There Is No QB Controversy At Texas According To Steve Sarkisian, Arch Manning Is Now Battling For The Backup Spot

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Steve Sarkisian wanted to put any kind of talk about the starting quarterback competition to bed on Saturday afternoon. No matter what happens from now until the season opener, Quinn Ewers is the guy to lead Texas. Sure, it was nice to see Arch Manning take the field, but he also has competition for the backup role.

The magical aurora around Arch Manning was evident when he took the field to a standing ovation from the Longhorn crowd. Texas fans understand that the future looks bright at the quarterback position, but right now it’s Quinn Ewers time to shine.

Texas QB Arch Manning
Arch Manning #16 of the Texas Longhorns looks to pass under pressure by Justice Finkley #1 during the Texas Football Orange-White Spring Football Game. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Freshman Maalik Murphy did a fantastic job under the pressure, throwing for over 130 yards in the spring game, putting the pressure on Sarkisian to figure out the backup role. The Texas head coach understands that they are one Quinn Ewers injury away from having to throw a first-time starter into the fire.

Who knows what the summer will look like for Arch Manning or Maalik Murphy, but both quarterbacks will have a battle on their hands. I think it’s safe to assume what Texas fans will want to see if Sarkisian has to go with a backup at some point during the 2023 season. But Sarkisian has a lot riding on the upcoming season, so making a quick decision on the starting quarterback was a no-brainer for the Texas coach.

“I think it’s pretty clear to say that Quinn’s our starting quarterback,” Steve Sarkisian said postgame. “And we feel very good about that.”

Competition At Texas This Summer, Heading Into Fall Camp

There will certainly be a competition in the quarterback room over the next five months, something Steve Sarkisian doesn’t want to see get complacent. The upcoming off-season work will present Texas coaches the opportunity to see what they have behind Ewers, as Manning and Murphy continue to grow.

“I don’t ever want to take the stinger of these other guys that they’re not competing for something or that they’re not striving for something because they’re all talented players. They’re great teammates with one another, and I think they appreciate how hard each of them work,” Sarkisian noted about Manning and Murphy. “I think we’re in a very fortunate position to have three quality guys in that room that work the way that they do.”

Texas QB Maalik Murphy, battling with Arch Manning
Maalik Murphy #6 of the Texas Longhorns throws a pass during the Texas Football Orange-White Spring Football Game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on April 15, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Maalik has been in the system for over a year now, while Arch Manning just completed his 15th practice of his college career. There will be continue to be learning for both as they look to give Sarkisian something to think about heading into fall camp.

But at the end of the day, naming Ewers the starter and not dragging this along for no reason is the smartest move Sarkisian could make. He can now focus on his backup plan, while letting Ewers continue leading his teammates over the summer.

“The beauty of it is I don’t have to establish a pecking order right now. That’s the beauty of it. We have another 29 practices to go in fall camp.”

Written by Trey Wallace

Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series.

Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football “Credit Card Scandal” along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.


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  1. Forget his last name is Manning and remind why this site continues to suck off a true freshman QB who didn’t even shine in 2A LA private high school. If the kid is the real deal, let him make a name for himself, not live off his Uncles.

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