Texas has plenty of questions to answer as it prepares to host San Jose State on Saturday afternoon after a disappointing opener. The status of starting quarterback Shane Buechele, who was injured but finished the 51-41 loss to Maryland, might be the biggest one.
Buechele has a bruised throwing shoulder, did not practice Tuesday and would be evaluated during the week, first-year coach Tom Herman reported Monday. “If he can play (Saturday) not to the detriment to his team, then he’s going to do that.” Herman said. The Spartans are also trying to solve the quarterback question. Redshirt freshman Montel Aaron came off the bench in both of the Spartans’ games to replace starting sophomore Josh Love.
TV: 3:30 p.m., Longhorn Network. LINE: Texas -23.5.
ABOUT SAN JOSE STATE (1-1): Love (22-of-45, 220 passing yards, two TDs) threw three interceptions in an 42-22 opening week loss to South Florida and was pulled after four scoreless possessions last week. Aaron (18-of-30 for 269 yards, four TDs, no INTs this season) was backed by Zamore Zigler’s 100-yard game in the 34-13 win against Cal Poly. Bailey Gaither has nine catches for 156 yards and three scores while linebacker Frank Ginda leads the Spartan defense with 30 tackles.
ABOUT TEXAS (0-1): Freshman Sam Ehlinger will get first team snaps in Buechele’s absence and quarterback-turned-receiver Jerrod Heard will split time between the two positions and lead the second team offense. Texas rushed for 98 yards in the loss, getting 31 yards from Chris Warren III and 21 yards and a score from Buechele (375 yards passing and two TDs). The Longhorns held Maryland to 3-of-11 on third down but allowed 482 yards — including four touchdowns of at least 20 yards — and had a field goal blocked and returned for a score.
1. Texas had zero non-offensive touchdowns during the 2016 season and recorded three — interception return by Holton Hill, a blocked field goal return by Hill and a 91-yard punt return by Reggie Hemphill-Mapps — in the 2017 opener.
2. Texas has never played San Jose State but is 13-1 against teams from the current Mountain West Conference.
3. Former Texas offensive assistant coach Andrew Sowder is in his first year as the Spartans’ offensive coordinator.
PREDICTION: Texas 49, San Jose State 28