So, How Are The QBs Doing?

If Texas' spring training is any indication, RS-freshman QB Colt McCoy will trot out with the first-team offense -- but true freshman QB Jevan Snead will also work with the Ones -- during the Longhorns' annual Orange-White scrimmage at Royal-Memorial Stadium Saturday. But how close is the QB situation to being settled? Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis sized up the competition as spring drills draw to a close.

"They both have done good things and they both have made freshman mistakes," Davis said. "There were times this spring when both of them would have got hit with a blitz and fumbled, but there have been times when they both saw a blitz and really burned it. One of the things that we'll decide on is who is the most consistent, who takes care of the ball the best, who makes the most things happen with his feet, because both are accurate throwing the ball. But I don't know if we'll know that for a while."

It begs the question: how long is "a while"? The quarterback situation may be a little more unsettled than some realize. There may not be a clear-cut winner in this derby until after the Labor Day weekend home opener, Davis said.

"In a perfect world, everybody would like to have one (quarterback). That guy usually gets two-thirds of the reps during game week and he gets most of the game plan. But I don't know that we'll be there for Ohio State or even for North Texas."

Say what? The statement conjures up memories of the first half of the 2003 season when an unsettled QB situation contributed to the 4-2 start, including the home loss to Arkansas and the worst loss ever to Oklahoma. The difference is that McCoy and Snead will operate behind a much better offensive line, have more depth at RB, not to mention the presence of a superior defense than their counterparts had in 2003. What's more, Texas can run the same offense with both McCoy and Snead which, obviously, was not the case three years ago when the offensive identity shifted with whoever was lined up behind center.

"It's not like we have to have two different offenses," Davis said. "Both (Snead and McCoy) can do what we're asking them to do. They're both extremely bright guys. For Jevan Snead to come in here and get thrown into the situation that he's been thrown into, for him to function like he has to this point in the spring, I couldn't be more pleased. He has a really good arm and he's a really bright guy. Both of them have done well."

Davis recalled a conversation he had with earlier this month with Snead:

"This is really a fast game," Snead said.

"Yeah, it's a little bit faster than what you're accustomed to," Davis replied.

"These DBs really make up ground real fast," Snead continued.

"Yeah, they do," Davis said. "You've got to understand that these guys are really running."

As previously mentioned in this space, coaches threw more defensive looks and schemes at the QBs this spring than at any time during Mack Brown's nine-year tenure. They've also given the QBs a larger chunk of the playbook than typically implemented during spring football. Admittedly, it's information-overload but coaches wanted to observe the extent to which both QBs could assimilate the offense.

"We had to find out what they could grasp," Davis said. "We're real pleased with what they've grasped. When we get back in August, we'll trim it back some... Right now, we're doing most of the things we did last year. We're trying to do as many of the same things as we've done in years past. I do think the feature (play) will change, but we can function in many of the same ways that we have for the past couple of years."

There may not a significant variance in the play calling, but it may be quite a while before the offense approaches last season's record-setting productivity.

"We're not as explosive," Davis said. "A couple of times a game, especially in the big games, Vince (Young) went and got us an explosive play. We're not quite as explosive. We were in the stadium the other day scrimmaging and, when we evaluated every play after the scrimmage, we thought it was a really good play-by-play but we were not very consistent. We'd be offsides, and now it's first-and-15. That was not a big deal with Vince. We'd run the zone read and now it's second-and-normal. We're not at the point where we overcome things as easily, or as often, as we did. We'll be good in the offensive line. Our backs are good, our receivers are good. We expect to be good but, early, you'll hear me talk about 'consistency' and 'explosiveness'."

If there is, indeed, any appreciable separation between Snead and McCoy, then Davis ain't tellin'. He correctly observes that the first real indicator will be Saturday's Orange-White scrimmage. After all, it represents the first public viewing of the two QBs as well as the closest each has come to managing the huddle in a game-day atmosphere.

The bottom line for Davis: "I don't have any question that we can win with these guys. We can win with both of them."

Texas will practice in shorts Thursday and will take Friday off. Saturday's kickoff is set for 6 p.m. (Central) and will be televised by FSN Sports.

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