If you haven’t heard the name Tyrone Swoopes before now, there’s a good chance you may be seeing and hearing more from him in the fall. The sophomore quarterbacked the Texas first-team offense in the Longhorns’ annual Orange-White spring game on Saturday
, and looked fairly good doing it.
Substituting for the injured David Ash, Swoopes completed 17 of 30 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Texas team to a 38-14 victory over the Longhorn unit, made up of the second-team offense and first-team defense.
The was new head coach Charlie Strong’s first spring practice in Austin after replacing longtime Longhorn coach Mack Brown after the 2013 season.
Senior running back Malcom Brown, Texas’ leading ground gainer in 2013, rushed for 82 yards on 20 carries and tallied two running touchdowns on the day. The Longhorns No. 2 running back a year ago, Jonathan Gray, did not play in the annual spring scrimmage.
The Texas squad scored on an 20-yard interception return by safety Mykkele Thompson of a pass from Longhorn QB Miles Onyegbule to tie the score at seven apiece late in the opening quarter. Swoopes and the Texas team went on to score on six straight possessions after that.
Onyegbule, whose natural position is tight end or wide receiver, competed five of 10 passes for 60 yards.
Swoopes started the game completing just two of his first nine pass attempts for a total of nine yards. He found his groove after that, however, going eight of 10 on his next 10 throws. Six of Swoopes’ passes were completed to senior wide-receiver Jaxon Shipley, one of which went for a 44-yard touchdown strike.
Both quarterbacks were sacked four times, although rules of the spring game prevent tackling the quarterback. This could signal a potential problem on the offensive line for the 2014 season.
Asked if he has some concerns about the quarterback position, given starter David Ash’s foot injury, Strong said: “It is a key position, and when you look at the quarterback position, it is one that is going to get a lot of praise and it’s going to get a lot of criticism. You look at it because you team isn’t going to go until your quarterback goes. So we have to get better there whether it be David or whether it be Swoopes. Whomever it is at that position, we are going to have to play better to be better.”
Overall, the new Texas head coach was pleased with what he saw from his team this spring. “Everybody is still working hard, and everybody is getting better,” Strong said after the spring game. “I’ve seen effort that I haven’t seen before since I’ve gotten here. Everybody is just giving effort, effort, effort.”