele. He looked confident and comfortable with the first-team offense, threw for more than 300 yards and produced three total touchdowns, and seemed to have the firmer grasp of things.

Texas Longhorns (84) Lil’Jordan Humphrey catches the ball for a first down during the Orange and white spring football game at the Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2017 RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

2. WHICH RECEIVER GOT THE COACHING STAFF’S ATTENTION?

Collin Johnson, Lil’Jordan Humphrey.

Johnson, who had eight catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns, seemed to have a real connection with Buechele and made some very nice plays downfield. Humphrey, another tall target, made plays throughout the day. He caught passes over the middle for first downs. He made a nice touchdown grab. Reggie Hemphill-Mapps also had a good day. Jerrod Heard, Devin Duvernay, Armanti Foreman and John Burt all had up and down moments.

Texas Longhorns (11) Sam Ehlinger tries to pass against (46) Malik Jefferson during the Orange and white spring football game at the Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2017 RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

3. HOW DID THE DEFENSE LOOK?

Like a work in progress.

Texas looked strong up front, active at linebacker and up-and-down in the secondary. Defensive tackles Chris Nelson and Poona Ford had nice days, particularly Nelson, who harassed Ehlinger several times. Malik Jefferson lined up in the middle and stood out on a couple of plays, including a pass rush that forced Ehlinger into a third-down incompletion and a final-play stop of Toneil Carter at the goal line. Chris Brown, a freshman cornerback who redshirted last fall, ended up with the hit of the day (on Carter) and a turnover when he picked off Buechele.

Depth also remains a concern.

Texas Longhorns fans cheer as the enjoy the Orange and white spring football game at the Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2017 RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

4. HOW DID TEXAS FANS REACT TO THE NEW REGIME?

Enthusiastically.

There were plenty of reasons to show up — new coach, new offense, new defense, renewed hope and a billed quarterback battle, plus the weather was perfect. Texas, in a departure from past spring games, did not release an attendance number but we estimated it in the 20,000 range. “It’s certainly not where we want it to be,” Herman said. “There are teams across the country that are selling out their spring game and there’s not a seat in the house, but to see that many people here certainly exceeded my expectations. Hopefully they had a good time and at some point here in the very near future, we’re gonna have that thing 100-percent sold out as well.”

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