Texas running back Roschon Johnson calls Casey Thompson "OCD" with his life. Everything had to be an in order and nothing can be out of place.
That includes even in his bedroom.
"If you walk in his apartment, his bed is made, he has all his clothes in line, color-coded," Johnson said.
For a quarterback in college football, the little details matter most. It's the difference between scoring points and causing a turnover.
That's the job of a quarterback, right? Move the ball, control the clock, find the end zone. Thompson's done a pretty decent job of that in the last four games.
Going back to the second half of the 2020 Alamo Bowl, the Longhorns have punted twice with the junior commanding the offense. They've scored on 16 or 18 total drives as well.
“Casey is a grinder. He’s a worker,” Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said Monday. “I think inevitably hard work pays off. And I think that all the extra little things that he does in preparation, whether it’s physical or mental, help him perform to the level of which he’s trying to perform."
Let's face reality for a second; Texas' 58-0 win over Rice should only be recognized in the sense that it's a W on the record. Rice plays in Conference USA and was pulverized by Horns' ground and pound game.
Of course, Thompson was a key factor in said stomping — scoring on seven of his eight drives with the lone mistake being an interception. His pick-six against D'Shawn Jamison in the Orange-White game ate at him for months.
That interception can't. Quarterbacks have to have a short mind on mistakes. They have to be even shorter when it comes to conference play.
Texas (2-1) will take on Texas Tech (3-0) Saturday at home. No surprise, Thompson will get the start, but his overthinking demeanor can't affect his game's outcome. The Red Raiders currently lead the Big 12 with five interceptions and ranked third in pass defense.
Is Thompson up for the challenge?
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"I’m very comfortable in the environment," Thompson said. "I’ve been playing quarterback for a long time, and like I said, I trust in my training and my preparation.”
Again, it's the little things that can make or break a quarterback. It's likely what made Sark's decision a tad easier when deciding between Thompson and redshirt freshman Hudson Card for the title of QB1 in Week 4.
Thompson was near flawless following the interception. Texas converted 70 percent on third down with the Oklahoma native leading the charge. Thompson also found his new No. 1 target in Xavier Worthy, connecting with him seven times for a team-high 88 yards and a touchdown.
Even though Card, who started the first two games for Texas, didn't look terrible, Thompson looked better. The offense looked better. Plays that could be ending in three-and-outs were being extending, primarily in the passing game.
"I think all those things add up to, when you put in the work, when an opportunity presents itself, you can take advantage of it," Sarkisian said. "And that’s kind of what he’s doing.”
When Thompson game preps, he's like a machine. Number by number, play by play, he meticulously goes through each set in his head. He writes it down. He runs it over and over and over until it's seeped in.
Yes, the OCD working at its finest. It's called a disorder, but that's not the case for Thompson.
Instead, it's the reason he's the starting quarterback for the Horns. It's likely the reason no one will be more prepared for Saturday than the man calling the shots under center.
"He just does everything to a T in a sense," Johnson said. "That's just the type of person he is and ever since I met him, he's been like that."
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