Norvell, Swoopes look for improvement in final game

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Junior quarterback Tyrone Swoopes runs into the endzone against the Kansas Jayhawks on Nov. 7 at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium. Swoopes will receive his second start of the season on Saturday as the Longhorns take on No. 12 Baylor.
Photo Credit: Rachel Zein | Daily Texan Staff

Play-caller Jay Norvell said Tuesday that he hasn’t seen ideal progress in Texas’ air attack.

“I’m not happy with where we are in the passing game,” Norvell said. “I’m not happy with the receivers’ play. I’m not happy with the accuracy of our quarterbacks. It kind of goes hand-in-hand.”

The Longhorns rank No. 122 in the nation in passing yards. The low ranking partly stems from a high volume of run plays, but Texas also struggles in passing efficiency, completing just 55 percent. Texas has one more chance to make strides through the air against No. 12 Baylor. Norvell said the quarterbacks and receivers need to be precise to turn the passing struggles around.

“I think the whole rhythm of our passing game is everybody included,” Norvell said. “Running good routes, getting open, finishing plays down the field — that’s all part of it.”

Swoopes set for first start since season opener Junior quarterback Tyrone Swoopes will start at quarterback against Baylor on Saturday after playing second fiddle to redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard for the past 10 games. 

Swoopes has flourished in a personalized short-yardage package since Heard’s emergence as the team’s starter. He currently leads the team with 14 rushing touchdowns. Now, he hopes to carry his situational effectiveness into success as the team’s starter.

“[The package] helped a lot with confidence,” Swoopes said. “It’s just kind of shown me how to just have fun too. I feel like in the past I took everything almost too seriously. It shows to just go out and play and have fun.”

Swoopes said he isn’t thinking about the start as a chance to prove himself or make up for his past struggles. Instead, his focus is on sending the seniors off with a final victory.

“I’m just definitely trying to get the job done this game,” Swoopes said. “I’m not really looking too far into the future.”