Sarkisian keeps Texas QB injury situation a mystery

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AUSTIN, Texas — Texas coach Steve Sarkisian on Monday would not give any hint who will be the No. 21 Longhorns’ starting quarterback this week for a matchup with UTSA, and insisted that injured Quinn Ewers and top backup Hudson Card are “day-to-day.”

But there are signs it could be the No. 3 redshirt freshman Charles Wright on the field when the Longhorns (1-1) face the Roadrunners (1-1).

Ewers left the game with an injured shoulder after a hard hit at the end of the first quarter in Saturday’s 20-19 loss to Alabama. Ewers had his left arm in a sling after halftime and Card finished the game despite obviously limping with an ankle sprain in the second half.

Sarkisian said after the game that Ewers had a sprained clavicle and would undergo further tests, but he did not elaborate in his weekly news conference on either quarterback’s situation. Nor would he say who took snaps with the No. 1 offense in practice Sunday and Monday morning.

“That’s for me,” Sarkisian said.

“I know you guys are going to want an exact timetable,” he said. “I’m going to tell, you know, they are day-to-day. I really don’t know. We are going to have to monitor them every morning.”

And then there’s Wright, who was the No. 3 on the sideline against Alabama.

“We know that Quinn’s hurt. Hudson has his ankle. We have to get Charles up to speed and have him comfortable with everybody in the offense,” Texas running back Bijan Robinson said. “We’re going to make sure he’s right and that he understands the situation that he might be put in.”

Sarkisian said freshman Maalik Murphy, who reported to campus in January and took part in spring drills, has not been healthy but did not elaborate.

For Texas, injury problems potentially go even deeper. Defensive back and kick returner D'Shawn Jamison left the Alabama game with a leg injury.

Sarkisian would only say none of the injuries requires surgery.

Sarkisian also said Robinson, who was favoring his right shoulder after taking several hard hits, was day-to-day. But the running back said he expects to be practicing again by midweek and be ready to play the game.

Losing both Ewers and Card would be a blow to an offense that started fast against Alabama. Ewers passed for 134 yards in the first quarter before he was injured.

Card was the starter for the first two games of 2021 and filled in well behind Ewers against Alabama. Wright lingered around the offensive sideline huddles but never took the field.

“Charles was next man up,” Sarkisian said. “I give Charles a lot of credit. He’s made leaps and bounds from a year ago. I think he’s got a good grasp of our offense, a good understanding of managing things. I think he’s thrown the ball much better, much more accurately, and is a lot more confident, which is needed at that position.”

Another option would be to use running back Roschon Johnson in a “Wildcat” formation where he takes a direct snap. Johnson was a quarterback in high school and Texas used the formation with success in a season-ending win at Kansas State last year.

“Whatever we ask him to do, he does it,” Sarkisian said “I think he’s more than equipped to handle the Wildcat.”

UTSA coach Jeff Traylor said he expects any quarterback on the field will be ready to run Texas’ game plan.

“Sark can coach now,” Traylor said. “There’s no telling what we’re going to see Saturday.”

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.