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Texas Swaps QBs After Loss, Awaits Rice

Texas entertains winless Rice in a matchup of former longtime Southwest Conference rivals on Saturday in Austin, Texas.

The Longhorns (1-1) hit reset in the aftermath of a 40-21 loss at unranked Arkansas last week that nudged Texas out of the Top 25.

Texas allowed the Razorbacks, picked to finish next to last in the Southeastern Conference’s six-team West Division, to rush for 333 yards.

The Longhorns’ offense, which looked powerful and proficient in a season-opening win over then-#23 Louisiana on Sept. 4, struggled under redshirt freshman starting quarterback Hudson Card, gaining just 163 total yards through the first three quarters.

Two short fourth-quarter scoring runs by backup signal caller Casey Thompson were just window-dressing for Texas.

Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian is giving Thompson a shot at the starting job and expects his team to bounce back this week.

“The natural knee-jerk reaction is the sky is falling and we’ve got to change everything,” Sarkisian said. “We’ve got a system and we’ve got coaches who have stood the test of time. We’ll rely on that and the players will continue to buy into that.

“At the end of the day, nobody wants to lose. Everybody wants to win, but we’ve got to get our mindset to we hate to lose more than we want to win.”

Sarkisian is rolling with Thompson against Rice.

The Owls (0-2) head to Austin after a 44-7 loss at home to Houston on Saturday, losing to their crosstown rival for the sixth straight time. Rice managed just 212 yards of total offense in the defeat, including only 86 yards passing.

Rice came into the Houston game with high hopes, build from a 38-17 loss at Arkansas in its season opener that was tied until the fourth quarter.

“I’m a little shell-shocked,” Rice coach Mike Bloomgren said after the loss. “It was not at all the way I thought the (Houston) game would go. I thought we would fight them tooth and nail, and that’s not the way it went.”

Transfer quarterback Luke McCaffrey hit Jordan Myers for a 5-yard second-quarter TD pass that cut the Owls’ deficit to 17-7 but Rice did not score again. McCaffrey made his first career start for the Owls.

Saturday’s game is the 96th all-time meeting between the two former SWC rivals and the first since 2019. Texas holds a 73-21-1 advantage in the series and has captured 14 straight wins against the Owls.

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