Quinn Ewers is taking too many unnecessary hits
Ewers was knocked out of this game against Houston in the fourth quarter after taking multiple hits on scramble plays. He went down the tunnel early in the fourth quarter, turning the game over to redshirt freshman quarterback Maalik Murphy in clutch time.
This was Murphy’s first live-game action in a close game in Big 12 play this season. The bright spotlight Murphy was thrown into in this game was clearly a tough situation for the Longhorns’ offense.
Murphy missed a throw on a key third down play to junior wide receiver Adonai Mitchell on his first drive after coming in for the injured Ewers. But he responded by helping Texas get in the end zone for a touchdown on their next drive. True freshman running back CJ Baxter Jr. scored the touchdown to put Texas ahead 31-24 in the fourth quarter.
Texas fortunately held on after the Ewers injury as Houston came up short on a fourth-and-short play in the red zone.
The fact of the matter is that Ewers doesn’t need to take these hits, including the one by former Oklahoma transfer and defensive end David Ugwoegbu that knocked him out of the game in the fourth quarter. Against Houston and Oklahoma, Ewers kept putting his head down to try and fight through contact on money downs. But that is unnecessary contact when he can just slide and get the same number of yards on scramble plays.
It’s also noteworthy that Ewers has taken multiple big hits, fumbled the ball, and suffered an injury that knocked him out of this Houston game when he tried to fight through contact on scramble plays.
The attention now turns to Ewers’ health heading into the final five games of the regular season.