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

Texas offense needs to erase simple mistakes to beat Alabama

Lorianne Willett

While sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers’ performance against Rice was by no means bad, his first half struggles and problems connecting on long balls left fans wondering how he’ll fare against Alabama this Saturday. Ewers threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns, but didn’t seem to find any type of rhythm until the second half in the 37-10 win.

Texas opened the game by turning the ball over on downs, but head coach Steve Sarkisian took the blame for botching the play call on that one. 

“The call was a little screwed up and I own that for them,” Sarkisian said. “But again, at the end of the day, we need to be aggressive, we’ve got a lot of really good playmakers on this offense, and we need to create opportunities for them.” 

Ewers and the rest of the Texas offense struggled, starting the game 3–9 on third down and 0–2 on fourth down. Starting the game, the offense looked shaky and disconnected, not exactly what Texas wants when it’s facing the No. 3 defense in the country.

Ewers’ struggles with the long ball have continued from last season, missing all four receivers on all four attempts at the deep pass, with some of the throws going out of bounds.

“Obviously you can’t catch the ball when it’s going out of bounds,” Ewers said. “So that’s got to be fixed. I think I gave my receivers chances to go up and get the ball, which was my focus in the past offseason instead of trying to be so perfect and end up overthrowing my guys.” 

Sarkisian said the week one performance was highlighted by inconsistencies and uncharacteristic offensive errors that will need to be fixed before Saturday.

“Offensively, we’d like to (play) a little bit better,” Sarkisian said. “We made some errors up front that were uncharacteristic for us. Very fixable things, which that’s what we were working on. Everybody on our team has room for improvement, coaches included, where we can be better going into week two.”

Last year, Ewers was knocked out of the game late in the first quarter by linebacker Dallas Turner, leaving fans wondering what could’ve been in the 20-19 loss. Before his injury, he was 9–12 for 134 yards, a statistic he will need to match if Texas is going to have a chance at winning. 

With all of the hype surrounding the game and College Gameday announcing that they’ll be in Tuscaloosa this week, Texas has only been focusing on itself. Sarkisian said that he has full faith in his quarterback, who this time last year was facing only his second career start. 

“I think there’s just a level of confidence in Quinn that’s different you know,” Sarkisian said. “But to me … just the maturity, the way he rebounded coming out of halftime. The quarterback takes the brunt of it when things aren’t clicking smoothly on offense, but that didn’t rattle him. We got things rectified and came out and played a really clean first three drives there in the second half, so I think that he’s in a good space and ready to go this week.”

After the Rice game, Ewers said that he needed to get settled into the game faster if he wants to be able to make big plays. If Texas wants to beat a stone cold Alabama defense, Ewers and the rest of the offense need to be firing on all cylinders from the first snap, not just after making adjustments at halftime. 

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About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Double Coverage Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Double Coverage Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.