For the second year in a row, Texas lost its season opener to Maryland. This time, the Longhorns battled back from an early deficit and waited out a lengthy weather delay before falling 34-29 at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.
Afterward, Texas coach Tom Herman answered questions from media, including American-Statesman reporters Brian Davis, Danny Davis, Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden.
Here is some of what Herman had to say.
“A lot of people are going to want to say it feels a lot like last year. It doesn’t for me. We’ve got a lot to learn from after an hour-and-a-half rain delay not being able to finish. The first half was on me. We’ve got to find a way to get our guys to play loose at the start of the game.”
Texas coach Tom Herman: “A lot of people are going to want to say this feels a lot like last year. It doesn’t to me.” He believes Horns are better now than at any point in 2017.
— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) September 1, 2018
On how to manufacture looseness:
“If I knew then we would have done it. We’ve got a week to figure that out. Had you asked me before the game if we were loose I would have said yes. But as soon as the game kicked off I could sense that guys were trying to be too perfect.”
On whether he will consider a quarterback change after sophomore Sam Ehlinger threw a pair of late interceptions:
“It’s too early for me to answer that question.”
On if he has any doubts about Ehlinger:
“I don’t have any doubt that (Ehlinger) has what it takes.”
On the decision to give running back Tre Watson the bulk of the carries late in the game:
“Tre was running really well so we went with the hot hand. We felt like the fifth-year senior who was playing well at the time was the right guy to have in there.”
On the targeting penalty that resulted in linebacker Gary Johnson being ejected in the first half:
“I don’t know what to tell Gary Johnson. It was a guy who was clearly going low at the runner and passed the point of no return. All of a sudden the target changed. I understand the rule in terms of player safety, but I don’t know what to tell him.”
On if turning the program around was more difficult than he thought it would be:
“No. I knew where we were. I knew what needed to be done. The people whose opinions matter the most to me are my bosses, my family and the people in that locker room. We know the task at hand, we know the difficulties that lie ahead of us. We also know we’re better now than we were at any point last year. We didn’t show it.”
On what the Longhorns did during the 86-minute weather delay:
“We relaxed. We knew we only had 14 minutes left to play so our possessions were going to be limited. … We had a game plan defensively and offensively. The kids rested. They ate. And then you go get ready to play.”
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