The BYU Cougars are the newest member of the Big 12, and this week’s meeting with Texas will be their only Big 12 showdown before the Longhorns depart for the SEC. BYU is unranked and getting used to life in a Power 5 conference. Despite being forced to turn to redshirt freshman Maalik Murphy with Quinn Ewers sidelined with an injury, the Texas football team should win easily (depending on where you look, Texas is still favored by around 18 points) and the events of this game between the Longhorns and Cougars will likely be lost over time.
Except if you’re Texas football coach Steve Sarkisian. Sark will likely remember this one for a while.
Steve Sarkisian spent two seasons as the starting quarterback at BYU, the private university in Provo, Utah that has a rich history of prolific and successful quarterbacks, including Super Bowl winners Jim McMahon and Steve Young, Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer, and recent #2 overall draft pick Zach Wilson. Sarkisian was no slouch at BYU either, earning a 2nd-Team All-American nod in 1996, capping off a short career that he finished with a 21-5 record. Still, Sarkisian playfully poked fun at himself in the lead-up to the Longhorns game against his Alma Mater (h/t Peter Warren of On3.com).
“Naturally in a week like this, you reminisce now and again,” Sarkisian said. “I get some of the bad videos sent to me of myself as a player. I jokingly said I would never have recruited myself after watching the way I play, but some great memories. I will say that.”
Steve Sarkisian has done quite well recruiting quarterbacks to come to Austin, securing Quinn Ewers in the transfer portal in 2021 and then landing five-star recruit (and nephew of Eli and Peyton Manning) Arch Manning. Maalik Murphy, the starter for Texas this weekend, was a four-star recruit himself. Sarkisian, although prolific in two seasons at BYU, came to Provo as a junior college transfer from El Camino College in California, so it’s understandable why he joked that he wouldn’t have recruited himself.
The Texas football team plays BYU and then four more unranked opponents to close out the season. With their destiny in their own hands, Texas would secure a berth in the Big 12 Championship Game if they were to win out.