A Second Look: Texas Longhorns Spring Football Game Review

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I was on the sideline for much of the Texas spring game, so I had a different viewpoint than those who watched it on Longhorn Network.

If I am on the field, I tend to shy away from publicly commenting on player performances until I have a chance to re-watch it on television, mainly because you get a much different and often times better angle from a TV standpoint than you do from field level. 

I decided to re-watch the Orange-White Spring Game over the weekend and wanted to share some thoughts I have after the second viewing.

1. Chris Warren will have a breakout season

Is it as big of a surprise to anyone else to think that Chris Warren was a third string running back last season? 

That kid had 18 total carries prior to Thanksgiving, only to set the Texas football record for most rushing yards in first career start for a freshman against Texas Tech. 

I don't have any doubts that Warren will have a breakout sophomore season.

By the way, this stiff arm ... most DBs in the country would bounce off of this.

http://youtu.be/5ItBNDuq-k8

2. Shane Buechele's awareness and poise was impressive

True freshman Shane Buechele has a sense of awareness on the field that Texas has not had for quite some time at the quarterback position. 

He is conscious of what is going on around him at all times when he is on the field - a trait that is so important for QBs.

Buechele is a true student of the game and it shows in his play. The offense coincidentally appeared to gel much better with him calling the snaps. 

While I believe Jerrod Heard may pose the biggest threat to him starting early in the season, I have very few doubts that Buechele is going to be special for the Longhorns' future.

3. Charlie Strong's relationships with his players

Charlie Strong has truly special relationships with his guys on the team. In seeing his interactions with the players, it's very clear he treats the guys like family.

This interaction with Kris Boyd is a perfect example of the type of relationships he has with his players.

http://youtu.be/uLNv3pjlvfc

I have always heard wonderful things from prospects and their parents about Strong. You can see why so many parents and guardians encourage their kids to play for him.

4. Tyrone Swoopes' performance was not as bad as the numbers revealed

I have a much different reaction to Tyrone Swoopes' performance after re-watching the game. 

Yes, he made some mistakes. Yes, he looked like he should be the backup during the game. And yes, he needs to be better if he is going to start his senior season.

But the receivers did not do much to help out Swoopes, starting with John Burt dropping a perfect pass that, if he catches it, would have been close to a 50-yard touchdown.

Swoopes' first "interception" would have been called incomplete if it was a regular season game, as you can see the ball clearly hit the ground.

https://admin2.scout.com/sites/default/files/2016/04/25/Spring%20Game%20...

There's only so much a quarterback can do if his receivers drop passes, and plenty of drops happened with Swoopes in the game.

While I do believe Buechele was the better QB on that day, I do not think the stat sheet tells the whole story of Swoopes' spring game performance.

5. Stand up players on defense looked better than expected

There's a lot of youth with the stand up players on defense, but the group looked to have improved since last season. 

The amount of talent in the secondary alone is so impressive, and it is still incredibly young.

Mistakes will be made, but all-in-all the future is bright with those guys.

6. The kicking game does not make you feel warm and fuzzy

Very little explanation is needed to back up this statement. The kicking game is a huge, huge question mark.

7. Was there seriously not a better photo of Swoopes to use for this graphic?

https://admin2.scout.com/sites/default/files/2016/04/25/Spring%20Game-%2...

Come on now.

8. Buechele vs. Swoopes time between plays

Buechele was able to get the ball snapped much quicker throughout the game when compared to Swoopes. Buechele averaged 10.9 seconds in between plays and Swoopes averaged 13.8 seconds.

This offense is about being fast and moving the ball, and in the spring game, Buechele did both better than Swoopes.

9. I would not want to be tackled by DeShon Elliott

DeShon Elliott has certainly lived up to his "The Kraken" nickname. 

You do not want Elliott to have this angle on you.

https://admin2.scout.com/sites/default/files/2016/04/25/Spring%20Game%20...

Rodderick Bernard is probably terrified here ...

https://admin2.scout.com/sites/default/files/2016/04/25/Spring%20Game%20...

... for good reason.

https://admin2.scout.com/sites/default/files/2016/04/25/Spring%20Game%20...

The Kraken

https://admin2.scout.com/sites/default/files/2016/04/25/Spring%20Game%20...

10. Offensive line has to clean it up

Six penalties were called on the offensive line, and four of those came from the first-string.

Offensive line penalties are drive killers. Teams that run this type of offense cannot afford too many penalties because it destroys the momentum of the game and the success of the offense as a whole.

It's spring ball so it isn't a dire situation right now. However, the offensive line has to clean up the penalties before the season.

11. Malik Jefferson Legacy

Longhorn Network analyst Ahmad Brooks said Malik Jefferson is going to leave a legacy at Texas and I 100 percent agree.

I always appreciate interviewing Jefferson because he handles himself so well. He is a very positive representation for Texas Football. 

Anyone who is paying attention to Jefferson and his career as a Longhorn is witnessing a legacy being built.

12. Charles Omenihu

Texas needs Charles Omenihu to have a big year. 

Omenihu has developed very well since he arrived last summer. In fact, he is one of the guys who really impressed me from what I saw from him and what I was told about him throughout spring football.

The skill players are in place on defense, now the guys in the trenches have to step it up. 

I personally believe Omenihu has a lot of upside and the defense really needs him to have a good season. 

13. I'll leave you with this ...

http://youtu.be/AWzBSa09kmA

Even though the pass wasn't caught, this play by Buechele was one of the most impressive plays of the game. The future looks bright for the true freshman.


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