A really bad night for new head coach Steve Sarkisian and No. 15 ranked Texas football (at least for now) amounted to a three-possession loss at the hands of head coach Sam Pittman and the upstart Arkansas Razorbacks. In a game that Texas was favored in by roughly a one-touchdown margin in the spread ahead of kickoff, Sark’s team couldn’t do anything right at the outset.
Texas looked overmatched on both sides of the ball for much of the game, in what amounted to a loss to the Hogs by the final score of 40-21. This is not really what anyone expected out of Sark and the Longhorns following an impressive Week 1 win over head coach Billy Napier and the No. 23 ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.
If there is one potential positive takeaway from this game for Texas, it is that Sark might have a solution for the starting quarterback heading into Big 12 play. While Texas does have one more game before the Big 12 slate kicks off, it comes against the Rice Owls and should be more of a chance for this team to get back on track on both sides of the ball.
Moreover, Texas seemingly found a spark when redshirt junior quarterback Casey Thompson took the reigns for the offense from sophomore Hudson Card in the second half. Many Texas fans were screaming to the high heavens for Thompson to get the reigns for the offense earlier in this game than he did.
Texas football has the right starting quarterback now in Casey Thompson over Hudson Card?
By the time Sark put Thompson in, Texas was already in a hole too big to climb out of. But at least Texas has someone that might be able to more effectively lead the offense from here on out in Thompson.
Just looking at some of the box score stats, it’s easy to see the difference that Thompson made for Texas late in the game. In roughly half as many passing attempts as Card, Thompson had only four fewer total passing yards. Thompson finished up the game with five completions on eight passing attempts, good for 57 passing yards, no passing touchdowns, and no picks.
Where Thompson did the bulk of his damage for this Texas offense, though, was on the ground. Thompson registered 44 rushing yards on seven attempts (6.3 yards per carry), with two touchdowns on the ground.
Thompson also helped Texas win the only quarter of the game for this team. Texas at least won the fourth quarter by a score of 14-7.
All in all, this offense looked to be in a better rhythm with more confidence and better timing when Thompson was on the field. You can’t blame all of this loss on Card, as his receivers had some bad drops and the offensive line didn’t play well in front of him for the second straight week.
But the fact of the matter is that it seems like Thompson is what Sark and the Longhorns need right now. Card was impressive in the regular season opener, but Texas will have some challenging games upcoming in the Big 12 slate that might be better for Thompson to get the call for as the starting quarterback.
It will be interesting to see how the quarterback situation plays out now. Sark and the Longhorns seem to have another potential quarterback controversy on their hands just two weeks into the 2021 regular season.
Texas now moves to a record of 1-1 following this bad 19-point loss at the hands of the Razorbacks on the road in Fayetteville on Sep. 11. Next up for Sark, Thompson, and the Longhorns is the final non-conference game of the regular season in Rice at home at DKR on Sep. 18.