After about a nine-month, four-man audition for the starting quarterback of the 2011 Texas Longhorns, Mack Brown and his offensive staff picked Garrett Gilbert as their guy, at least for the Rice game on Saturday. Gilbert came on strong in the past two weeks, but for much of spring and summer practice, he was not regarded as the top (or even second best) performing QB by those observers who had access to practice.
Picking Gilbert does allow Brown and co-offensive coordinators Bryan Harsin and Major Applewhite some wiggle room in developing Case McCoy and David Ash. Harsin has said that he may put in packages specific to either or both of those backups with plays designed to suit their abilities and lack of experience.
Meanwhile, Gilbert will continue to play under an intense microscope with a young supporting cast around him. The hope is that Harsin's offense willl do him more favors than Greg Davis' did in the 2009 national championship game and in 2010.