When Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown made the decision to bring in true freshman quarterback Tyrone Swoopes late in the fourth quarter vs. the TCU Horned Frogs, at first, I was livid with the decision. After all, the minute he stepped onto the field, his redshirt was burned. However, the more I think about it, the more I see that at this point in time, the Longhorns were forced to make the move.
Swoopes’ taking the field can only mean one thing: David Ash, who suffered two concussions earlier this year, must be out for the remainder of the season.
The Longhorns are one of just two teams (the other being the Baylor Bears) still undefeated in the Big 12 and, though at one point it seemed impossible, they still have a decent chance at winning the conference crown.
This team is actually coming together nicely after a horrendous start. New defensive coordinator Greg Robinson has worked a miracle in turning around the defense, and the offense is moving the ball and putting points on the board. However, they’ve been playing with fire where the quarterback position is concerned.
If Ash is indeed out for the rest of the year, and it’s looking more and more likely that this is indeed the case, then Texas cannot compete in the conference title race with just one experienced quarterback. Yes, Jalen Overstreet was an option at one point, but there must have been a reason that he moved to wide receiver and Swoopes took over the No. 3 spot just before the season began.
Case McCoy has done a solid job stepping into the starting role, but if has a bad game or gets injured, the Longhorns have to have someone under center that has at least some experience.
When it comes to the true freshman, Brown is in a lose-lose situation. If Case makes it through the season and Swoopes ends up being not needed, he’s reamed for unnecessarily burning his redshirt; if he chooses to protect Swoopes’ redshirt, and something ends up happening to Case, he’d get reamed for not giving him previous game-time experience.
At first, the decision to play Swoopes looked to be a terrible one, but if you step back and look at the Longhorns’ quarterback situation and realize they still have a conference title to fight for, they simply had to make this move, as difficult and unfortunate as it may have been.