Analyzing Texas football’s QB room post-Card, Ewers injuries

Charles Wright, Texas Football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Charles Wright, Texas Football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Ben Ballard, Texas Football Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Ben Ballard, Texas Football Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

Ben Ballard

Throughout much of the last two offseasons, the quarterback that got a good portion of the third and fourth-team reps is the former preferred walk-on and senior signal caller Ben Ballard.

It’s worth noting that Ballard is one of just two in this Texas quarterback room that has actual live-game reps under his belt and snaps in multiple spring games on the Forty Acres. Ballard took a handful of live-game reps in Texas’ Alamo Bowl win to cap the 2020 season over the Colorado Buffaloes.

Ballard also got on the field for a snap or two last season for Texas in the regular season finale win over the Kansas State Wildcats.

From what we can see on his high school film, the 5-foot-11 and 203-pound Ballard is a pretty mobile dual-threat quarterback that does have good anticipation and has the ability to make some off-schedule plays when the pocket is breaking down. But Ballard also has limited arm strength, which can also hamper his accuracy and timing in certain situations.

Theoretically, when Ballard is put under pressure that causes the pocket to collapse in on him, the limited arm strength can limit the throws he’s able to make. That issue would probably be magnified against some of the better defenders for the UTSA Roadrunners, Texas Tech Red Raiders, etc.

Yet, Ballard is one of the most experienced quarterbacks in this system remaining in this room that is fully healthy. He’s also taken practice, scrimmage, and spring game reps for a longer time than Lourd and redshirt freshman quarterback Charles Wright combined.

Ballard’s mobility and escapability could also help make up for some of the shortcomings that he would have on some of the more difficult intermediate and deep throws. The timing and anticipation that Ballard brings to the table should also translate in the short passing game and on the intermediate throws between the numbers.

I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Ballard getting first or second-team practice reps at quarterback in the next couple of weeks. That could also mean him seeing some action at quarterback against UTSA and/or Texas Tech in the final two games of September.