Garrett Gilbert won a four-way quarterback race, beating out Case McCoy, David Ash and Connor Wood for the starting position. Then Wood went and transferred, and after a mediocre opener — Gilbert didn't turn the ball over and threw a touchdown pass, but only completed 56.5 percent of his throws and the TD came via a screen pass that went for a big gain — Gilbert struggled against BYU.
After throwing two first-half interceptions, the incumbent was benched for a combination of McCoy and Ash. Then, despite headlines lauding the two quarterbacks, the running game took over and led the Longhorns to a come-from-behind victory.
That set up the duo's first start, against UCLA, and they completed 15-of-18 throws and managed the offense impeccably. For the year, the two have completed 25-of-32 passes (78 percent), a number that gets even more impressive when one takes out the fact that McCoy was 0-for-2 in garbage time in the season opener. Taking out the two non-essential throws, the two have put up an astounding 187.4 passer rating (Gilbert is at 113.1, for reference).
Then, during the bye week, the team announced that Gilbert had shoulder surgery and would miss the remainder of the 2011 season.
Now, the onus will be on whether McCoy and Ash can continue to execute at a high level as 1) more tape becomes available and 2) teams more familiar with the Longhorns' personnel dot the schedule. Right now though, it appears the future is pretty bright.
Quick Hit Analysis: The Texas quarterback play was excellent against UCLA. But without a larger sample size, and with only two healthy scholarship quarterbacks on roster, it's hard to rank the Longhorns' quarterback unit higher than above-average.