AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Steve Sarkisian’s era in Texas is just two games old, but he has already given the Longhorns a strong dose of humility and brought about a quick change of quarterback.
The Longhorns (1-1) moved up from No. 15 in the standings after the explosive loss in Arkansas. A big rebound against Rice (0-2) is expected on Saturday night, but it is unlikely that what it will mean in the long run to fix the problems exposed last week can be measured until the Big 12 program begins.
Sarkisian’s slogan “All Gas No Brakes” does not include instructions on how to navigate dangerous curves on the road. The coach faced a big game this week when he opted to make Hudson Card, a freshman, to start Casey Thompson as a quarterback against the Owls.
The hope is for the fourth-year player to be able to provide calm leadership after Sarkisian and Card’s teammates described the first year as “anxious” and shaky “in their first road game.
Thompson relieved Card late against Arkansas and led two touchdown pulses after the game was already out of control.
“I think it’s fair for Casey to give him that opportunity,” Sarkisian said. “We’ll let him go and see what happens.”
Thompson spent the last three seasons as Sam Ehlinger’s main backup, but was unable to overtake Card for the initial job. He now has the opportunity to take advantage of it and preserve it. The card will likely still play on Saturday if Texas, a strong favorite, wins a big lead.
“I don’t think I’ve lost my job,” Thompson said. “It simply came to our notice then. They just chose to go with another guy. “
Thompson thought about moving to 2018 when he wasn’t playing. Not this time.
“I’m already in it, I’ve been waiting so long. At that moment, there was no way to leave it and leave it, ”said Thompson.
Thompson said Sarkisian told him he didn’t have to be “superhuman” on Saturday nights, but “he just had to be smart and perform plays.”
Texas had more problems than the quarterback he tried to fix against Rice. Offensive and defensive lines were scared to the ball all night in Arkansas.
Meanwhile, Rice kept things interesting in his first game against Arkansas, and even led the Razorbacks in the third quarter before losing 38-17. The Owls and Longhorns are old rivals in the Southwest Conference who still play regularly. However, Rice has not won in Texas since 1994 and has not won in Austin since 1965.
“It should be encouraging for our guys to see what we did against Arkansas,” said Rice coach Mike Bloomgren.
When Thompson plays, Texas scores. Since the second half of last season’s Alamo Bowl, Thompson has led Texas to points in nine of 10 possessions, including seven touchdowns.
BIJAN GRATU .T
Texas runner-up Bijan Robinson was the big offensive player of week 12 after the first game with 176 total yards and two touchdowns. He was detained less than 4 yards away for transport against Arkansas and was flooded by waves of practitioners in the backfield. Even with the change of quarterback, Robinson is the Longhorns ’offensive engine. If he doesn’t find space, Texas will fight again.
The Longhorns defensive front had no sacks last week, pushed for 333 yards running and lost almost every physical battle in the trenches.
“We didn’t do our job as seven forwards,” said Texas defender DeMarvion Overshown, the Longhorns ’first striker this season. “It simply came to our notice then. You could see it in the boy’s face … We’re definitely taking it personally. “
Texas kicker D’Shawn Jamison is a dangerous weapon for the Longhorns. He has three returns to the race, including one in 2019 against Rice. The Owls have not returned a point that was not blocked during a touchdown in 22 years. Texas kicker Cameron Dicker has missed two of three field goal attempts this season.
Joshua Moore was the top receiver to return to Texas with 30 catches for 472 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020. He only has three catches for 17 yards in the first two games and has yet to find the end zone as Texas has struggled. to thoroughly launch two first games.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25