What a difference a week makes. Texas very nearly suffered a third-straight loss Saturday, but a touchdown grab by Lil’Jordan Humphrey in the final minute allowed the Longhorns to escape with a 41-34 win over Texas Tech.
Afterward, Texas coach Tom Herman addressed assembled media — including American-Statesman reporters Brian Davis, Danny Davis and Kirk Bohls — at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock. Here is some of what Herman had to say:
“We know how to make them interesting, don’t we? I’m proud of our defense. I know when you look on the stat sheet and see 595 yards, you say ‘coach, what are you talking about?’ That is a heck of a (Texas Tech) offense, everybody knows that. But (the defense) got us the ball, with big turnovers. … I can’t thank them enough for continuing to battle when things seemed pretty bleak there.”
On weighing the number of injuries on defense versus the need to perform better:
“You’ve got to put 11 guys on the field. One of our pillars of the program is competitive focus, which means to perform and be ready when your number is called. We were down to second and third team guys who don’t get very many reps in practice. … There’s a sense of urgency on that side of the ball to get those guys ready to play.”
On choosing to defend on opening kickoffs, despite giving up so many opening-drive touchdowns:
“We’re going to win with great defense around here. The head coach has to be the one that makes sure (the defense) knows that every time they take the field we have extreme confidence in them.”
On calling the final touchdown play, when the Longhorns were in range for a potential game-winning field goal:
“We were going to try to take a shot at the end zone. My mentor (former Texas offensive coordinator) Greg Davis taught me a long time ago that in critical moments of games, think players, not plays. For us, 11 (Sam Ehlinger) and 84 (Lil’Jordan Humphrey) are pretty good players and they’re playing pretty good right now.”
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