Optimistic overreaction is easy for Texas football fans. For six seasons, Texas fans have watched five different quarterbacks attempt to resurrect Texas Longhorns football. Abysmal Red River Rivalry games, bad losses in mid-tier bowl games and mediocre seasons have left Longhorns fans standing in the rain like pathetic, hopeless romantics. Put down your pitchforks and torches, I’m complimenting your allegiance and loyalty.

Anyone that said the previous six seasons haven’t been one level above miserable would be lying. Maybe it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when Texas fans stood in the rain at Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday, but it did. It’s just a spring football game. A scrimmage, if you want to really get down to the bare bones of it all. But fans stayed in their seats as the rain came during the second quarter. Like a grey cloud hanging over your favorite tough-luck-cartoon, many who donned the burnt orange and white sat through the drizzle and downpour. Some covered their heads with jackets and umbrellas while others just stood idle, soaked by the rain. I don’t need an explanation, though. I saw what had Texas fans hooked while watching the game on my TV.

Something happened on Joe Jamail Field in two quarters of football during Saturday’s spring game that hasn’t happened consistently in almost seven years. A quarterback looked competent, confident, capable and in control of the offense on every drive and every snap. The sample size is small, but given the current roster, what Shane Buechele did in 30 minutes was plenty to leave Longhorns fans happy and hopeful. And it should serve as a solid foundation to build on when the team reports back in the fall.

Buechele made throws and plays I haven’t seen a Texas quarterback make in years. He put the football on the back shoulder of his wide receiver, between the helmet and the sidelines on more than one occasion. He stepped up in the pocket, shifted and scrambled when he felt pressure, and when he was flushed out he had his eyes down field. On more than one play, Buechele threw out of bounds while under pressure avoiding a sack and a costly mistake. When he threw short passes they were fast and efficient. At one point, Buechele went through two reads, then found his receiver tucked in between four defenders – and he stuck the ball right on the numbers. And when he had the keys to the offense on longer, slow developing plays, he went through his reads, then used his legs as needed to extend plays, rather than going to one read and relying on his legs as an easy way out. While Buechele’s high school friends are getting ready for prom, he was outperforming the quarterbacks on the current roster who each have a full season of starts under their belts. Oh, and by-the-way, he put together two quarters of football I never saw Garret Gilbert, Case McCoy and David Ash do during their tenure on the 40 Acres.

Buechele was the first quarterback since McCoy to put together two strong, consistent quarters of football. No mistakes, no mishaps and no sub-par play that left fans scratching their heads. Nope. None of the above. I know what the former Texas QBs could do, and I’ve seen what Swoopes and Heard can do. I’ve watched it. I even watched a re-airing of Saturday’s spring game, then went back and watched highlights of those five quarterbacks’ time at Texas, and I still couldn’t find a game on the statistics and visual side that compared to some of the things Buechele was doing on Saturday.

Keep the 18-wheeler package. That’s not a consolation to Swoopes, it’s one of the best short-yardage packages I’ve ever seen in a football game. Try to find another role for Heard. He’s an athlete and I believe he has a genuine desire to be a Longhorn. Let Kai Locksley transfer,because he should and probably will. But don’t try to convince someone that any of those three, especially Swoopes and Heard, should start for Texas because of “game experience”. If Swoopes and Heard were better options for Texas, I wouldn’t be writing this article right now. And that “game experience” has only further proven that. And, lastly, I didn’t need Heard to be healthy on Saturday, nor do I want to wait and see how the quarterback competition shapes up when he is competing for the job in the fall. I know what I need to know. It took Swoopes and Heard almost a full season each to show us what they’re capable of. It only took Buechele two quarters.

When the game was called after just two quarters on Saturday, those fans toughing it out in the rain saw it and knew it, too. Buechele may not be the best thing since sliced bread, but he played like he might just be the best Texas quarterback since Colt McCoy.

Twitter Poll

Here's a twitter poll that was posted immediately after the spring game. Tell us what you think.

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