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

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

Ewers leads Longhorns in dominant farewell to The Big 12, solidifying themselves as Conference champions for the first time since 2009

Lorianne Willett
Quarterback Quinn Ewers throws the ball during Texas’ game against OSU during the Big 12 Championship on Dec. 2. Ewers broke the record for most passing yards in the Big 12 Championship game.

406 days ago, Quinn Ewers had hit the lowest point of his young football career. The redshirt freshman quarterback had thrown three interceptions, and the Texas Longhorns lost a heartbreaker in Stillwater, Oklahoma. 

Over a year later, with many heartbreaks and triumphs along the way, Ewers hoisted The Big 12 Championship MVP in front of a roaring crowd and cascading confetti, sealing his legacy as Texas trounced No. 18 Oklahoma State 49-21.

“During this week, I thought back to what happened last year,” Ewers said. “I didn’t play my best game, I threw three interceptions. To come out here against that same group of characters was awesome.”

Ewers ended the game with 452 passing yards and four touchdowns, breaking the record for most passing yards in a Big 12 championship game, formerly set by Heisman winner Sam Bradford in 2008. Ewers led the Longhorns to 49 points of scoring in just over three quarters, eclipsing 40 points for the second straight week after a 57-point route against Texas Tech the week before.

“We’re a very complete football team,” Sarkisian said. “We don’t rely on one phase or one aspect of this team to win.”

The Longhorns could not be stopped in that first half of action. Texas scored three touchdowns in the first quarter on its first three drives, with Ewers putting up an absurd 11-of-11 completions for 167 yards and three touchdowns in just 15 minutes of game time. 

“We wanted to come out and start fast,” Sarkisian said. “This was not a game that we wanted to throw jabs and feel it out. We wanted to go for it.”

The Longhorns ended the first half with 35 points on the board, with the only thing holding them back from scoring more being themselves. Ewers threw an interception straight into the hands of sophomore linebacker Nickolas Martin halfway through the second quarter, resulting in an Oklahoma State touchdown two plays later. Junior kicker Bert Auburn snapped his nineteen-kick streak of successful field goals when he missed a 43-yarder near the end of the half.

Ewers spread the ball out to nine different receivers, including senior defensive lineman T’Vondre Sweat for a touchdown, and the team amassed 422 yards by the end of the second quarter, averaging nine yards a play. Ewers ended with 354 passing yards and four touchdowns at half, while the offense was four-for-four in the red zone. The 35-14 scoreline was the highest combined halftime score in any Big 12 Championship game.

“I thought Quinn (Ewers) was lights out today,” Sarkisian said. “I thought the thing that showed up today was him getting to secondary reads and getting through progressions and still throwing the ball really accurately.”

Texas claimed its fourth Big 12 Championship and its first win in the game in fourteen years. With the regular season finished, the question as to whether the Longhorns can make it to the College Football Playoff looms in nearly every mind in the country.

“This is an accomplishment in and of itself, us winning a championship,” Sarkisian said. “I feel very comfortable. If we get into this tournament we’ll play anybody and we’ll find out if we’re good enough or not.”

The College Football Playoff Selection show will air at noon EST on Sunday, Dec. 3, with millions of eyes glued to the decision of the committee and the fate of the 12–1 Texas Longhorns.

“I think that the intent of the College Football Playoff (Committee) is putting the four best teams in that playoff,” Sarkisian said. ”Do we think we’re one of those? For sure we do.”

As the final seconds of the clock ticked down in AT&T Stadium, a familiar number emerged from the huddle: #24, Jonathan Brooks, was the tip of the victory formation headed by freshman quarterback Arch Manning. The sophomore running back had torn his ACL four weeks prior, ending his season. Manning took the final snap of Texas’ career in the Big 12, kneeling down and flipping the ball to Brooks before an embrace in the middle of the field. 

Texas is officially a champion once again.


More to Discover
About the Contributors
Evan Vieth, Senior Sports Reporter
Evan is a junior journalism major and the sports editor for the Texan. He is originally from Washington DC and has covered UT sports for 4 semesters and counting. He has covered the Men's Tennis, Soccer, Baseball and Football teams and had the opportunity to write about the 2023 Longhorns in the Sugar Bowl.
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.