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

Quarterback position battle ensues with Manning at third string

Courtesy of 247Sports

During Texas’ home opener against Rice last Saturday, it’s no surprise Quinn Ewers took charge as the starting quarterback, dropping his redshirt title as he enters his second year with the program.

It wasn’t until head coach Steve Sarkisian swapped Ewers for redshirt freshman Maalik Murphy in the third quarter that people began to beg the question: What about Arch Manning? 

There was heavy speculation during the offseason that Manning might just grab the top spot, or even settle for second string. But fans were disappointed to see the No. 1 overall recruit warming up on the sidelines while Murphy took to the field, especially since Rice was presenting no threat to the Longhorns’ projected win. Speculators took to social media to express their concerns, saying that it was “rude” not to give Manning any game time.

Sarkisian himself has been vague when interrogated about the backup quarterback position, suggesting that both Manning and Murphy had an equal opportunity prior to the team’s matchup versus Rice before going on to say he had every intention of putting Manning in the game. 

“Maalik and Arch right now, they’re both doing well,” Sarkisian said. “And so who do we feel come Thursday is the guy that kind of earned that opportunity to be the backup this week? That’ll be who the backup is.” 

However, it should come as no shock that Murphy has proven himself worthy of being the next man in line for the job. Originally the only 2022 Texas quarterback to commit before Ewers transferred in, Murphy has long awaited his time to shine, especially since he didn’t see the field once last season.

During the program’s annual spring game back in April, Murphy showed plenty of signs indicating his improvement from the prior season, going 9-for-13 in completed passes for 165 yards and a touchdown. During his debut against Rice, Murphy went 3-for-5 in passes, including one that went for 17 yards for a total of 40 yards across the end of the third quarter and all of the fourth, which could’ve been amplified without errors on Texas’ end. 

While his stats may not compare to Ewers’, they’re a signal that Murphy is headed in the right direction and has nothing but potential that’s eager to be capitalized on by Sarkisian.

“I think inevitably there’s been a level of consistency in Maalik’s play that has been really encouraging,” Sarkisian said. “He’s always had the highlight plays, but then there’s been plays that have not been so highlight in taking care of the football, and I think he’s done a much better job of doing that.”  

With both the Rice and Alabama games in the past and still no sign of Manning on the come up, many hopefuls think that he’ll make an appearance at Texas’ next matchup against Wyoming this weekend. Taking into consideration the fact that Manning is allowed four games before his redshirt eligibility is swept away, Sarkisian might plan on making this his redshirt season to extend his college eligibility.

“Those guys continue to work hard and compete at it,” Sarkisian said. “Hopefully as the season goes on, they’ll both get their opportunities to get in there and play.”     

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About the Contributor
Emma Hutchinson, Senior Sports Reporter
Emma is a journalism sophomore from Prosper, Texas and is probably watching Dallas Mavericks highlights as you read this. She currently works on the women’s basketball beat as a senior reporter, but has previously reported on men’s swim and dive and softball. In addition to watching the Mavericks, she enjoys spending her free time with the people she loves most, usually by grabbing some coffee or boba with them.