Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022
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Steve Sarkisian is just happy it’s football season

Steve+Sarkisian+is+just+happy+it%E2%80%99s+football+season
Peyton Sims

Just five days out from the first football game, head coach Steve Sarkisian walked into a press conference with a huge smile on his face.

Why? 

“I love football,” Sarkisian said. “It’s the best time of the year.” 

Saturday at 2:30 p.m., No. 11 Texas football will take the field at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium to take on Rice. Both teams have been practicing all spring and summer and Sarkisian said that the Longhorns are prepared for the day.

“We get challenged by Rice in two ways,” Sarkisian said. “Their style of play is very intricate in all three phases and they play hard and tough. They’re relentless that way.” 

Historically, Texas is 74-21-1 over Rice all time, with the Longhorns winning 58-0 in their most recent matchup in 2021. The Owls are no stranger to playing Texas, especially quarterback JT Daniels who has previously played against Texas with three other schools. 

In his first appearance at DKR, Daniels threw for 322 yards and one interception when USC lost to Texas 37-14 in 2018. He faced a similar fate in 2022, this time playing for West Virginia. Daniels threw for 253 yards and one touchdown as Texas went on to win 38-20.

Despite Texas being favored by 35 points, Sarkisian said the team will still have its work cut out for it. 

“Everybody’s put in a lot of hard work just to get us to this point, and we’re not a finished product yet,” Sarkisian said. “It is enjoyable to know that group of guys that I get to coach every day. Those are my guys, I definitely feel that way and they respond that way.” 

Since Sarkisian was hired three seasons ago, he has created a strong network of leaders on the team. After gaining several transfers in the offseason, those leaders are finally starting to come into form on the field as playmakers. 

Sarkisian named Xavier Worthy, JT Sanders, Jordan Whittington and AD Mitchell as the offensive playmakers through training camp and Jalen Ford and Jalen Catalon as a few on the defensive side. 

Since naming sophomore Quinn Ewers as the starting quarterback in the spring, Sarkisian said that he has grown into a leader who has allowed the team to benefit from his play.

“Quinn and I have gotten to a really cool space of communication and understanding,” Sarkisian said. “I’m able to talk to him about the minutia, in plays and in defenses. He’s earned those conversations and in the end, he’s applying them. As an offense and as a team, we’re reaping the benefits of that program.”

After months of preparation, Texas will have the opportunity to show off all of the hard work it put in during the offseason. 

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About the Contributor
Peyton Sims, Associate Photo Editor
Peyton is senior journalism student at UT Austin. During this fall semester, she's an Associate Photo Editor for The Daily Texan and she's a true crime Podcast Producer for The Drag Audio Production House.