Colorado Buffaloes coach Karl Dorrell offered the Texas defense a wrinkle one day before the Alamo Bowl with a spicy pregame announcement: Prepare for two quarterbacks.
Redshirt senior Sam Noyer will start against the Longhorns after compiling a 4-1 record and passing for 1,000 yards with 11 total touchdowns in his lone season quarterbacking the Buffs. But Dorrell told reporters Monday during a video news conference to expect the college debut of highly rated freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis on Tuesday night in San Antonio.
“We’re excited about Brendon,” Dorrell said. “I’d like to give him a chance to get in the game and probably get a series or so in the first half. … He’s earned that. He’s worked really hard these last couple of weeks and has a pretty good feel for our game plan.”
Lewis — a 6-foot-2, 225-pound dual-threat passer from Melissa, Texas — signed with the Buffs under head coach Mel Tucker. He stuck with the program following Tucker’s departure to Michigan State. A top-300 rated prospect nationally (per ESPN), Lewis finished his career at Melissa High School with 12,162 yards of total offense and 151 touchdowns.
CU signed one quarterback in its latest recruiting class, three-star prospect Drew Carter, and the Buffs return several walk-ons. Tyler Lytle’s entrance into the transfer portal, and Noyer’s pending decision whether to accept another year of NCAA-gifted eligibility, means that Lewis is nearing his opportunity to take over as the starter.
“It would be good to try and get (Lewis) some experience and at least a series, so that he can feel the speed of it and all that stuff,” Dorrell said. “Take that and register that for going into next year.”
The game, meanwhile, will be a matchup of coaches heading in the opposite direction.
UT coach Tom Herman’s job security is fleeting after failing to win a Big 12 championship over his first four seasons in Austin. It was reported that UT officials tried to lure former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer out of retirement recently, but when the didn’t happen, Herman was safe for another year.
No such concerns exist in Boulder after Dorrell was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year in his first year at the helm.
Herman was complimentary of the Buffs in a virtual news conference Monday, and specifically, the talents of sophomore running back Jarek Broussard — the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for 813 yards over five games.
“They hang their hat on a few different run schemes, and when you do that, you get good at it,” Herman said. “I’ve been very impressed with (Broussard’s) vision, patience, and his burst through the hole. He’s got some physicality, too, at the point of contact.”
CU will be without one weapon on offense as wide receiver La’Vontae Shenault did not travel with the team to San Antonio while serving a suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules. Shenault finished the regular season with 17 catches for 193 yards.
“Vontae was suspended for a violation of our department policy, not just football, but athletics in general,” Dorrell said. “When you’re ineligible for the suspension, you’re not allowed to come to the bowl. Vontae was with us through Wednesday of the week before we traveled over the weekend.”
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