‘We have to embrace the moment’: Steve Sarkisian previews Alabama game at Big 12 Media Days
By WVUA 23 Sports Reporter Juliet Brown
Former Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and his Texas Longhorns will bring a good amount of hype into 2023, and their trip to Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Longhorns face Alabama on Sept. 9.
Texas nearly managed to upset the Crimson Tide in Arlington last season. Alabama needed a last second field goal from Will Reichard to escape with a 20-19 victory.
This season, Texas hopes to keep its starting quarterback Quinn Ewers healthy for the full game. The former five-star quarterback recruit was knocked out of the game early with a collarbone injury. At the time of his injury, the Texas offense was dominating Alabama’s defense. The Longhorns didn’t have the same fire power after Ewers exit.
This week, Sarkisian provided insight into how his team will prepare for the challenge of upsetting Alabama on its home turf.
“We have to embrace the moment and understand what that moment is,” Sarkisian said on Wednesday at Big 12 Media Days. “And we gotta play good football. Thought we played them well a year ago, but we didn’t play well enough. And so the key to drill, when we go there we have to play better than we did last time, and I think we can. I think we’ll have the mental fortitude to go do it, the mental toughness to go do it and the physical toughness to go do it because it’s going to be a physical football game that will be really well-coached, and we have to make sure they get our best shot because we’re going to get theirs for sure, too.”
Facing an opponent as tough as Alabama so early in the season should prepare the Longhorns for what it will face in the Big 12 Conference. Texas moves to the SEC in 2024, so this is its last chance to win a conference championship prior to the move. The Longhorns are the overwhelming favorite to win the Big 12. Sarkisian wants his players to stay in the moment and not let the expectations get the best of them.
“I think first of all we have to acknowledge it,” Sarkisian said. “We can’t have our head in the sand. This is why you come to Texas (to win a conference championship).”
Texas kicks off its season against Rice on Sept. 2 at 2:30 p.m.