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Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

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Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

T’Vondre Sweat, Byron Murphy dominate offenses on field while helping teammates improve

Lorianne Willett
Defensive linemen T’Vondre Sweat and Byron Murphy during Texas’ game against Kansas State on Nov. 4, 2023.

The Texas defensive line duo of senior T’Vondre Sweat and junior Byron Murphy has proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. 

Sweat and Murphy have led the defensive charge this season. In the win over Kansas State last weekend, Murphy put enough pressure on the quarterback for him to throw a wild pass that was almost intercepted by Sweat. 

“I thought our defensive line was absolutely dominant in the (Kansas State) game,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “We’re all pretty clear of what Sweat and Murphy are doing inside. In my opinion, we have the two most dominant defensive interior linemen in the country.” 

The two dominate on the field and it looks as intimidating as it is. Sweat stands tall at 6-foot-4-inches and weighs 362 pounds. Murphy himself comes in at 6-foot-1-inch and 308 pounds. 

Other players have taken notice of their football IQs and skills. Junior Jake Majors, the starting center, faces both of them in practice on a regular basis. 

“They’re very special,” Majors said. “I think they complement each other’s game, they have high IQs and a good feel for the game of football. Honestly, it does mean a good service going against both of them every day to make me better.”

On the practice field, their constant hard work pushes the other players around them to be better, especially the offensive line. 

Blocking Sweat is a challenge for any offensive lineman, Majors included. When asked how to block Sweat and Murphy, his answer alluded to their physicality and skill. 

“You just get in the way as long as possible,” Majors said. “They’re just special players and they just have such a good feel for what the offensive line is doing, whether that’s pass blocking or run blocking.” 

Sweat and Murphy don’t just help the offensive line improve. Their work ethic extends to other players on the defense, both skill players and linemen.

Senior defensive back Jahdae Barron praised the duo for their willingness to help others and share their skills.

“Their work ethic is crazy,” Barron said. “I was just (at practice) and I was trying to get some blitzing moves from (Sweat) today. They’re still working and they’re pushing themselves just to get even better. I saw Sweat today, he had the arm pads on and working the whole D line. Him putting the stress on his group like that to even get better helps everybody.”

On the final play of the Kansas State game, coverage from Barron and senior cornerback Ryan Watts allowed Sweat and Murphy to get to the Kansas State quarterback. 

Murphy blew past his blocker forcing the quarterback to drop. His pass was batted down by senior David Gbenda as Sweat tried to catch it, negating what would have been an interception and ending the game. 

“First of all, T-Sweat has butter-fingers,” Majors said. “For Byron, that’s just awesome to see because I go against that first hand and I get to see it pay off for him. For me, a guy who goes again every day that’s literally that’s been me before. Seeing him get that pressure and disrupt the play was just really awesome to see.”

With Sweat and Murphy’s dominance, many teams resorted to holding them, but Sarkisian said that it hasn’t been called. 

“I’m not sure if they’ve gotten a holding penalty call on either of them yet this year,” Sarkisian said. “I’m not sure how that adds up. I just keep getting those guys to play hard and be committed to try and affect the game, the run game and the pass game.”

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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.