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Arch support: Texas weighs options without QB Quinn Ewers


Texas coach Steve Sarkisian admits he’s fortunate to be contemplating whether to ready freshman Arch Manning or redshirt freshman Maalik Murphy to face BYU this week.

Sophomore Quinn Ewers was classified as “week to week” two days after he left a 31-24 win over Houston with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder.

No. 7 Texas called only two pass plays after Murphy entered the game, but he’s taking the starter’s reps in practice this week ahead of Manning.

“Not every school is as fortunate as we are to have a quarterback room like we have,” Sarkisian said Monday.

Ewers was “clearly limited” after scrambling in the third quarter with the game tied at 21 when he lowered his shoulder to take on a Houston defender. Ewers finished the 11-play drive, which ended with Bert Auburn kicking a 25-yard field goal, but he did not return. Ewers went 23-of-29 passing for 211 yards and two touchdowns. He has completed 63.5 percent of his passes (323 of 509) for 4,092 yards and 28 TDs in 17 career games with Texas.

Sarkisian said Ewers’ work ethic makes him hesitant to put a timeframe on his potential return date.

“These injuries, some guys come back earlier than others,” he said. “He’s in the best shape of his life, so hopefully we get him back sooner rather than later.”

Texas (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) is one of four teams tied for second in the conference behind unbeaten Oklahoma (7-0, 4-0).

With five games left in the regular season, Manning could play in all but one of them and still be classified as a redshirt. Sarkisian said if he had to make the decision on his starter on Monday, it would be Murphy over Manning, but both could play.

As for the actual plan on paper without Ewers available?

“Go through the week with Maalik Murphy and Arch Manning both getting first-team reps. If the game was being played today, Maalik would start the game,” Sarkisian said.

“Inevitably, as a quarterback, you’re only as good as the guys around you,” he said.

One of those guys is running back Jonathan Brooks, who had 28 touches — eight receptions — against the Cougars and rushed for 99 yards. He’s seventh in the FBS with 825 rushing yards this season.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media features breaking news & coverage of 7,000+ annual events from a network of more than 200 professional journalists across North America.

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