AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Football gave fans a glimpse of where the team was so far during the Orange-White Spring Game at DKR. Sarkisian said we would see about 100 plays. Here is our take as we watched from the press box.
All eyes were on the quarterbacks #1 Hudson Card and #3 Quinn Ewers. One of them will be the starting QB for Texas, though #6 Maalik Murphy was in pads and throwing during pregame. Sarkisian said in postgame that we is looking forward to having Murphy healthy and passing in summer workouts.
Card looked more confident, but had a hard time completing passes and resorted to handing the ball off to #2 Roschon Johnson. Card did complete a productive pass to Jordon Whittington on a post play to get inside the red zone.
Quinn Ewers threw for the first time in front of Texas fans and from out vantage point, was impressive. Sarkisian mentioned in a previous media availability that Ewers likely has not shown his most powerful passing ability, and we likely have seen maybe 70% of what he has. Ewers did show us that he has a smooth effortless throw and he can put it on target. He did throw one pass that was intercepted.
Sarkisian got upset a couple times during broken plays and missed assignments, but looked composed and the game had a disciplined cadence and purposeful element.
Roschon Johnson was powerful both catching and running the ball for yardage and had high praises for both quarterbacks.
Defense looked normal with backs having some plays to deny the offense the ball.
#28 Jerrin Thompson was a standout when he stripped the ball from Xavier Worthy on the three yard line after a Card to Xavier pass.
In the postgame media availability, coach Sarkisian talked about how much the team has grown. He commented that one of the best comments a player said to him was, "We don't want to let me teammates down." That told Sarkisian that players are now playing for each other as a "team" and not just for themselves.
We also got to talk with Jordan Whittington and asked what he did in the off season to come back stronger. Whittington said the three areas was his diet, transitioning to a complete receiver, and his leadership.
Overall Sarkisian was pleased with the growth of the team. He will meet with every player next week and go over what they can work on to improve during the break before summer camp. Sarkisian was also pleased to have players on the field with fans in the stands. He estimated there was 50k fans, but it may have been more like 32k to 36k.
Even though this was only a scrimmage and Texas was not 'technically' keeping score, fans sure loved it when there was a touchdown or a player broke into an open runs for yardage. The familiar roar of the crowd brings back memories.