AUSTIN (KXAN) — The first drive in burnt orange for quarterback Quinn Ewers wasn’t good. His first pass should have been intercepted, and then what seemed like a matter of karma, his second one was caught by a Louisiana-Monroe defender.
However, things only got better from there in a 52-10 win over the Warhawks on Saturday at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.
Ewers, the heralded redshirt freshman transfer from Ohio State, finished the Longhorns’ season opener completing 16 of 24 passes for 225 yards and pair of touchdowns with an interception. It wasn’t only his first start for the Longhorns, it was his first start since suffering an injury during his junior year of high school at Southlake Carroll in the DFW area. Ewers graduated high school in three years and enrolled at Ohio State in what would have been his senior year of high school. He played just two snaps there and didn’t throw a pass.
Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian said he was actually thankful, in a way, that Ewers “faced some adversity,” in his first game.
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“Obviously, the first drive didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but after that, we settled in and put together a first half,” he said. “I don’t think anyone wants to throw an interception on their second career pass, but I think it was a good learning lesson for him. Sometimes, you earn the right to punt.”
Sarkisian talked all fall camp about how Ewers doesn’t wear his emotions on his sleeve, and his even-keel demeanor showed for the rest of the game. He didn’t let the interception bother him and continued to try to push the ball downfield.
“I like to think of myself as a laid back guy,” Ewers said. “I don’t let interceptions affect the way I play.”
Running back Bijan Robinson, who caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Ewers in the third quarter of the game, said he was impressed with the way Ewers handled the early trouble.
“To see how comfortable he was getting throughout the game … I don’t think he gets nervous,” Robinson said. “It was cool to see him out there and help us get the win.”
Sarkisian admitted the play call on Ewers’ interception wasn’t ideal, and when the protection broke down and Ewers had to scramble toward the sideline, he fired the ball into a crowd and the defender made a play on it.
“I didn’t feel for a second that he got flustered or was out of whack by any means,” Sarkisian said. “I thought he was very composed. What we call wasn’t a great call, they covered it, he got flushed and tried to force a throw. Even the throws he missed, he almost signaled to me that, ‘I should have done this,’ and that was encouraging.”