Only three teams committed fewer turnovers during the 2018 season than Texas, which gave away the football 11 times.
This fall, Texas has once again committed 11 turnovers. The Longhorns, though, have only played eight games and they now rank 42nd in that statistical category. Those 11 giveaways have led to five touchdowns and three field goals for UT’s opponents.
In a 37-27 loss to TCU on Oct. 26, Texas junior Sam Ehlinger was intercepted four times. That was the first four-interception game of Ehlinger’s 31-game career. As a freshman, he did commit four turnovers in a loss at USC.
At his weekly press conference on Monday, Texas coach Tom Herman said he had “no issues” with his quarterback’s shortcomings against TCU. Herman’s defense of Ehlinger was similar to the one he had for UT’s offensive line after it gave up nine sacks against Oklahoma last month. In short, there is blame to share among UT’s offensive players.
“Everybody wants to look at sacks and say the o-line stinks. Everybody wants to look at interceptions and say the quarterback stinks or had a bad game,” Herman said. “As a quarterback, you hate to see those numbers on the stat sheet. I think we all know (that) decision-making, other than the one throw to Jared (Wiley) on the sideline, that his decisions were spot on.”
Herman did fault Ehlinger for the interception he threw on the final play of the third quarter. With time winding down and TCU bringing pressure, Ehlinger rolled to his right and tried to find Wiley on the Texas sideline. The freshman tight end was well-covered by TCU safety Trevon Moehrig, who came down with the interception. Nine days later, Herman said that Ehlinger should have thrown the football away.
Not sure if this is a bad throw by Ehlinger, it's on Duvernay or what, but strong read by TCU's Wallow. pic.twitter.com/TcXVqiA2h6
— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) October 26, 2019
Herman noted that the fourth of Ehlinger’s interceptions was thrown as Texas was desperately trying to move down the field in the final seconds. Herman blamed the other two interceptions on errors by slot receivers Devin Duvernay and Jake Smith. After the TCU loss, Duvernay also shouldered the responsibility for Ehlinger’s first-quarter pick.
“Just miscommunication, bad route by me,” Duvernay said.
Following last week’s bye, Texas will face Kansas State this week. The Wildcats have forced 12 turnovers this season. Ehlinger has compiled 587 yards, three touchdowns and one interception over 86 career pass attempts against Kansas State.
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