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Texas Burns Redshirt Of QB Swoopes

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Quarterback David Ash (concussion) may not return the rest of the season. Will Texas stick with Case McCoy, or could the Longhorns turn to freshman Tyrone Swoopes down the stretch? Photo by George Frey/Getty Images.
Quarterback David Ash (concussion) may not return the rest of the season. Will Texas stick with Case McCoy, or could the Longhorns turn to freshman Tyrone Swoopes down the stretch? Photo by George Frey/Getty Images.

Buried after a three-hour storm delay and near the end of a 30-7 blowout win against TCU, coach Mack Brown decided to burn the redshirt season of freshman quarterback Tyrone Swoopes.

It was interesting timing for the Longhorns, which ran the ball eight times and drained all but 25 seconds off the clock on Swoopes' lone drive.

What does this mean for David Ash, who has missed four of the last five games with concussion issues? And what of senior Case McCoy, who hasn't been the second coming of his older brother, but has manned the quarterback position during big wins against Oklahoma and TCU?

Brown said Ash already is ruled out for Saturday's game against Kansas and added the team needed Swoopes ready to assume a backup role.

"We said that we don't know what David's situation is down the road ... so we want to get Tyrone ready to go," Brown said, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The move to insert Swoopes came two days after a headline in the Houston Chronicle read "UT protecting Tyrone Swoopes' redshirt" and suggested Jalen Overstreet, not Swoopes, would back up McCoy.

The following is an excerpt from that article, written by Mike Finger:

Coach Mack Brown said the team prefers not to waste Swoopes' redshirt year for only a series or two, or part of one game. But he said Swoopes' practice performance has improved to the point that the staff is much more comfortable relying on him in case of a McCoy injury than they would have been two or three weeks ago.

Brown's explanation was he wanted to jolt Swoopes into reality and get the young quarterback to practice and prepare with more intensity, and get him a taste of game action so that if McCoy gets hurt, his freshman won't be as overwhelmed entering a game.

Texas (5-2, 4-0) plays Kansas and West Virginia the next two weeks, games in which they'll be solid favorites. The Longhorns then close against three ranked opponents, likely with a Big 12 title on the line.

The next two games will tell us whether Brown's explanation is hooey. Will Swoopes get another couple of mop-up series, losing a year of eligibility just so he's mentally ready in case of emergency and despite Brown's earlier proclamation? Or will Texas take an opportunity to further evaluate him as a starting quarterback for the final three-game stretch of this season?

ESPN's Trent Dilfer called Swoopes "a once-in-a-decade type of player" despite a disappointing senior season in high school, including a 1-9 record. Most analysts described him as a teachable kid who would need time to develop at the collegiate level.