During his Monday press conference, Texas coach Charlie Strong did not commit to starting either quarterback Tyrone Swoopes or Jerrod Heard against Rice. He didn’t give quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson a ringing endorsement, either.
But Strong left no doubt that last Saturday’s 38-3 loss to Notre Dame was unacceptable.
“There’s millions and millions of people involved in this program,” Strong said on Monday. “We need to give them hope.”
Then, Strong said he wished he could restart the season. “If we didn’t have the players, you can say, yeah, you have issues. But we can get it fixed,” Strong said.
Asked whether there was any real difference in the offense this season, Strong said, “I was hoping I’d see a big difference myself.”
The Longhorns will spend the week regrouping after managing only 163 yards against the Irish. The coach admitted he will spend more time with the offensive staff this week.
Strong was asked numerous times about Watson and how he’s handling the quarterbacks and the offense. He never openly backed Watson and said, “It’s an evaluation process.”
“Yesterday, I didn’t say much. I will meet with our staff today,” Strong said. “It’s hard for me after a game to meet with our guys on a Sunday just because of the way I feel. There’ll be some things said that I’ll probably regret later, and I don’t want to come out the wrong way.
“It bothers me. It bothers me when we play the way we do,” he added. “It bothers me when we’re not productive. And it bothers me when we’re not accountable as coaches. So it’s hard for me to meet with guys. It’s hard for me to talk. I don’t even talk with my own family.
“I’ve got a lot to say, but I’not going to say it now.”
Strong said receiver Marcus Johnson, who left the field Saturday night in a walking boot, is day-to-day with an ankle injury. He also reiterated that Heard was not hurt during the game. The coaching staff simply chose to stick with Swoopes after the Horns got down by 24 points.
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