Everyone knew Tom Herman didn’t have a magic wand to wave over the Texas Longhorns, but if there was going to be any immediate impact from his arrival it was assumed that the passing game would take off behind sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele.
But instead, the offense sputtered. In a devastating upset to Maryland, the Longhorns managed just three offensive touchdowns—one of which came in garbage time when the game had long since been decided.
The blame certainly doesn’t fall only on Buechele’s shoulders, but his inability to show any noticeable growth from last season does raise a red flag, especially considering the caliber of defense he was facing on Saturday afternoon.
Here’s a look at Buechele’s passing chart and some other notes from Week 1:
- Buechele was efficient on the shorter routes but, much like last season, the offense was limited to underneath passes or deep bombs. He attempted just eight throws in the intermediate range and didn’t attack the middle of the field at all beyond the 10-yard mark.
- While two of Texas’ touchdowns did come on the deep bombs, going 2-9 on deep throws is a frustrating number. It’s possible the issue is that Buechele doesn’t have a clear-cut go-to deep threat. His nine deep attempts were spread between seven different receivers. Only Collin Johnson received more than one deep target.
- Another stat to watch for Texas this season is Buechele’s rushing attempts. Even with sacks excluded, Buechele led the team in rushing yards (45) and attempts (10). Buechele is a good athlete, but he also isn’t the type of athlete you want to build your running game around.