How Texas Longhorns QB Quinn Ewers Reminds Steve Sarkisian of ‘Cool Customer’ & USC Trojans’ Matt Leinart
When Texas Longhorns people think of the legendary USC Trojans quarterback Matt Leinart they tend to reminisce and smile for reasons Trojan fans wouldn’t.
For those in Austin, thoughts of Leinart and the Trojans are almost always paired with the 2006 Rose Bowl, which is often referred to as the greatest football game ever played. Texas quarterback Vince Young scrambled nine yards to the corner of the end zone to give the Longhorns a 39-38 lead with 19 seconds left. An ensuing two-point conversion all but sealed Texas’ 41-38 victory and the 2005 BCS title.
Texas coach Steve Sarkisian was on the USC sidelines during that game, working as the head assistant and quarterbacks coach under Pete Carroll. He saw history unfold right in front of his eyes.
But, let’s move on to the present. Sarkisian is currently in his second year at Texas. He has coached quarterbacks such as Leinart, Carson Palmer and Matt Ryan.
The newest addition under his wing? Quinn Ewers , has the Horns ranked No. 22 in the nation following an impressive display of passing prowess in a 49-0 shutout over the Oklahoma Sooners.
And heading into Saturday’s home matchup with the Iowa State Cyclones (3-3), Sarkisian – a known quarterback-friendly coach – was asked which one of his former signal-callers he would compare Ewers to.
The answer? Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner and national champion (later vacated).
” “I will say that Matt Leinart is the one (person), that Quinn reminds of,” Sarkisian stated. “The moment was never too great for Matt. He is a cool customer. This is a great comparison for Ewers who is still young in what is promising to be a promising college career. Despite missing three full games, he’s gone 46 of 67 passing this season while adding 648 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions.
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Sarkisian has seemed to overuse the term “even-keeled” when referring to Ewers since the offseason. But for a coach that was constantly a guide for Leinart during the glory days of the early 2000s for USC football, he got to see everything that made him who he was.
Sarkisian must see similarities between Leinart and him in order to draw the Leinart comparison.
” I think Quinn has a lot of that too,” Sarkisian said about Leinart’s calm demeanor. He performs at an optimal level even when others might feel tight or tense. He is calm and does what he’s supposed.
This is a very flattering comparison. If Ewers can make a similar comparison, it won’t take long before the Longhorns are back in the top ranks of college football’s elite.
Texas and Iowa State kickoff at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday from Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7
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The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.