Texas running backs Toneil Carter (left) and Daniel Young run off the field at the Denius Fields on April 10, 2018. AMANDA VOISARD / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT Football

Orange-White spring game: Four questions facing the Horns

Posted April 20th, 2018


Four questions facing Texas on Saturday night for the Orange-White spring game:

1. Which quarterback will look better?

Texas coach Tom Herman hasn’t named a starting quarterback yet, and nobody should expect an announcement this weekend. A breakout performance, though, could give Sam Ehlinger or Shane Buechele the upper hand as the Longhorns head into the summer. For what it’s worth, Buechele outplayed the then-freshman Ehlinger in the 2017 spring scrimmage, but Ehlinger generated more cheers — and groans — from fans during the fall. On Saturday, Buechele will have UT’s top receiver (Collin Johnson) and cornerback (Kris Boyd) on his Orange team roster.

2. Who will be the leading rusher?

Last year’s spring game was not a showcase for UT’s backfield since five of the six scholarship running backs were injured. Injuries, as well as fumbles, have been a problem this spring, too, but Daniel Young, Toneil Carter should play Saturday; Kyle Porter is out. Ehlinger qualifies as the Longhorns’ leading returning rusher from 2017, which says something about the backs since he gained only 381 yards last season. With Keaontay Ingram not yet on campus, will one of the returning running backs make a statement?


3. Will there be reason to feel confident about the kicking game?

Herman downplayed the kicking game’s importance at last year’s spring game, saying, “There’s kids they pull out of the stands that can make a field goal (or) PAT with nobody rushing and the game’s not on the line.” While that may be true, Longhorns fans would like to see more makes than misses on Saturday after UT was only 11 of 19 on its field-goal attempts in 2017. Texas signed kicker Cameron Dicker, but he’s still at Lake Travis High. That leaves the incumbent Joshua Rowland, Chris Naggar and Jack Geiger with opportunities to show off their legs.

4. The Longhorns will show up, but will their fans?

Last month, Herman didn’t see why Texas “should be any different” than the schools that draw large crowds for their spring games. And that was before SB Nation reported that Oklahoma (52,102) and Texas A&M (48,000) drew two of the nation’s largest crowds this spring. The weather forecast isn’t going to work in UT’s favor, but Texas also reported an estimated crowd of 20,000 last year when the weather was fine. (Albeit on a holiday weekend.) Will the allure of free entertainment at night be enough to draw fans to Royal-Memorial Stadium?

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