Taylor Estes


Is there a quarterback controversy in Austin?

The HD staff - Jason Higdon, Taylor Estes and myself - had an hour-long conference call Friday to talk about the information we were hearing from our sources with regard to the Longhorns' QB situation because of all the conversation and questions we've been getting.


Here's what we're hearing about where freshman Shane Buechele and senior Tyrone Swoopes stand at this point:


There's no doubt all of us were told Buechele had the better spring adapting to Sterlin Gilbert's high-tempo offense, which uses its outside receivers' ability to line up as wide as possible and then stretch the field deep to spread out the defense and create mismatches to run the ball with a power spread.


The plan, all along, was to continue to involve Swoopes with some 18-Wheeler-type packages that helped Swoopes run for 6.1 yards per carry last year with 12 rushing TDs.


And we've heard that Swoopes has had a very good first week of fall camp, clearly determined to do everything he can to help his team as a senior leader who has endured a lot of ups and downs (mostly downs - and not all his fault) during his time at Texas.


And while we've heard Swoopes has had a very good first week of camp, we are not hearing that Swoopes has suddenly blown by Buechele in the race to become the starter.


We're hearing Buechele is still the favorite to win the job based on his quick decision making, quick release, accuracy, poise, maturity and competitive makeup. 


There are scrimmages Saturday and a week from Saturday that will be big determining factors on where everyone on the team is in their respective positions - including QB.


We've been told if Buechele lights it up in Saturday's scrimmage and clearly outshines Swoopes that he could be named the starter as early as next week. If Buechele doesn't clearly outshine Swoopes, next week's scrimmage would become the next determining factor.


There has been a consistent plan to play Swoopes in the 18-Wheeler package, and there has been some speculation that Swoopes could end up taking the first series of the Notre Dame game simply to take the pressure off of a true freshman in such a high-profile matchup.


But we're told - absolutely nothing has been talked about with regard to that, let alone been pre-determined at this point.


To summarize, we're hearing Swoopes has had a very impressive first week of fall camp - probably even better than most expected - but that Buechele has had a good week, too. We're hearing Buechele is still the guy to beat for the starting QB job and that the scrimmages Saturday (tomorrow) and next Saturday will be key factors in determining QB separation.



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