Herman gives update on quarterback, offensive line

Trenton Daeschner

Head coach Tom Herman met with the media for a second-straight day on Tuesday. Here are three notes from Tuesday’s practice.

Buechele helps Ehlinger in start against USC

Sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele — who was still nursing a bruised throwing shoulder — was forced to stand on the sideline for a second-straight game during Texas’ 27-24 double-overtime loss to USC on Saturday night. But that didn’t stop Buechele from contributing to the offense. On Tuesday, Herman praised Buechele for helping freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger from the sideline during the USC game.

“I thought that one of the best things I’ve seen from Shane in the nine months I’ve been here was how hard he coached Sam Ehlinger in the USC game,” Herman said. “During the game, (Buechele) was always by his side … He was Coach Buechele for that game.”

Herman also praised Ehlinger for the way he played in only his second start as a true freshman.

“For the circumstances that he was in, playing the defense that he was in and in the environment that he was in, he played well,” Herman said. “(It was his) second college football game, so there’s a lot of improvement still to go, but we’re happy with where he is.”

Quarterback saga continues

Tuesday provided no major updates about the Longhorns’ quarterback quandary. Herman said after the USC loss on Saturday and in his Monday press conference that Buechele would receive a majority of the first-team reps in practice if fully healthy. 

During Tuesday’s practice, Herman said Buechele took 60 percent of the reps with the first team, while Ehlinger took the other 40 percent.

“I thought both of them looked good,” Herman said. “I asked Shane toward the end of practice how he was feeling, and he said, ‘Coach, I feel good.’ We’ll continue to monitor his progress.”

Herman said redshirt junior Jerrod Heard did not take reps at quarterback during Tuesday’s practice and moved back to working with the wide receivers. With just over a week before the Longhorns play Iowa State on the road, Herman once again made it clear who the starter would be if he had to make an immediate decision.

“If we played today, yes, Shane would start,” Herman said. “But, tomorrow is a new day.”

Imade moves back to offensive line

Redshirt freshman Tope Imade arrived at Texas in 2016 as an offensive lineman, but he moved to the defensive line this past summer. On Tuesday, Herman said Imade is back working with the offensive line this week in order to try and provide the Longhorns more depth at the position group.

“That’s gonna be a crash course for him,” Herman said. “But he’s a big body that can — in an emergency, by next Thursday — hopefully get in somebody’s way.”

Herman said on Monday that the Longhorns only have five offensive linemen that he feels comfortable with playing in a game. The Longhorns’ depth issues on the offensive line have been well-documented up to this point.

Junior left tackle Connor Williams suffered a torn meniscus and sprained MCL and PCL in Saturday’s game against USC. Williams will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and has no timetable for a return. Redshirt junior right tackle Elijah Rodriguez is already out indefinitely with an ankle injury, and redshirt freshman guard Patrick Hudson is out for the year with a torn ACL.