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Texas coach Steve Sarkisian on his QBs: ‘I thought they had a really good week’

Texas coach Steve Sarkisian is keeping a close eye on his players as decisions are being made about who will start at quarterback and how the two-deep will be filled.

Now with less than two weeks before the season opener, Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said picking a starting quarterback is “definitely on my mind.”

“If I can put my head down on the pillow tonight and know who that starter is, that’s great,” Sarkisian said Saturday. “That doesn’t mean I have to tell you guys and announce it. But I may know. That would be ideal.”

At least things are moving in a positive direction. Saturday’s scrimmage was a “little bit of a role reversal” from last week as far as the offense was concerned, the coach said. Both Casey Thompson and Hudson Card “had a nice day” by taking care of the ball and managing the offense.

More:After first scrimmage, Sarkisian on Texas QBs: ‘Neither guy played up to the standard that I view as acceptable’

No coach will base a decision of this magnitude on a single throw, a single decision or even a single day. It’s judged by the collective. To hear Sarkisian tell it, Thompson and Card ebb and flow based on the day.

Casey Thompson watches as Hudson Card makes a throw during an open practice session Wednesday. The two are in a battle for the starting quarterback job.

“I thought they had a really good week,” the coach said. “We challenged them after that first scrimmage (on Aug. 14). And I thought they had a good first three days coming off the scrimmage. Thursday, maybe a little spotty, not quite where I wanted. Came back and had a really good, crisp, clean practice (Friday), and then both went out and performed pretty well from the naked eye today.

“Thought they took care of the ball. I thought our tempo was better offensively, which is a lot on them to have control of that tempo, whether it’s using shifts and motions, whether we’re trying to go fast, whatever that is.”

In short, Sarkisian said the two played “winning football” during Saturday’s scrimmage. “And that’s the standard, right?” he said. “Are they putting us in position to win games? They did that.”

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Casey Thompson is the Longhorns' most experienced quarterback. He was superb in the second half of the Alamo Bowl after Sam Ehlinger was injured.

Sarkisian has rarely gone into deep discussion of Thompson's or Card’s strengths and weaknesses with reporters. He usually talks about them together. For example, Sarkisian noted how both players took advantage of opportunities presented down the field Saturday. They got rid of the ball on time and didn’t take sacks.

“Today, I think they trusted their protection,” Sarkisian said. “They knew what was happening.”

Two-deep takes shape

Sarkisian said the coaching staff will start formulating a depth chart Sunday but noted, “That doesn’t mean it’s set in stone.”

Based on Wednesday’s open practice, the starting defensive line could have Jacoby Jones, Moro Ojomo, Keondre Coburn and Ray Thornton. DeMarvion Overshown and Luke Brockermeyer were working at linebacker. 

In a five-man secondary look, Texas had D’Shawn Jamison and Josh Thompson at corner, Brenden Schooler and B.J. Foster at safety, and Anthony Cook at the nickel spot.

On offense, the starting line had (left to right) Christian Jones, Denzel Okafor, Jake Majors, Junior Angilau and Derek Kerstetter. Cade Brewer and Jared Wiley were the tight ends. Jordan Whittington and Joshua Moore have gotten the most work at receiver. Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson are the unit’s top two tailbacks. 

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Omeire update

Sarkisian had a cloudy injury update for receiver Troy Omeire. 

“Troy has got a subtle strain to his knee,” the coach said. “I don’t want to call it day-to-day, but I don’t think it’s months, either. Could be a week, maybe two. We’ll see.”

Moving day

Texas will move back into the totally renovated Moncrief-Neuhaus Athletic Complex on Monday, Sarkisian said. The football building was redone in conjunction with the south end zone construction project. Wednesday is the first day of school at UT.

Contact Brian Davis by phone or text at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.