Steve Sarkisian Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

While Quinn Ewers has been named Texas’ starting quarterback going into the 2023-24 season, the competition for Ewers’ backup is still going strong.

Arch Manning and Maalik Murphy are battling for the #2 spot on the depth chart, and on Monday, head coach Steve Sarkisian gave an update on how things are going, praising Murphy.

“I’d say that competition’s rolling along. Maalik’s done some great things for us, too. And I love it because I think that room, in general, is playing at a higher level than it was in spring. No question. And a higher level than it was a year ago at this time. So, as a coach, that’s a positive.” Sarkisian said.

He continued, giving credit to his entire offense, “I think the continuity on offense feels good; I feel like nobody’s just relying on one guy to make a play or two guys.”

Sarkisian believes this has caused much less pressure on all of his quarterbacks, adding, “So all of a sudden, the ball’s moving around. And I think from a quarterback’s perspective, that puts them at ease, that they can just go where the read is telling them to go and not feel like they’re hanging on one guy longer than maybe they should. In turn, there’s good rhythm out of that room right now in the way that they’re playing.”

Murphy has the benefit of already having a year in the system, sitting behind Ewers last season. Manning, on the other hand, is a true freshman.

Texas opens the season against Rice on September 2nd, and it’s a near-certainty that the Longhorns will be in a position where Ewers will not have to play the entire game due to having a big lead, so it will be interesting to see which quarterback comes in to replace him.