Among the most crucial players for No. 3 Texas football in the College Football Playoff Semifinal game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl against the No. 2 Washington Huskies on Jan. 1 is redshirt sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers.
The second-year starting quarterback for the Longhorns, Ewers, must be at the top of his game for his squad to keep pace with the high-powered offense led by Heisman runner-up and super senior signal-caller Michael Penix Jr.
Quinn Ewers remaining calm and confident as Texas football prepares for the Sugar Bowl
Ewers has plenty of confidence entering the Sugar Bowl against Washington on New Year's Day after a record-breaking performance in the Big 12 Championship Game. He registered a Big 12 title game record 452 passing yards and four passing touchdowns in the convincing double-digit win over No. 18 Oklahoma State on Dec. 2.
Ewers hasn't let the bright spotlight of playing in the College Football Playoff for the first time in his collegiate career get to him as the Longhorns prepare for the matchup vs. Washington on Jan. 1.
That confidence Ewers has displayed in the last couple of months has translated with how he's preparing for the Sugar Bowl. Inside Texas reported on Dec. 30 (paid content) that there's a "ton of confidence" in the Longhorns' offensive gameplan against Washington.
Ewers has reportedly "been lights out" in bowl practice for the Longhorns in the last few weeks. He's excelling in a multitude of different live-game simulation settings and in throwing drills in bowl practice.
Steve Sarkisian echoing the confidence in Quinn during bowl prep
In media availability for the Sugar Bowl this week, Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian talked about how Ewers' growth this year traces all the way back to the commitments he made to become a better leader early in the offseason.
"When we came out of last year's bowl game, I thought Quinn made a real commitment to become a great player. And we all saw him cut the mullet and shave the beard. But what he did with his diet, the work ethic he had, all-winter conditioning, the separate throwing sessions with the wideouts to really be on the same page with those guys, outside of the work that we're requiring them to do, I think all of that added up to he's played at a high level."
Ewers has continued to improve down the stretch this season as he's gotten healthier in the last month. He missed a couple of starts in late October and early November due to a shoulder injury he suffered against the Houston Cougars on Oct. 21.
That same calm and even-keeled mindset that Ewers has become known for in his personality has translated to how he's progressed on the field as the leader of this offense this fall.
"What I also love about him is the bigger the moment, the more calm and cool the guy is. He plays at a really high level when his best is needed. And that's a sign of a really good quarterback."
Texas (12-1, 8-1 Big 12) faces Washington (13-0, 9-0 PAC-12) in the CFP Semifinal game at the Sugar Bowl at 7:45 p.m. CT on Jan. 1 at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, LA.