The redshirt freshman passed for two long touchdowns and ran for 96 yards as the Longhorns picked up their first win of the young season.
Heard played sparingly in Texas' 38-3 loss at Notre Dame last Saturday, but took over in the same week Texas changed offensive playcallers. He replaced junior Tyrone Swoopes, who has 13 career starts but struggled in his past three, all Texas losses.
"We just felt like, 'Let's give Jerrod a chance. Let's see what he does.' He's one of those guys who's going to jump out there with a lot of juice,'' Texas (1-1) coach Charlie Strong said.
Strong demoted offensive coordinators Shawn Watson and Joe Wickline on Tuesday and named first-year receivers coach Jay Norvell his new playcaller. He did not name a starting quarterback during the week, and Heard wasn't officially the starter until he took the field Saturday night.
Heard, a former ESPN 300 recruit, won two state championships in high school at Denton (Texas) Guyer but sat out the 2014 season. He competed with Swoopes for the job throughout the offseason.
"What everyone wanted to see was something different. Some change,'' Strong said. "He can make plays. He's a winner.''
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.