Connect with us

Texas Longhorns Football

Quarterback Controversy In Austin? Are You #TeamBuechele or #TeamEhlinger?

Published

on

With the USC game now in the rearview mirror, the bye week hits a perfect time for the Longhorns as they heal up and prep for conference play. Last Saturday’s thriller in the Coliseum against the Trojans featured a future first round pick in Sam Darnold and the potential future at the quarterback for Texas in Sam Ehlinger.

With Shane Buechele limited in practice for the second straight week, it was Ehlinger who took the field again once again to lead the Longhorn offense in their primetime matchup in Los Angeles after previously logging a successful start against San Jose State. Needless to say, the degree of difficulty was ratcheted up a notch in Ehlinger’s second start and the stage this time around was a long way away from the friendly confines of DKR.

While the offense stalled most of the night and often suffered from self-inflicted wounds, Ehlinger engineered a clutch final minute, go ahead touchdown drive that was capped off by a touchdown pass to Armanti Foreman. When you talk about a player being clutch and having ice water in his veins, those are the moments you are talking about. The offense had been stagnant and frustrating up until that point, but in spite of all that occurred Ehlinger found a way to will his team down the field with time ticking down and there being minimal room for error.

While the final score ended up being in favor of the Trojans last Saturday, that wasn’t a bad way for Ehlinger to introduce himself to the college football world.

So three games into the season we have seen both Buechele and Ehlinger take starter snaps, and the debate is already raging on who should be the starter coming out of the bye week against Iowa State. It wouldn’t be Texas football without a good old fashioned quarterback controversy.

Lets take a look at the two signal callers and what they have to offer.

Shane Buechele (sophomore):

Stats: 13 starts, 270/443 passing for 3333 yards (60.9 %, 7.5 Y/A), 23 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 111 carries for 161 yards (1.6 YPC), 3 touchdowns

Pros:

  • Holds the experience edge by a long shot with 13 starts and is still early in his development being only a true sophomore.
  • Solid accuracy as a passer.
  • Has shown to have good touch on deep passes.
  • Mobile enough to escape pressure in the pocket.
  • Has shown he is capable of mentally processing things quickly.
  • Has shown that he can come up big when the lights are bright (Notre Dame, 2016)
  • Tough kid. Has taken a good number of shots early on in his career, but he gets up and keeps looking for more.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t seem to be a fit scheme wise for the offense due to his inability to be a factor in the run game.
  • Not going to hurt a defense when he has to tuck the ball and run. Might be able to pick up a few yards, but is a guy that is strictly north and south as a runner and doesn’t possess wiggle.
  • Lack of zip on some passes can get him into trouble. Doesn’t have the arm strength to get away with balls that are late coming out of his hand.
  • Has shown a tendency to self-sack by fleeing the pocket before he needs to or by drifting into pressure.
  • Has been banged up a lot in a short amount of time and that could be attributed to him having a less than ideal frame. He’s gotten up from his fair share of hits, but is often dinged because of it.
  • Does a lot of things well, but doesn’t possess any elite tools, which ultimately limits his ceiling as a player.

Sam Ehlinger (freshman):

Stats: 2 Starts, 36/67 passing for 520 yards (53.7%, 7.8 Y/A), 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 26 carries for 58 yards (2.2 YPC)

Pros:

  • Possesses the skillset that is the ideal fit for what the staff wants to do offensively. A credible run/pass threat when under center.
  • Has the frame and toughness to be featured in the QB run game and excelled at this aspect during his high school career.
  • True dual threat ability. Mobile enough to buy time for himself and can also tuck it and run to gain positive yardage.
  • Possesses a strong arm and you will see him use it to take some chances. Has a gunslinger mentality.
  • Showed on the big stage in LA that he can make plays and be clutch when the chips are down on the table. Engineered a clutch final minute drive that would have gone down in Longhorn lore had the lead held up.
  • Like Buechele, Ehlinger is a gritty, tough guy. His toughness will never be in question and his teammates will gravitate towards him.

Cons:

  • Lacks experience and it has showed in both starts thus far. If you decide to ride with him be prepared to take youthful lumps like last year with Buechele.
  • No risk it no biscuit. Ehlinger’s going to take chances, so be prepared to live and die with the results. Has some Brett Favre to his game with how he operates under center and that’s both good and bad.
  • Missed most of his senior season due to injuries, so manufacturing a run game outside of his run game will be very important. Important that he isn’t logging a ton of carries even though he did that often at Westlake.
  • Ball security. Was credited with two fumbles against USC, including a big one on the goal line that changed the game.

Summary

While some think this debate is a clear cut and dry case, at this point I can see credible cases made for either guy. While it’s fair to say that Ehlinger won over a lot of people with how he performed against USC, it could also be said that Ehlinger never actually beat out Buechele coming into the season. A healthy Buechele is likely making the start against San Jose State and USC, thus it seems fair that he is back under center as the starter once he has a clean bill of health.

One of my biggest gripes in this entire debate is that I feel folks have been way too quick to try to bury Buechele despite it still being early in his development. This is his second system in two years and he only has one start under his belt due to getting dinged up against Maryland. Shane probably knows now more than ever that his rope probably won’t be as long with Ehlinger lurking over his shoulder and there is the possibility that the threat of replacement elevates his game.

My biggest concern for both Buechele and Ehlinger is that the run game has been inconsistent at best and in two of the three games this year we’ve seen the offensive staff absolutely refuse to give Chris Warren the touches the offense needs. On top of that, both quarterbacks will not have the luxury of having Connor Williams locking down the blind side, which is probably the most crucial issue the offense is facing right now.

Tom Herman and his staff are in a very interesting position right now, as they try to figure exactly what they want to be offensively. While the defense seemed to finally turn a corner against USC, the offense will need to hit its stride if Texas wants to have a chance in a conference that puts up a ton of points.

Where do you stand on the quarterback topic? Are you #TeamBuechele or #TeamEhlinger?

Leave a Comment via Facebook
Advertisement a target="_blank" href="https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=518332&u=853570&m=42812&urllink=&afftrack=">Shop Texas Longhorns Sideline Apparel
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Texas Longhorns Football

Top Plays: Texas vs. Baylor

Published

on

Photo: John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns held on to beat the Baylor Bears 23-17 last Saturday in Austin to win their sixth straight game, improving to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in Big 12 play.  Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger left the game with a shoulder injury on the opening drive and was replaced by junior Shane Buechele. Buechele, who saw his first action on the field since the Longhorns’ bowl game against Missouri last December, finished 20-34 with 184 yards and one touchdown.  True freshman running back Keaontay Ingram surpassed the century mark on the ground, the first in his career, amassing 110 yards on 19 carries.

Texas scored all of its points in the first half and held a 23-10 lead over Baylor at the half. The Bears scored a touchdown in the third quarter to cut the lead to 23-17 and held possession of the ball on the final drive of the game. Todd Orlando’s defense held steady as Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer was pressured and threw a last-effort pass out of the Texas end zone as the game clock expired.

Place your vote for Texas’ top play in the win over Baylor.

Shane Buechele’s 44-yard TD pass to Collin Johnson (4:21 – 2nd quarter)

 

LJ Humphrey’s quarterback keeper for a TD (1:12 – 2nd quarter)

 

Caden Sterns intercepts Charlie Brewer (:44 – 2nd Quarter)

 

Texas defense pressures Brewer on final play of the game (:01 – 4th quarter)

 

Vote for your Top Play below.

What was Texas' Top Play in the win over Baylor?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Leave a Comment via Facebook
Continue Reading

Big 12

Texas Football 2019 full schedule released

The Longhorns host LSU at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 7

Published

on

Photo: USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 Conference released the 2019 football schedules for all ten conference schools on Thursday.  The Longhorns’ schedule includes three non-conference games, two of which are against teams from Louisiana. Notably, Texas will host the LSU Tigers on September 7th after a home season-opener against Louisiana Tech, and will complete non-conference play against former Southwest Conference opponent Rice at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Texas will host Texas Tech on Friday, November 29th, the day after Thanksgiving, to wrap up the season.

Full schedule can be found below.

2019 Texas Football Schedule

Aug. 31—Louisiana Tech
Sept. 7—LSU
Sept. 14—at Rice (NRG Stadium)
Sept. 21—Oklahoma State
Oct. 5—at West Virginia
Oct. 12—vs Oklahoma (Cotton Bowl)
Oct. 19—Kansas
Oct. 26—at TCU
Nov. 9—Kansas State
Nov. 16—at Iowa State
Nov. 23—at Baylor
Nov. 29—Texas Tech

Leave a Comment via Facebook
Continue Reading

College Football

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Baylor

Texas narrowly escaped with a victory against Baylor on Saturday, and there are several areas that the Longhorns must clean up to stay atop the Big 12

mm

Published

on

John Gutierrez, USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another close ballgame that came down to the final drive for Texas. The Longhorns found themselves behind the eight ball when Sam Ehlinger exited the game with an injury in the 1st quarter, and Baylor ended up giving Texas all they could handle. Regardless, Texas is now 6-1 and sits alone atop of the Big 12 conference standings. The Longhorns will gladly welcome the bye week as they prepare for the final stretch of the season. Let’s take a look at the good and the bad from a 23-17 win over the Bears:

The Good

Texas finally has a 100-yard rusher

For the first time in the Tom Herman era, Texas had a 100-yard rusher. Freshman Keaontay Ingram finished the afternoon with 110 yards on 19 carries. It’s hard to believe it had been 20 games since the Longhorns had someone surpass the 100-yard rushing mark, but it is only appropriate Ingram was the one to break the streak. Ingram continues to see an uptick in touches and has proven to be the best running back on the roster.

Collin Johnson continues to dominate

Texas now has a good problem on their hands. Collin Johnson is playing himself into position to be a potential high NFL draft pick, and I don’t think you will find many people who are upset about it. Johnson has cemented himself as a number 1 receiver after turning in another great performance on Saturday, hauling in 11 receptions for 132 yards and a touchdown. The biggest improvement he has made from his first two seasons is his physicality. Johnson has proven to be reliable going over the middle of the field while also also improving his ability beat corners off the line of scrimmage.

The Bad

Punting

It’s hard to find a lot of negative when you look at Ryan Bujcevski’s stat line: 47.8 yards per punt and 3 punts inside the 20. Unfortunately, the stats do not tell the full story. Texas continues to have major issues getting punts off in a timely manner, and I am beginning to think it is more on Bujcevski than the protection unit. The Aussie takes far too long to get the ball off his foot once he receives the snap. Baylor nearly had a block yesterday, and it is a minor miracle the Longhorns have not had a punt blocked this year.

Opening drive scores

The Texas defense has had a tough time stopping opponents on their opening drives this season. In the 7 opening drives opponents have had against the Longhorns this year, 5 have ended in either a touchdown or field goal. Todd Orlando has stressed the importance of starting fast on defense, but a trend has emerged.

Cameron Dicker comes back to earth

Cameron Dicker carried over his momentum from his game winner against Oklahoma, going 3 for 3 on field goals in the first half, including a 47-yarder to end the half. The second half was a different story. Dicker missed a 34-yard attempt late in the 4th quarter that would have given Texas a 9-point lead. He followed it up with a miss from 51 yards. It has been a roller coaster ride for Tom Herman as he tries to manage the punting and kicking unit, but it’s hard to expect anything less since he is having to trot out a true freshman punter and kicker.

The Ugly

Zero second half points

The Longhorns had 5 drives in the second half — 2 ending in punts, 2 in missed field goals and one with an interception. Similar to the Kansas State game, the Texas offense moved the ball at times in the second half but were hurt by the inability to finish drives. Tom Herman and the offensive staff have shown improvements in making halftime adjustments, but the staff failed to put Shane Buechele and the offense in a position to finish off drives against a Baylor defense that ranked at or near the bottom of the Big 12 in nearly every major statistical category.

Sam Ehlinger’s injury

Texas fans now have a greater appreciation for Sam Ehlinger after watching the offense try to operate for almost 4 full quarters without him. Shane Buechele is considered a quality passer, but he fails to bring the running dimension to the offense that Ehlinger brings. The Longhorn offense is built around Ehlinger, and if he were to miss any extended period of time, it would not be good. If he is healthy enough for Oklahoma State, he needs to play. The Texas offense is not good enough to plug in the backup and rest the starter, even against a team like Oklahoma State.

Leave a Comment via Facebook
Continue Reading

Texas Longhorns Football

Ehlinger’s MRI results show shoulder sprain

Published

on

Photo: USA TODAY Sports Images

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger left the Baylor game in the opening series after suffering a shoulder injury.  Ehlinger left for the locker room to be evaluated and was replaced by backup Shane Buechele.  He returned to the field but remained on the sideline with a headset on for the duration of the game.  The Longhorns, behind Buechele, held on to defeat the Bears 23-17 and improved to 6-1 overall on the season.

In his postgame media availability, head coach Tom Herman expressed uncertainty about the injury to his sophomore quarterback, who led the Longhorns to five straight wins before the injury.

“I think any time you hurt a throwing shoulder, my level of concern is greater than zero, but I don’t know enough. I’ve got to be educated more on it.”

Ehlinger’s MRI results revealed a first degree sprained shoulder, which is good news for the Longhorns, who travel to Stillwater in two weeks to face Oklahoma State.

Ehlinger has thrown for 1,534 yards and 11 touchdowns this season with just two interceptions. He has also rushed for 230 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Leave a Comment via Facebook
Continue Reading

Franchise Quest

Trending