Texas might use a couple of quarterbacks this year, but it started true freshman Shane Buechele in its opener against Notre Dame on Sunday. And Buechele got off to a pretty perfect start in what became a terrific Texas win.
That's a 19-yard scoring strike to receiver Armanti Foreman, who made a really terrific catch on the left edge of the Irish end zone. It capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive to start off Buechele's career on which he was 4 of 5 for 42 yards and that score. On his next drive, Buechele threw what would've been an 85-yard touchdown pass, but receiver John Burt dropped it with nothing but grass in front of him.
Buechele wasn't done. He landed another deep ball to Burt later, and this time, Burt caught it for a 72-yard touchdown. Texas apparently loves the long ball.
So, yeah, there's a lot of quarterback hype coming here, and it's not unjustified.
Starting a true freshman at quarterback is always a risk, but there's reason to think Buechele might be worth it. He's not big, at 6'1 and 191 pounds, but he's got a rocket arm and clearly has the mind to calmly operate a fast-paced offense. The next review he gets at Texas that isn't positive will be the first. He's even a stud ping pong player, and it's a big deal when someone beats him.
Texas is really speeding up this year under new offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert. The Horns got in 11 plays in three minutes on Buechele's first drive, and he couldn't have looked more competent. Texas quarterbacks have made their share of mistakes over the last few years, and Buechele probably will make some, too. But he looked pretty seasoned in his debut, even going up against one of the country's most skilled defenses.
The Longhorns also have veteran quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, a superb athlete who's yet to quite put everything together as a passer. But Swoopes looked great as a power runner on Sunday, running 13 times for 53 yards and three touchdowns, including an overtime game-clincher.