AUSTIN (KXAN) — Redshirt freshman Maalik Murphy will start at quarterback for the No. 7 Texas Longhorns against BYU on Saturday.
Murphy, named the backup quarterback during training camp, will fill in for Quinn Ewers while Ewers recovers from a shoulder injury he suffered last week against Houston.
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Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian said Monday that Ewers is considered “week-to-week” with his injury and Murphy will make his first career start. Arch Manning will serve as the backup.
Sarkisian said Thursday’s practice was the best one Murphy has had while at Texas.
“As the week has gone on, his game has elevated,” Sarkisian said. “His understanding of the gameplan has elevated, his comfort level managing all the things we do at the line of scrimmage and his confidence have elevated. He had a really good day at practice (Thursday).”
Murphy was often injured last year as a true freshman coming out of Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, California. He came to Texas as a 4-star recruit according to 247Sports and his big arm was on full display in the spring game in April. Murphy was 9-for-13 for 166 yards with a 79-yard touchdown pass to Johntay Cook II, the longest play of the game.
After the game, Sarkisian said “the sky is the limit,” for Murphy.
In limited action this season, Murphy is 4-for-8 with 47 passing yards. He played in the season opener against Rice, completing 3 of 5 passes for 40 yards. He also took snaps against Baylor, Kansas and Houston. He played the entire fourth quarter against the Cougars after Ewers left with the injury.
As far as other injured Longhorns go, and there are a few of them, Sarkisian said most of them will be available on Saturday.
Alfred Collins, Gavin Holmes, Jett Bush, Cole Hutson, Ryan Watts and Terrence Brooks are all considered to be available for Saturday, and Sarkisian said while he’ll “monitor them closely,” the players plus the training staff worked hard to get them to the point where he could call on them.
“I credit our training staff, position coaches and the players for doing what they needed to do to make themselves available,” Sarkisian said.