Football

Feeling healthy, Texas QB Sam Ehlinger will start vs. Oklahoma State while others won’t

Sophomore quarterback was able to practice all three days this week, should be ready for the Cowboys

Posted October 25th, 2018

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Story highlights
  • Herman on Ehlinger: “I would expect, barring any setbacks, that he’ll be ready to go.”
  • Ehlinger has started every game this season as No. 6 Texas won six straight.
  • CB Davante Davis, CB Kris Boyd, WR Lil'Jordan Humphrey will not start vs. OSU.

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger’s injured right shoulder was sore at times this week but he practiced all three days and will likely start against Oklahoma State.

“I would expect, barring any setbacks, that he’ll be ready to go,” coach Tom Herman said after Thursday’s practice.

“He’s thrown the ball great,” Herman added. “He’s led the offense great this week in practice. We’ll know more when he gets dinged around a little bit. But as of now, he looks no worse for wear.”

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UT quarterback Sam Ehlinger, right, talks to quarterback Shane Buechele after a stalled Longhorn drive in third quarter against Baylor at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday October 13, 2018. [JAY JANNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Ehlinger did not throw last week and rested his sprained right throwing shoulder. The injury was initially suffered on the opening drive against Baylor on Oct. 13. Texas was idle last weekend.

Ehlinger eased back into things by first throwing a Nerf football and then a real football. The medical staff bumped up Ehlinger’s workload by midweek. Outside of feeling tired arm, Herman said, the quarterback told coaches he felt fine.

Herman stressed to Ehlinger the importance of being honest about his pain level. “Being a tough guy and going out there and taking one for the team is actually more detrimental to the team,” Herman said.

Ehlinger has started every game this season as No. 6 Texas (6-1, 4-0 Big 12) ran up a six-game winning streak. A win Saturday over Oklahoma State would be UT’s seventh, the school’s longest winning streak since 2009.

“Cautious optimism is kind of the phrase I’ve heard from time to time,” Herman said. “He had something like that in high school, too, he said. Once he gets hit for the first time and pops up and says that wasn’t too bad, I think it will be easy for him to get in a rhythm and a flow.”

Offensive coordinator Tim Beck said Wednesday that whoever starts at quarterback, be it Ehlinger or backup Shane Buechele, the offense would not change. UT’s offensive system includes multiple quarterback run plays, usually off tackle.

Others will sit: Herman said cornerbacks Kris Boyd and Davante Davis and receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey — all three key contributors — will not start against the Cowboys after being late to a team function. All are expected to play at some point on Saturday, though.

“Nothing ridiculously serious,” Herman said. “All three of them were late to a team function, and we’ve got standards around here about being on time and they understand that.

“I want to make sure that nobody thinks they’ve done anything too egregious,” he said. “But there is a standard around here that is unwavering. They understand it. They’re apologetic and they’ve all three had really good weeks of practice. They’re champing at the bit to get in.”

Herman said the Longhorns could deploy freshmen Anthony Cook and Jalen Green or redshirt freshman Kobe Boyce early in the game defensively.

The Horns have multiple options at receiver. Humphrey has a team-high 576 receiving yards and four touchdown catches.

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

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