An anonymous defensive coordinator from the Big XII expects to see some drama in the Texas Longhorns‘ quarterback race this season. The coach predicts that incumbent starter Quinn Ewers will be replaced before season’s end.
He tabs freshman signal caller Arch Manning to be the player to unseat Ewers, which would be a major shock to those around Austin.
While he entered campus with boatloads of fanfare, Manning sits third on the depth chart at last check. That ranks behind Ewers, who many tab as the most talented passer in the UT quarterback room, as well as second-string QB Maalik Murphy.
Ewers, a former five-star recruit himself, is hoping to bring Texas back to prominence in his second season with the program. He played suitably as a freshman, throwing for 2,177 yards and 15 scores, though he failed to live up to the lofty expectations set in the preseason.
With that output, Texas won eight games, though one opposing defensive coordinator attributes that success to first round NFL pick Bijan Robinson.
The coach is already writing Ewers off, predicting that he’ll soon be overtaken by Manning in the Texas quarterback race.
According to ESPN’s Adam Rittenburg, the defensive leader of a Big XII foe said, “It’s really hard to not be successful when you’ve got all those weapons around you. Last year, (Texas was) really solid at running back, so you don’t put a lot of pressure on your quarterback.
“I know he’s going to get a lot of hype and all that, but I don’t think he’s as good [as other Big 12 quarterbacks]. I would watch for the other kid [Manning] to unseat him at some point.”
An extremely strong take given the polar opposite spring game performances from the passers.
Texas’s Quarterback Race Could Be The Most Important To Team Success.
With the aforementioned Robinson off to the NFL, Ewers (or whoever winds up under center) will likely shoulder more of a load in the offense. While Ewers’ numbers weren’t eye-popping as a freshman, the Longhorns still ranked 25th in points per game.
Given that year of experience, many are pegging Texas as a national title contender under Ewers’ leadership.
The season’s success will come down to quarterback play which should bode well for UT. The Horns boast a pair of former five-star prospects, as well as four-star passer Maalik Murphy, who might have the highest ceiling of the bunch.
There is certainly talent in Austin. Still, Texas will need to see more production and consistency under center with the run game expected to take a step back. The Longhorns finished outside the top 50 in passing last season given the emphasis on the rushing attack and Ewers completed just 58% of his attempts through the air.
Maybe the best news for the future success of those quarterbacks comes in the form of returning wide receiver production. UT should have a potent receiving corps, including speedster Xavier Worthy and UGA transfer AD Mitchell, so it’s not outlandish to believe the passing game can make a massive jump.
That is, if the passers can get the football in the hands of those playmakers.
If the quarterbacks prove to be successful, Texas will be the odds-on favorite to land a Big XII title in their final year in the conference. They’ll see an immediate test in the ’23 season as the Longhorns travel to Tuscaloosa in Week 2 to face Alabama.
They nearly pulled the upset last year on the back of a reserve QB. If they can shock the world this season, the Horns will be primed for a HUGE year.