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Manning shines during Texas' spring game

Icon Sportswire / Getty

Texas fans finally got a glimpse of the future, as quarterback Arch Manning put on a show during the school's annual Orange-White game.

Manning wasted little time in showing off his arm strength, connecting on a 75-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Moore Jr. on his first attempt. The redshirt freshman completed 19 of 26 pass attempts and threw for 355 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.

"I wanted Arch to be able to just go play football. He hadn't really played in a year," head coach Steve Sarkisian said.

The head coach credited Manning for not relying solely on his athleticism that can lead him into trouble.

"When he keeps his eyes up and steps up in the pocket, he can deliver those balls down the field the way we like to play. It was good to see, and it's good to see some of the guys around him play with him the way that they did," Sarkisian added.

Arch, the nephew of NFL legends Eli and Peyton Manning, played in just two games during his freshman year after being slotted behind Ewers and Maalik Murphy, the latter of whom entered the transfer portal after last season. Saturday's scrimmage was Manning's first opportunity at extensive playing time since joining the program.

Manning wasn't the only quarterback to get Longhorns fans excited. Freshman Trey Owens also dazzled spectators, completing two 50-plus-yards TD passes in the game.

While both Manning and Owens captured the admiration of the fans and coaching staff, Sarkisian said Quinn Ewers remains the starting quarterback. The Longhorns planned to play the junior quarterback in one or two series to allow the underclassmen to get more reps.

Ewers was instrumental in helping Texas win the Big 12 Championship last season and earn a berth in the College Football Playoff. He threw for 3,479 yards, 22 touchdowns, and six interceptions during his 2023 campaign.

"I thought it was great experience for Arch and for Trey Owens to play football and for extended amount of time at quarterback at this level, and they both did some really good things," Sarkisian said.

Texas will kick off the 2024 season against Colorado State on Aug. 31.

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