Texas Football: Sam Ehlinger Named a Wuerfel Semifinalist

Chris Dukes

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Football quarterback Sam Ehlinger was named a semifinalist for the 2019 Wuerffel Trophy, it was announced Tuesday. Ehlinger is the first Longhorn to be named a semifinalist for the award since Emmanuel Acho in 2011. Sam Acho, Emmanuel’s brother, was the recipient of the Wuerffel Trophy in 2010.

Ehlinger, a native of Austin, Texas, has played in and started all eight games for the Longhorns this season. He has thrown for 2,378 yards (No. 7 nationally/No. 3 Big 12) and tossed 23 touchdowns (No. 6/No. 1), while also rushing for 361 yards and five scores. The junior's 2,739 yards of total offense are the most by a Longhorn through the first eight games of a season, including UT's four Maxwell Award winners.

Ehlinger matched his career high with four touchdown passes against Louisiana Tech, now-No. 1 LSU, Oklahoma State and Kansas. He is the only quarterback in Texas history to throw for at least four touchdowns on four separate occasions in a single season. He is also one of only five FBS quarterbacks to throw four-or-more touchdown passes on at least four occasions so far in 2019.

The Texas QB has put in a number of impressive performances so far this year, topped by a 401-yard, four-touchdown effort against the now-top-ranked LSU Tigers back on Sept. 7. That day, Ehlinger became the first quarterback to throw for more than 400 yards against LSU since West Virginia's Geno Smith did so in 2011. It was also the sixth 400-yard passing game in school history, and the first of Ehlinger's career.

He nearly added a second 400-yard game to his resume when he threw for 399 yards and four touchdowns against Kansas on Oct. 19. Much of Ehlinger's production against the Jayhawks came in the decisive fourth quarter, where he completed 11-of-15 passes for 204 yards and two scores. Ehlinger also rushed for 91 yards to post 490 yards of total offense against KU, a career-high for Ehlinger and the No. 3 mark in school history. His outing against Kansas made him just the fourth Power Five QB in the last 20 seasons to pass for at least 390 yards and rush for at least 90 yards against a conference opponent. Two of the other three were Heisman Trophy winners during their careers.

Finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 18. The formal announcement of the 2019 Wuerffel Trophy recipient is scheduled to be made on Dec. 10, 2019 at the National Football Foundation’s festivities in New York City.