A potential future quarterback for the Longhorns played his first game of his senior season last night, but how did he do?
Texas commit Maalik Murphy, a four-star prospect according to 247Sports, is someone who has very limited experience as a varsity starter. His junior season was cut short last year and prior to that had saw limited action. The California native plays for local high school Junipero Serra, who had their first game of the season against Orange Lutheran on Friday night. Murphy was unable to overcome some tough breaks, as his team lost 31-20.
The game was a messy one according to 247Sports’ Mike Roach, who attended to scout the future Longhorn. Murphy was dealt with a tough hand prior to the game, as his best receiver was out due to COVID-19, and it only got worse during the game.
He would go on to lose his best playmaker and fellow four-star Texas target Rodrick Pleasant, who suffered an injury on the first drive. Roach also reported that his No. 3 receiver would go down later in the game with an injury as well. Murphy’s offensive line also struggled mightily, which had the future Texas quarterback constantly under pressure.
Roach also explained that the officiating was very questionable at times, as Murphy threw what looked to be a touchdown pass, but was later called incomplete after the receiver dove and rolled to catch the pass. His team also lost a fumble in which Roach viewed the running back as clearly down.
However, Roach did say that Murphy himself looked much improved since the last time that he saw him play in the spring. Here is what Roach had to say about Murphy’s performance:
I thought he improved on a few things that plagued him in the spring. Overall, the game seemed to be slowing down for him, and it showed outside of two bad moments. There were multiple times in the spring when Murphy felt pressure and either retreated for a big loss or forced a pass into coverage. He also seemed to struggle with timing and ball placement. Overall, I thought he was much better when it came to those two areas, and it looked like the offense they designed was more quarterback-friendly and helped to mask some of the deficiencies they had on the team.
Roach would later go on to identify what Murphy still needs to work on.
Now for the bad. There are still times when he thinks his incredible arm strength can do just about anything. Twice tonight he tried to make a play and threw interceptions. On his first, he saw the safety sinking and even though he was close enough to break on the ball, Murphy tried to drive it in there thinking he could fit it in. He admitted after the game that he went “Brett Favre” on that one. His second forced ball came on the last drive of the game when he tried to throw a deep post into double coverage with the clock ticking down and Serra needing two scores. He seemed more upset at that throw than the first interception and took the blame on himself.
Murphy did not have the game he wanted and happened to throw a couple interceptions. However, he still showed glimpses of what has Steve Sarkisian and Longhorn fans excited over his potential, making some great throws and rushing and passing for a touchdown. Let’s take a look at some of Murphy’s highlights from his first game of the season.
Maalik Murphy rushes for a touchdown
Maalik Murphy throws nice pass to get a first down
Maalik Murphy completes nice pass over the middle for a big gain
Maalik Murphy evades the pressure and rushes for a first down
The incomplete pass in question
Maalik Murphy forces a pass, which gets intercepted
Maalik Murphy shows nice touch on a touchdown pass