University of Texas

Texas coach says freshman QB Shane Bueuchele will get playing time

Texas quarterback Shane Buechele (16) during Saturday’s spring game in Austin. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas quarterback Shane Buechele (16) during Saturday’s spring game in Austin. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) AP

Although he would prefer to have a starting quarterback named “way before the first game” of the season, Texas coach Charlie Strong said the battle between candidates Shane Bueuchele, Tyrone Swoopes and Jerrod Heard could carry well into fall drills.

Buechele, a freshman from Arlington Lamar who enrolled in January, turned heads in Saturday’s spring game by throwing for 299 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. Although the performance excited fans and media members, Strong stressed in a Tuesday conference call with Big 12 coaches that “the competition is still there at quarterback” but confirmed Buechele will see the field next fall.

“They’ll get the chance to see Shane,” Strong said. “I just don’t know how early.”

Buechele, son of Texas Rangers’ bench coach Steve Buechele, directed three of the Longhorns’ four touchdown drives in Saturday’s weather-shortened contest while completing 22-of-41 passes. Swoopes, a senior with 14 career starts, was four-of-16 for 71 yards, with two interceptions. Heard, who started 10 games last season, did not play because of a sprained shoulder.

Strong, who has a combined mark of 11-14 in his first two seasons at the school, identified improved play at quarterback as one of the highlights from the team’s spring session.

“At one time, you felt like you didn’t have anybody,” Strong said. “Now, I feel like we have three.”

Strong said Buechle’s comfort in the team’s new spread offense, which is similar to the one he ran at Lamar, has been evident.

“It wasn’t hard for him to come in right away and make those throws and put the ball were it needs to be put,” Strong said. “Since the day he stepped on this campus, he’s been a guy you know is going to be relaxed and patient. Nothing is really going to fluster him.”