Texas football: How Quinn Ewers showed progress vs. Kansas

Quinn Ewers, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Quinn Ewers, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

Saturday afternoon was a much-needed three-hour window of domination for Texas football and its fans. The Longhorns went into Lawrence and dispatched a frisky Kansas team 55-14.

There was nothing flukey about this Texas win. It was won on the lines of scrimmage, and I’m sure, as you know, by the play of running back Bijan Robinson.

Robinson touted the rock 25 times for a career-best 243 yards and four touchdowns.

Coming off a loss where Robinson only touched the ball 12 times, it was apparent Saturday’s game plan was centered around the All-American back.

While Robinson’s monster day has been the key takeaway from this win (and rightfully so), I think it is important to look into how quarterback Quinn Ewers contributed to the Longhorns’ dominant offensive performance.

Texas football QB Quinn Ewers did a great job of playing within the offense

Ewers finished his Saturday in Lawrence completing 12-of-21 passes for 107 yards and one score. He did not turn the ball over and added 11 rushing yards on two scrambles.

Ewers’ back score numbers are nothing to gawk at. That said, in watching the game flow and looking back at the film, the redshirt freshman’s performance on Saturday was one of growth.

The offensive game plan against Kansas was centered around the run game. It was clear Steve Sarkisian’s goal was to establish the line of scrimmage early and often. Texas ran the ball 15 times for 104 yards in the first quarter. Sarkisian knew what was working and continued to go with it.

Of course, in this Texas offense, there are a lot of run/pass option looks. As the quarterback, it is on Ewers to decide whether to hand it to the back or fire a quick strike out wide. Besides a first-drive RPO where a Jayhawk defender was able to bat the ball at the line of scrimmage, Ewers made the correct decision on his RPO looks.

It helps when handing the ball to No. 5 was the correct decision on nearly every play, but there certainly is something to say about Ewers’ willingness to take a backseat to the Bijan show.

Although much credit must be given to the game plan Coach Sarkisian set in place, Ewers executed it to perfection.

Ewers took what the Kansas defense gave to him, checking the ball down or even scrambling for a few yards when he had to. The freshman quarterback made no plays that hurt the Texas offense in a game where the Jayhawks were looking to seize any sort of momentum from the get-go.

On Saturday, the young quarterback sensed the flow of the game and executed what needed to be done. Too often has Ewers forced the ball deep to Xavier Worthy with virtually no success. On Saturday, he had zero turnover-worthy plays on 23 dropbacks and completed seven-of-ten play-action passes for 53 yards.

Knowing there was no need to force the ball down the field, Ewers only attempted six passes with a depth of target of ten yards or more.

He completed three of those six attempts with a drop from Worthy and two throwaways mixed in.

We all know the off-the-charts hype for Ewers coming out of high school. While I am sure he can one day turn into an All-American caliber quarterback, this was not something that was going to happen overnight.

Ewers’ willingness to take a backseat in Saturday’s game plan and not force the ball downfield when he got the opportunity to throw showed me big-time growth in his decision-making.

Next. 3 overreactions from Bijan Robinson, Texas' dominant win over Kansas. dark

This Texas offense is led by the best running back in America and is supplemented by a very competent and well-coached defense. If Ewers avoids playing hero ball, good things will continue to happen for Texas.