Sarkisian swaps starting quarterbacks for Rice game, Casey Thompson to start

Horns Report

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian says redshirt junior Casey Thompson will start at quarterback against Rice, making the change after freshman Hudson Card started the first two games of the season for the Longhorns.

Sarkisian’s Monday announcement comes after Card and the Texas offense struggled mightily in a 40-21 loss at Arkansas Saturday night. Thompson replaced Card late in the third quarter after the Lake Travis product completed eight passes out of 15 attempts for 61 yards in a starting effort against the Razorbacks.

Card led the Longhorns on one scoring drive which was aided by an Arkansas turnover on its own side of the field in the third quarter. Sarkisian said Card will play Saturday.

Five out of Card’s 10 drives Saturday ended in three-and-outs. His other five drives went like this: missed field goal, punt, touchdown, turnover on downs and a fumble.

Arkansas defensive lineman Zach Williams ended Card’s night, knocking the ball out of the his hand on a scramble in the third quarter. The Razorbacks recovered and scored a touchdown on the subsequent drive to go ahead 33-7.

Thompson entered against Arkansas when the game was already decided but played well in his quarter-plus of work. Thompson led the offense on two scoring drives that he capped off with rushing touchdowns. He finished the game 5-of-8 for 57 passing yards and 44 rushing yards.

This will be Thompson’s first college start. He lost the preseason quarterback battle to Card following a four-touchdown, 170-yard passing night against Colorado in the 2020 Alamo Bowl.

Card was given the starting nod in the Longhorns’ season opener against Louisiana, leading Texas to a convincing 38-18 win over the Ragin’ Cajuns.

Card threw for 224 yards and scored three touchdowns (two passing and one rushing) in just under three quarters of work at home in the season opener. Thompson played the rest of the way, leading Texas on two scoring drives — a touchdown and a field goal — in the fourth quarter. Thompson was 4-of-5 for 41 yards with a passing touchdown to Jordan Whittington.

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