Arch Manning stars in the Texas Longhorns' spring game

AUSTIN, Texas — In his most extensive act since arriving in Texas, Arch Manning put on a show in Texas' Orange-White game on Saturday, and he didn't take long to do it.

Manning threw a 75-yard touchdown on his first pass attempt, started 10 for 10 and finished 11 for 13 for 189 yards with two TDs in the first half. His first completion came with 12 seconds left in the second quarter, and his second came off the hands of Isaiah Bond in the end zone.

Texas did not provide statistics, but according to ESPN Stats and Information Research, Manning finished with 355 yards and three touchdowns with one interception while completing 19 of 26 attempts. At least four of those incompletions were catchable passes. Quinn Evers has missed five games over the last two years, Malik Murphy transferred to Duke, and Texas returns just 16% of the production it got last season after losing its top five pass-catchers.

Sarkisian said the plan is to limit Ewers to one or two series because he made the Texas College Football Playoff as a third-year starter after throwing for 3,479 yards and 22 touchdowns with six interceptions. On Saturday, Evers' first drive ended with defensive end Colton Vasek and was picked off by defensive tackle Alfred Collins, who ran it back for a touchdown. Evers said after the game that he knew limited playing time was the plan.

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“I know what Quinn is,” Sarkisian said. “Quinns had a great spring.”

After appearing in two games last season, Manning had a chance to take the majority of his team's snaps in this game for the first time in a blowout win over Texas Tech and the final series of the Big 12 title game. .

“I wanted Arch to just play football. He hasn't really played in a year,” Sarkisian said. “When he gets his eyes up and gets in the pocket, he's able to deliver those balls down the field the way we want to play. It's been good to see, and it's been good to see some people around him make plays with him. And they did.”

“We're very fortunate at the quarterback position to have a third-year starter to have the backup that we have,” Sarkisian said.

Sarkisian told ESPN's Chris Lowe this week that Manning is patient despite his famous last name and the proliferation of quarterback transfers around the country.

“Most guys like Arch have been great all their lives,” Sarkisian said. “Then they get to college and it's like, 'Wait, I'm not the starter?' No, but when you become a starter,​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ and has goes has makes has has has has is is is is is is is is is the case that we´re going to build you up to play better.

He did that on Saturday, but Sarkisian credited the performance in part to four-star coach Trey Owens.”

“You can't take shots at people putting stars on quarterbacks, but I believe in our evaluation and we can recruit any quarterback in the country,” Sarkisian said. “But Trey Owens is very talented and can make a lot of throws, so I'm really excited about where we are at the quarterback position.”

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The Longhorns were buoyed by the performance of freshman Ryan Wingo, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound receiver from St. Louis who was ranked No. 33 in the 2024 ESPN 300. Wingo caught two touchdowns. Sophomore DeAndre Moore started the game with Manning's 75th. Bond, an Alabama transfer who led the Crimson Tide with 48 catches last season, is involved in the offense.

Sarkisian may have foreshadowed some transfer portal priorities when he said the Longhorns need more “big men” on the defensive line after losing NFL draft prospects T'Vondre Sweat, the Outland Trophy winner, and Byron Murphy II. But otherwise, he feels good about the Longhorns' outlook.

“I think we're a very talented football team,” Sarkisian said. “What excited me today was the playmakers making plays and you're trying to recruit…I think we're pretty good. And I think we have a chance to do some good things.”

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