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The Texas Longhorns opened the 2023 season on a high note.
Quarterback Quinn Ewers led the No. 11-ranked Longhorns to a 37-10 win over the Rice Owls on Saturday in their season opener at Darrell K Royal—Texas Memorial Stadium to improve to 1-0 before a clash with No. 4 Alabama next weekend.
Ewers completed 20 of 31 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns in the win, in addition to rushing for 12 yards and one score on eight carries.
His top target was star wide receiver Xavier Worthy, who caught seven passes for 90 yards. Ja’Tavion Sanders, Jonathon Brooks and Adonai Mitchell all had receiving touchdowns.
Ewers was praised for his play down the stretch before being pulled in favor of Maalik Murphy in the fourth quarter with the Longhorns up big:
Tarik D. LaCour @realscientistic
Quinn Ewers looked calm and determined that drive.
Jesse Simonton @JesseReSimonton
Quinn Ewers to AD Mitchell is going to be a thing all season.
Kirk Bohls @kbohls
Impressive drive to open the second half, culminating with a play-action Ewers throw to AD Mitchell on a slant for a 23-3 lead.
Evan Vieth @EvanVieth
Ewers was dealing out of the break and finds Adonai Mitchell for the seven yard score. 23-3 Longhorns.
The Experiencer 🏴☠️ @blicknasty
Ewers showing some composure. He makes it look like an easy throw.
Wescott Eberts @SBN_Wescott
Since the end of the 2022 regular season, Quinn Ewers has been much more decisive picking up available yards with his legs, including two first-down scrambles today. But he’s about as willing to slide as Sam Ehlinger and not built like a FB, either.
Ewers decision making has been better so far
But while Ewers had a solid day overall, his first half wasn’t nearly as impressive as the Longhorns mounted just a 16-3 lead into the locker room, and that led to fans calling for Steve Sarkisian to put in freshman quarterback Arch Manning:
Ewers looks terrible imo. gotta get Arch Manning in there for my Longhorns
Rohit Puri @RohPuri
Texas needs to pull Ewers and bring in the Manning
Quin Ewers looking mid. Where is Arch Manning??
Kenny Brammer @kendawqq
Quinn Ewers is so damn bad!! Texas paid all that money to get Arch Manning and got this scrub playing over him!
Bruce Harper @PH1LLy_Phan
There’s just no way Texas can bring out Ewers after halftime. The Arch Manning show must begin.
Manning, the son of Cooper Manning and the nephew of Peyton and Eli Manning, committed to Texas last summer as the No. 1-ranked recruit in the country, per 247Sports.
Despite the hype surrounding Manning, Sarkisian opted to continue with Ewers as his starting quarterback in 2023 after the former Ohio State commit served as his starter last season.
While Manning will eventually see the field, fans ruling out Ewers this early into the year seems a little too harsh, especially considering it’s just the first week of the season. If Ewers struggles down the stretch, then it might be time to give Manning a shot. Considering it was Murphy who came in after Ewers on Saturday, it might be some time before the freshman does get his chance.
With a rivalry clash against Alabama next week, Ewers will surely be put to the test in perhaps the team’s biggest game of the season.