Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian sounded off on Rice quarterback JT Daniels and the “hard-nosed” Owls ahead of their visit to take on Texas at Darrell K Royal Stadium on September 2 — claiming during an August 28 press conference that UT has its work cut out for them in Week 1.
“We’ve got a veteran opponent coming to town,” Sarkisian prefaced before saying, “Rice is a team that has a great deal of experience, returning a lot of starters especially on the defensive side of the ball. They got a quarterback who’s played with a ton of experience, he’s played twice here in his career. They’re hard-nosed. They’re tough. They’ve got very intricate schemes, so we’ve got our work cut out for us from a preparation standpoint.”
Sarkisian said that it will be a combination of the Rice coaching staff’s game-planning and the toughness of the Owls players themselves that will challenge his Longhorns the most on September 2.
“We get challenged by Rice in two ways most notably,” Sarkisian said. “One, their style of play. Like I said it’s very intricate in all three phases and they’ve got really good coaches. Then the way they play, they play hard. They play tough. They’re relentless that way. We’ve got our work cut out for us on that.”
Steve Sarkisian Responds to Big 12 Commissioner’s Texas Shot
Sarkisian addressed remarks made by Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark hoping that Texas Tech would win the Battle For The Chancellor’s Spurs rivalry game during the August 28 presser, insinuating that Yormark was being two-faced considering his recent sportsmanship talk with the Longhorns head coach.
“Jokingly aside but not, I got a letter from the commissioner about sportsmanship the day before that speech, and so I’m trying to figure out what are we promoting to our student-athletes and then go say those types of things,” Sarkisian prefaced before saying, “I’m guessing he’s not going to have his Thanksgiving dinner with us the night before that game.”
Yormark had challenged Red Raiders head coach Joey McGuire to get the job done on November 24 when the two schools clash in Austin.
“Coach, I’m not going to put any pressure on you, but I’m going to be in Austin on Thanksgiving,” Yormark said on August 23. “And you better take care of business like you did right here in Lubbock last year.”
Writer: Steve Sarkisian Has Texas Closer to Title Than Anyone
247Sports’ Jeff Howe believes Sarkisian has Texas closer to a national championship than any of his Longhorns predecessors in Austin since Mack Brown’s departure following the 2013 season.
“Anybody picking the Longhorns to put a number on the wall before joining the SEC in 2024 runs the risk of looking foolish when the dust settles, but the faith in Texas getting back to a championship level resides in the fact that Sarkisian is closer to fortifying four pillars of a championship team than anyone who’s occupied his current seat since the first decade of the 21st century ended,” Howe wrote.
That question will be answered largely by how Sarkisian’s first few recruiting classes hold up in the trenches on both sides of the ball and by a loaded Texas quarterback room led by Quinn Ewers but notoriously featuring freshman Arch Manning chomping at the bit to replace usurp the ex-Ohio State recruit under center.
Andrew Hughes is a sports reporter covering the Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks and Alabama Crimson Tide for Heavy. Andrew has also written for FanSided and Gambling.com. He is based in Birmingham, Alabama. More about Andrew Hughes