Coming off of a big victory against Notre Dame, Texas brought some of the biggest offensive contributors to the win to speak to the media on Monday, including a running back who had a big day on the ground, a receiver with a big day of his own and two gunslingers with two entirely different roles.
Foreman talks offense coming off win against ND
As one of the two “Smash Brothers” that line up in the Texas backfield, junior D’Onta Foreman has a good idea of what is effective in opening holes up for him and sophomore Chris Warren. According to Foreman, one way is to snap the ball before the defense is prepared. Foreman said the offense did this regularly against Notre Dame in their 50-47 double overtime victory.
“A lot of times, I feel like we caught them off guard,” Foreman said. “They didn’t know what we were going to do. They weren’t lined up. We knew they got their calls from the sideline and tried to line up to us.”
Foreman, who went for 134 yards on 24 carries with a touchdown, talked recently about how he improved his ability to read the safety this off-season. When he was asked if that preparation helped him against the Irish, he said he did not need to pick up the safeties as often as he thought.
“They really didn’t blitz us as much as we thought they would,” Foreman said. “[Shane Buechele] pretty much, even when they did come, did what he wanted to with the ball.”
Foreman praised his freshman quarterback, but also spoke very highly about his senior quarterback, Tyrone Swoopes.
“I love seeing Tyrone run the ball,” Foreman said. “Last year the 18-Wheeler package was effective. It was effective last night. I don’t really have a problem at all. I love seeing him run the ball. I like that guy. He runs hard. Lot of positive energy. He helps the team.”
For Foreman, preparation for this game was key. He said the competition at almost every position during fall camp is what made his team believe they were capable of pulling off the upset.
“We had a lot of competition and people really had to go out there and compete,” he said. “It really helped us come together as a team. Like you said, coach Strong has ‘believe’ posted everywhere, in the halls, in the locker room and stuff like that. That’s all we were saying on the sideline, just believe we can win this game and we pulled it out.”
Burt praises effort, support of his teammates
Sophomore receiver John Burt came into his second campaign knowing other teams would prepare for his deep threat abilities. Although Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said he was surprised by Texas’ speed on the outside, nothing about Notre Dame surprised him.
“I wasn’t really surprised by anything that they did because looking at the scouting reports and all that, we knew how they were going to align,” Burt said. “We went out there and did our thing and it worked.”
Burt caught six balls for 111 yards and one score. He dropped a ball that he would have likely taken into the end zone if he had held onto it. While it could have been easy for him to get down, his quarterback would not allow that.
“[Buechele] came up to me and said ‘keep your head up. There’s going to be more coming,’” Burt said. “He was one of the first ones to come over and say it’s alright, don’t worry about it, there will be more chances.”
Burt said Buechele’s personality allows the team to have faith in his ability to lead at quarterback as a freshman.
“Just hanging out with him and seeing how good a kid he is, he’s got that attitude about him,” Burt said. “That optimism he brings, and that energy to everybody that he hangs around with.”
He had to have faith in Buechele’s ability to throw the deep ball, as evidenced by his 72 yard touchdown reception. He also had faith in the gameplan of his offensive coordinator, Sterlin Gilbert.
“Our gameplan was really simple,” Burt said. “There was nothing different that we put in this week as opposed to what we’ve been running when they got here in the spring. There were no installs. There were no game time changes that were made. It was our offense. There’s nothing else that we’re going to need to add or adjust anything. Our offense is our offense. We’re going to run it and we’re going to run the plays we’re going to run.”
Swoopes and Buechele talk about breakout performances
While the question of who the starting quarterback would be was the hottest subject surrounding the Longhorns prior to their season opener, both senior Tyrone Swoopes and freshman Shane Buechele were busy preparing for their distinct roles. Swoopes, the driver of the 18-Wheeler package, and Buechele, the freshman with a grasp on the offense, both were focused on what they needed to do, especially after Buechele was named the starter.
“Saturday night,” Buechele said when asked when he found out. “I thought it was Saturday whenever he told my mom. It was cool being there whenever he told my mom.”
Buechele said that from the moment he stepped on the Texas campus last January, he knew he had at least a shot at being the starter.
“I always knew I was going to be able to compete for it,” Buechele said. “Just being able to compete, I was very thankful for that coming in. It was a great competition with the quarterbacks. It’s going to continue being a competition.”
Although Swoopes did not take the first snap, he was not discouraged. He said he knew he would have a chance to help the team and he made sure he did not give up.
“That’s just the way I was raised,” Swoopes said. “Not to give up on anything when you start something. That’s how I am, how I was raised and how I’ll continue to be.”
Swoopes, who scored the game winning touchdown in the second overtime, does not remember the historic play.
“I don’t even remember really,” Swoopes said. “I saw the playcall and after that it was blackout almost until I woke up on the bottom of the pile. It was just a good play by the offensive line. I’ve seen a couple videos. They moved guys around. We just made a big play at the end.”
Both quarterbacks expressed similar sentiments about their team’s effort.
“It was a great team win, and we’re really excited we came out with the win,” Buechele said. “We have to go into week two and kind of forget about this. It was a great win, but we’re going into week two and start preparation today and tomorrow.”
Swoopes relayed a similar thought.
“It’s always a good feeling when we win,” Swoopes said. “The whole ‘Swoopes, there it is’ and all that other stuff is great, too. It was just a great team victory and hopefully we can put more like that together and have a great season.”