<
>

Take Two: Which team will get better QB play in 2015, Oklahoma or Texas?

4/20/2015

In this week's Take Two, Brandon Chatmon and Jake Trotter debate which Red River rival will get better quarterback play in 2015: Oklahoma or Texas.

Take 1: Chatmon -- Texas

Call me crazy, but I think Jerrod Heard will continue to develop and mature in the summer and seize the Longhorns' starting quarterback job before October hits.

Tyrone Swoopes' continued improvement can only help Heard, the quarterback competition and the offense as a whole during the summer months before the two enter preseason camp. I’ve long believed Heard could be the answer under center for the Longhorns and Saturday’s spring game showing (20-of-29 for 177 yards, INT) did nothing to change my mind.

Even if Heard and Swoopes don't continue to grow, Charlie Strong’s program still has the option to pursue a graduate transfer quarterback to ramp up the competition even further. And let’s not forget Kai Locksley. The ESPN 300 signee is unlikely to come in and steal the starting quarterback spot but he could provide a different option from the quarterback position in special situations.

Ultimately, I’m betting on Heard to turn it on and emerge. The redshirt freshman will have plenty of ups and downs if he wins the job so I’m not expecting a Trevone Boykin-like breakout season but I think he has the potential and inner drive to become a quality Big 12 starter by the time the final weeks of the season roll around.

If that happens, Texas could be one of the Big 12’s surprise teams this fall.

Take 2: Trotter -- Oklahoma

I'm not necessarily a believer in Oklahoma's quarterbacks. But I believe in what the Sooners have more than I do the Longhorns.

Swoopes might be improved, as Strong has indicated. And Brandon could prove to be clairvoyant about Heard one day turning into the second coming of Colt McCoy. But at this moment, neither Texas quarterback seems capable yet of leading Texas into the conference title discussion.

The Sooner duo of Baker Mayfield and Trevor Knight also comes with obvious questions. They both have a track record of being turnover prone. Mayfield being too aggressive throwing into coverage; Knight tossing mindless pick-six interceptions.

But Knight will be a fourth-year player; Mayfield, meanwhile, is entering his third season. They double what the Longhorns have in terms of cumulative experience, and I'm not even counting Cody Thomas' three starts last year. They've both had big moments in big games. And, they should have way more help around them than what Texas has right now around Swoopes and Heard. Samaje Perine could be a preseason All-American running back. Sterling Shepard is one of the league's best receivers. And even with tackles Daryl Williams and Tyrus Thompson gone, Oklahoma's offensive line remains superior to Texas'. Those factors alone should foster better quarterback play. So should the arrival of the quarterback-friendly, Lincoln Riley Air-Raid offense.

I don't know that either Red River school has a Big 12 championship-caliber quarterback currently on its campus, but I believe Oklahoma is better at the position. And I'm positive the Sooners are stronger everywhere else on offense.

That, ultimately, is why their quarterback, whoever it may be, will outperform his Red River counterpart. Whoever that may be.