AUSTIN — Following an offensive performance from two quarterbacks that rivaled anything the team could put together in 2015, offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert could have come out fully enamored with what he saw on the field. During his availability on Tuesday, he instead stressed his fast-paced, veer-and-shoot unit has room to work.
“It’s the first game,” Gilbert said. “We’ve got a lot of football left and a lot of first downs left. Whatever situation or scenario we feel is going to give us the best opportunity to win and have the outcome we want at the end of the day is what we’ll do.”
Gilbert told the media last week “we’ll call it, and they’ll ball it.” His quarterbacks did just that, accounting for three touchdowns on the ground via senior Tyrone Swoopes and three touchdowns from freshman Shane Buechele. Buechele went 16-for-21 with two touchdowns through the air, one on the ground and one interception, while Swoopes rushed 13 times for 54 yards and three scores, including the game winner in double overtime. Sophomore D’Onta Foreman accounted for the other touchdown on a 19 yard rush.
Gilbert gave glowing reviews to both of his quarterbacks, noting that Buechele has room to grow from his breakout performance.
“Just like the fact that he executed and did a lot of things well that we asked him to do,” Gilbert said. “Just like I said, any time, especially when you’re young, you have a lot of room for growth and a lot of room for improvement.”
Gilbert got specific about what Buechele, who is listed as the starter on the depth chart, can do before UTEP comes to town.
“Just continue to know exactly what we’re doing schematically,” Gilbert said. “Being able to know fast. Just continue to be better in every phase as a quarterback.”
Gilbert heaped praise onto his senior as well.
“He’s a big strong athlete,” Gilbert said about Swoopes. “He’s highly, highly competitive. He’s a great person. We knew we had a really good feeling about the things we wanted to do with him.”
As an offensive unit, Gilbert said there is one thing his team needs to focus in on before taking the field against the Miners.
“Trying to eliminate penalties,” Gilbert said. “Being able to execute and being able to make sure that we execute the things that we practice every day fundamental wise, technique wise, and scheme wise. There were times we were a little inconsistent with that.”
At the same time his quarterbacks showed poise under pressure, Gilbert did as well. Gilbert said he did not have any pregame jitters, but he appreciated the situation he was coaching in.
“It was special,” Gilbert said about the atmosphere. “It was special. It was electric. Y’all can probably quote the number of people in the stands. I know it was a lot. Just unique, special, and a great opportunity at home to start right here at the University of Texas.”