Arch Manning, QB
There might not be another true freshman for the Longhorns on the offensive side of the ball that fans want to see more in live-game action this weekend than the No. 1 rated recruit in the nation in the 2023 class in the 247Sports Composite and On3 Industry Ranking, quarterback Arch Manning. Despite him not even having won the backup quarterback job yet, Texas fans and the national media are eager to see what Arch can do as the future leader of this offense.
The biggest question mark heading into the opening game is whether Arch or redshirt freshman quarterback Maalik Murphy will be the backup behind redshirt sophomore Quinn Ewers. Murphy is the likely favorite to be the backup quarterback on the two-deep heading into the season.
But the competition will remain open for Arch to get more backup quarterback reps as the season progresses if he looks good in limited live-game reps and practice drills.
Moreover, Sark will likely have ample opportunities to get Maalik and Arch many live-game reps this weekend against Rice. If Texas jumps out to a big first-half lead, I don’t see Sark hesitating to get Murphy and/or Arch their first live-game reps of their collegiate careers.
Texas needs to solidify the backup quarterback job heading into Big 12 play. And there’s no better way to test Arch and Maalik’s readiness to assume the backup job effectively than by excelling in live-game action early this season.