AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian upgraded Quinn Ewers’ injury designation to “day-to-day” during his weekly press conference Monday.
Ewers has been out since the fourth quarter of the Oct. 21 game against Houston with an injury to his throwing shoulder, missing games against BYU and Kansas State. The past two weeks, Sarkisian said Ewers has been “week-to-week,” but he recently started throwing in practice.
“I have to continue to see how he feels,” Sarkisian said. “I can give my assessment on the capability to operate the offense, but ultimately, it’s how he feels. We’ll navigate this week and see.”
Sarkisian lauded the play of backup Maalik Murphy even with the rough patches he had in the 33-30 overtime win over Kansas State. Sarkisian said Murphy had a “really good practice,” Monday and his play on the last drive in regulation was redemptive.
“I was very proud of Maalik in the response he had in the fourth quarter to get us down there to kick the field goal,” Sarkisian said. “He had some really big throws to (Adonai Mitchell) and that big fourth-down conversion to JT Sanders. That was a critical drive to take the lead there. His response in-game was pretty good.”
Young quarterbacks everywhere, Murphy included, want to step in a make plays for their teams. It’s just in their nature, especially when they’re coming off the bench and filling in for the typical starter. The second of Murphy’s interceptions against Kansas State could be attributed to the competitive feeling of thinking there’s always a play to be made. Sometimes the best play, Sarkisian said, is to not make a play at all and get rid of the ball.
“They are the least sexiest plays for a quarterback. One of the hardest plays for a quarterback to make is to throw it away,” Sarkisian said. “It’s a tough thing to do, but quite frankly, the most competitive play you can make is to throw it away when you’re competing for your team. It’s a big challenge to accept that.”
Murphy finished the game 19-of-37 passing for 248 yards with a touchdown and two picks. In his two starts this season, he’s 35-for-62 for 418 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.
As far as other injuries go, Sarkisian said everyone was able to practice on Monday, the first time that’s happened in about a month.
With the kickoff time announcement for Nov. 18’s road game against Iowa State, the Longhorns’ three remaining regular season games will be under the lights. They’ll take on TCU at 6:30 p.m. CT Saturday in Fort Worth, then head to Ames to take on the Cyclones at 7 p.m. CT before hosting Texas Tech at 6:30 p.m., Nov. 24 for the season finale.