Texas football coach Charlie Strong did not share his decision about a starting quarterback for the season opener during Monday’s conference call with Big 12 reporters, leaving the issue a mystery for a little while longer.
From all indications, Strong will wait until Sunday’s first series to tip his hand about whether Tyrone Swoopes, a senior with 14 career starts, or Shane Buechele, a freshman from Arlington Lamar, will take the first snap against No. 10 Notre Dame in Austin (6:30 p.m., WFAA/Ch. 8).
Either way, Strong stressed that both quarterbacks will play. Texas seeks to improve on last year’s 38-3 thumping at the hands of the Fighting Irish, which set the tone for a 5-7 season.
During the conference call, Strong said: “No, I have not decided on a starting quarterback for the Notre Dame game.”
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During a subsequent news conference in Austin, Texas officials did not distribute a depth chart for the Notre Dame game. But Strong made it clear that the Longhorns' eventual starter will learn of his status well before Sunday's kickoff. Everyone else, he said, will learn of his decision "when they take the field."
Swoopes, who has a 6-8 career record as a Longhorns’ starting quarterback, opened the season under center last year in South Bend, Ind. Buechele, son of Texas Rangers’ bench coach Steve Buechele, enrolled in January and was the star of the Longhorns’ spring game.
Buechelle threw for 299 yards and two touchdowns in that contest, which was shortened to two quarters because of inclement weather. Of the Longhorns’ four touchdown drives in that contest, he led three of them. Swoopes completed 4-of-16 passes for 71 yards in the spring game, with two interceptions.
Strong also downplayed concerns about his long-term job security after posting two consecutive losing records in his first two seasons in Austin: 6-7 in 2014 and 5-7 last year.
“You don’t dwell on it,” Strong said. “I’m not even worried about it. It’s not about me and I’m not going to make it about me.”