Quarterback Roundup

Earlier this week, we reviewed all four quarterbacks who threw a pass in the Texas spring game. Here are five things that we learned.

* Case McCoy was the best quarterback

I don't think that statement would surprise anybody who watched the scrimmage, but the stats certainly reflected McCoy's dominance. He completed a pass in every situation (first and long, second and long, etc.) in which he attempted a throw. Every time he was able to get a pass off on third down, he converted. And on first-and-long, he was 2-for-2 for 53 yards and a pair of explosive plays. So he certainly did it all. Perhaps most importantly, he showed a willingness, on the third-and-22 play, to let his receivers go up and make plays on the ball. It's also hard to hold the sacks against him, as he might not have been sacked in a game that wasn't one-hand touch.

* But Garrett Gilbert was apparently the leader heading in

Before the game, co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite cautioned against using a player's spring game repetitions to gauge his place on the depth chart. But it was hard not to read between the lines when looking at the possessions given to each quarterback. Gilbert, McCoy and Connor Wood all received four possessions in the game. But while McCoy and Wood each received two possessions with the Texas (No. 1) team and two with the Longhorns (No. 2) team, Gilbert spent all four possessions with the first team. At the same time, freshman David Ash only had two possessions, both with the second team. That would seem to indicate that the talented youngster from Belton will

* Between them, Gilbert and Wood would make a heckuva quarterback

Gilbert continued where he left off a year ago, performing his best in medium and short situations. He had four passing attempts in those situations, completing 3-of-4 passes for 38 yards and two explosive plays. As I said in the Gilbert article, Gilbert's history shows that he can be effective when flanked with a running game, or just if the offense concentrates on keeping him out of long situations. On the other side, Wood thrived in long situations. He threw a whopping 11 passes on long situations on first and second down, completing seven for 73 yards and three explosive plays. Wood wasn't as effective on his other throws, completing 1-of-3 for 9 yards.

* McCoy, Gilbert and Wood all presided over scoring drives

If you look straight at the points generated by each quarterback's team when he was in the lineup, McCoy led two scoring drives totaling 14 points, Gilbert three drives worth 13 points and Wood one scoring drive that put up seven points. But Gilbert should really only get credit for 10 of those points, since the Longhorns scored three on the first drive despite the junior missing on both of his passing attempts. Instead, that field goal was set up by a big kickoff return and a strong run by Fozzy Whittaker. McCoy was also the only quarterback to lead the second team to any points, when he completed 5-of-5 passes for 61 yards and a touchdown pass on his second drive.

* We still have a way to go

Stats aside, the most important trait for a quarterback is leadership. That's why, in most quarterback battles, coaches are hesitant to hand the job over before the summer. They want their quarterbacks to earn their role as a leader in 7-on-7s and weight room work, often anointing the candidate who pulls the team together heading into fall camp. And Texas isn't any different. The competition will head on through fall camp, with the Longhorns probably naming a starter sometime around the week before the first game. And even then, that player better watch his back. After what happened last year, any failings could get a quarterback a quick hook.

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