Texas vs. Texas Tech: Steve Sarkisian updates Quinn Ewers' injury status, previews Red Raiders – 247Sports

  • September 22, 2022

Texas football coach Steve Sarkisian sounded pleased with the progress of Quinn Ewers, his injured starting quarterback, this week — and he expects the Longhorns to have a full deck offensively when they take on Texas Tech this weekend in their Big 12 opener. Texas rebounded from its 20-19 loss to Alabama with a 41-20 win over UTSA, and Sarkisian says the slate is now wiped clean at the start of conference play.
“That was the end of kind of the preseason, we know Saturday we go play a heck of an opponent, Texas Tech,” Sarkisian said this week. “(Texas Tech) coach (Joey) Maguire’s done a great job. They’re a very strong team in all three phases. They move the football. They can throw it at a high level. They’re playing really good defense. Really good pass defense. They’ve got some pass rushers.”
Texas Tech (2-1) enters off its first loss of the season, a turnover-filled setback against nationally-ranked NC State.
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Here is what Sarkisian said about Texas Tech and his team ahead of the Longhorns’ road showdown.
“They all practiced today, which is a positive. That to me is a really good sign. Last Monday, they didn’t all practice. To have the point where we are today from the quarterback situation, they were all out, which is a great sign. I think it’s the progress that Quinn is making, it’s Hudson (Card’s) ability to bounce back after playing Saturday and the ankle to feel good enough to go today and Malik had a good practice today as well. I just don’t believe you can play good football on Saturday if you don’t practice throughout the week. Somewhere in here you need to be able to practice. It’s not so much the physical aspect of the game, it’s the mental component of the game. That you’re accustomed to dealing with an ache or a twinge or whatever’s bothering you because that could serve as a distraction in-game if that’s the first time you start to go do it.
“For example, if I’ve got a sore ankle and I don’t practice all week but I’m going to play on Saturday and the first time I come out of a break I feel the twinge of that ankle, now all the sudden my focus and my attention all the sudden isn’t where I need it to be. Nobody’s 100% at this point of the season, but the point is you need to feel those bumps, bruises, aches and pain throughout the week some. I’m a believer in practice and I also believe in taking care of it the right way. There’s a different between pain and an injury.”
“I have not been to Lubbock, but I’ve heard it’s an unbelievable environment. I’m looking forward to it. I love college football, you know? This is what it’s about. If we played 12 straight home games, I’d never get to experience what is out there. I’m looking forward to an awesome environment. (Texas basketball) coach (Chris) Beard has definitely reached out to some degree. Like I said, hey, there’s a lot of places you go and the opposing fans aren’t very happy with show up. It is what it is. We’re the University of Texas. Nobody likes us. That’s OK. We’ll embrace the hate and be ready to roll on Saturday at 2:30.”
“I think it’s big. Our first road test obviously and conference game. Rules being what they are, we only get to bring 70 players on the road, limited roster size compared to what we’ve had for home games. Reality is this is when you’ve got to really lean on one another. The reality is we’ve got to keep leaning on one another and not get fragmented. I think our guys understand that. This is what it’s about, going on the road in a game like this against a quality opponent. If you love football, you love this opportunity and I think that’s the approach our team is taking.”
“We put these guys in a lot of strenuous situations in practice. Clearly, we’ve been in three different styles of ballgames and we’ve done a lot of work culturally as a team. I’ve got a lot of faith in these guys that they’re going to reposed to whatever situation arises. I go back to tow weeks go in the Alabama game, to fighting our way into that game, final getting a lead, them scoring that touchdown late and us going don and kicking that field goal. I go back to this game Saturday, down 17-7, nobody blinked and said here we go again. A year ago, we may have. I do have a lot of faith in our team. I think we’ve got great leaders. In the end, it comes down to executing and playing a physical brand of football and taking care of the line of scrimmage and finding a way to make those explosive plays.”
“I think there’s a lot to be learned from your mental intensity and your energy that you provide regardless of the phase. I don’t think we started the game very well in any phase Saturday night (against UTSA). We got to punt our first series of the game, our defense takes the field. We’re not tackling very well. They’re converting third downs. They’re moving the football. We get the ball back and ended up going down and scoring, our first kickoff we end up kicking it out of bounds.
“They drive down again and then they come back on special teams, onside kick, get it and then they run the trick play touchdown. The start of the game was not up to the standards we set. The positive of that was we didn’t stay in that rut. I thought we fought ourselves through it. I thought obviously the offense producing 10 more points after that … it started to pick up steam as we went. I credit the coaches on our staff at halftime for making some good adjustments.”
“He’s a big, physical guy. I see Malik today and I think, wow, I wonder if this guy kind of looks like him. Big-time arm talent. You see him uses his legs, overtime against Houston tuck it and score. He’s a guy who can hurt you dual threat, but you better be able to defend his arm first because he will cut you quickly. He can make all the throws. He has the ability to tuck it when he needs to so multi-talented guy who definitely deserves a lot of our focus.”
“Roschon’s an extremely valuable player for us. You touched on the leadership, that goes without saying. What he’s doing for us offensively, running on called runs, his ability to block when he’s back there with Bijan (Robinson). His ability to operate the Wildcat and it looks so seamless and normal. You know, we’re not just running one or two Wildcat plays a game, we’ve got a whole slew of plays out of this thing that he operates very comfortably. And then what he does on special teams for us, which a lot of times goes unnoticed.”
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