Hudson Card has game in his hands for Texas football vs. West Virginia

Hudson Card, Texas Football Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
Hudson Card, Texas Football Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports /

The news was confirmed on the morning of Oct. 1 that Texas football will be without redshirt freshman quarterback Quinn Ewers in a home matchup against head coach Neal Brown and the West Virginia Mountaineers. According to a report from ESPN’s Pete Thamel on Oct. 1, Ewers will miss the West Virginia game for Texas and is “focusing” on a potential return for the Red River Rivalry game next weekend against the Oklahoma Sooners.

Thamel mentioned in this report that Ewers will dress and is active for the Longhorns against the Mountaineers on Oct. 1. Here’s something worth noting from Thamel on the matter of the Ewers injury and recovery timeline.

"A return against the Sooners would mark four weeks after Ewers was injured, with sources indicating that is the earliest he would be expected to be available to play."

This will give junior quarterback Hudson Card the start for the third consecutive game in Ewers’ absence for Texas. Card originally took over in place of Ewers when he was hurt near the end of the first quarter on Sep. 10 at home against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Card played the last three quarters against the Tide and started for Texas in the last two weeks in a win over the UTSA Roadrunners at home and a tough upset loss in overtime on the road to the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

There were some questions coming out of last weekend regarding how capable Card was of leading this offense in clutch time. He’ll definitely be put to the test again this weekend against a challenging Big 12 foe in West Virginia.

Texas football gives the ball to Hudson Card vs. West Virginia with Quinn Ewers out

We would also like to see some adjustments from both head coach Steve Sarkisian on offense and co-DC/LB coach Pete Kwiatkowski on defense. The offensive gameplan wasn’t up to snuff in the second half last weekend against the Red Raiders.

Texas will need a more wholesome effort on offense in all four quarters. The defense also needs to show an ability to get off the field more frequently on key third and fourth-down plays.

All these factors could come together to help Card get more help to close out a game in the second half. That is if Texas is able to come out of the gates hot again in this matchup against West Virginia.

One thing that would help Card and this Texas offense against a stout West Virginia defensive front and a questionable secondary would be the return of star sophomore wide receiver Xavier Worthy. There was a clear difference in the effectiveness and field spacing of Texas’ offense last weekend when Worthy was in the game compared to when he was on the sideline.

Card and Worthy were finally able to connect on a deep pass last weekend for a touchdown in the first half against Texas Tech. But Worthy left the game, and missed the entirety of the second half, with a lower-body injury.

But it sounds like Worthy was able to make some necessary progressions working his way back from that nagging injury in practice throughout the week. That is a good sign that Worthy could be healthier and available against West Virginia this weekend.

Moreover, Card has shown ample improvement as QB1 this season compared to last year. He’s more comfortable and able to more cleanly go through his reads in the pocket. Card is also more effective this season when put under pressure.

If Sark can spread the West Virginia defense out in this game and let Card get some of his better skill players involved in the passing game, that could play to his strengths and help this offense get off the ground early on.

Spacing out the defense could also help to keep West Virginia off-balance, thus getting more opportunities to create space for star junior running back Bijan Robinson.

We’ve talked about some of these factors for this game quite a few times this week. The onus is on Card just as much as it is Sark to come ready to go against West Virginia on this night. Texas wasn’t good enough on either side of the ball in the second half, giving plenty of blame to go around for the players and the coaches.

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Texas comes into this matchup against West Virginia with a record of 2-2 (0-1 Big 12) after the upset loss in overtime by just three points to Texas Tech in the Big 12 opener on Sep. 24. Kickoff time between Texas and West Virginia on Oct. 1 is set for 6:30 p.m. CT at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin.