Stock Up: Shane Buechele
Notre Dame did not look like true freshman Buechele’s first rodeo, but it was. The freshman showed off his accuracy, completing 16 out of 26 passes for 280 yards including a 72-yard connection to sophomore John Burt and a 68-yard connection to junior Jerrod Heard. In addition, Buechele rushed for 33 yards and recorded two touchdown passes. Not only did Buechele seem comfortable with the new offense, but he also has the work ethic to improve, which drives his teammates to do the same. He was noted multiple times during the off-season for practicing after hours and pushing the other quarterbacks and players to do the same.
Stock Down: Defensive line
The Longhorns allowed the Fighting Irish a total of 238 yards passing and 237 yards rushing. Since 2004, the Longhorns have been 75-0 when leading by 17 points or more points in a game, but it almost looked like the record would change on Sunday. The Irish were able to take a lead early in the fourth quarter. A common theme of little pass rush was apparent in the Texas defense, which allowed junior QB Deshone Kizer plenty of time to throw the ball, leaving all the work up to the secondary. This was apparent at the critical moment when the Irish scored on their first possession in overtime.
Stock Up: Tyrone Swoopes
Swoopes found his mojo. Although the 18-wheeler package is predictable, it’s still not easily stopped. Swoopes racked up a total 54 yards rushing, second most compared to running back D’Onta Foreman. The 18-wheeler package accounted for 3 of Texas’s six touchdowns, including the game-winning stretch over the goal line in overtime. In addition, having a second quarterback to use provided added rest for Buechele in his debut. As a senior who lost the starting spot to a true freshman, Swoopes showed that he was willing to do whatever it took to help the team.
Stock Down: Special Teams
Last year, it was a botched punt against Oklahoma State and a missed field goal against California. This Sunday, the Longhorns gave the crowd yet another scare when the extra point in fourth quarter was blocked and returned for a defensive two-point conversion. Mistakes like this have a history of being momentum-shifters for the Longhorns.