UT football coach Charlie Strong speaks at a press conference during UT's media day at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Thursday, August 6, 2015. Shelby Tauber / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT

Charlie Strong’s Monday press conference: On Texas’ turnaround, Iowa State … and the Miami Hurricanes

Posted October 26th, 2015

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Miami’s firing of head coach Al Golden made Monday’s weekly Charlie Strong press conference a bit more interesting. The Texas coach was asked not once, but twice whether he’d consider the Hurricanes job.

The presser opened up this way:

Brian Davis: “Charlie, let’s start off with an easy one. Are you going to Miami?”

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Strong chuckled. Then took a drink of water from his Dasani bottle. Then said: “I have the best job in the country. Where did that start from?”

Davis: “Your partner started that rumor.”

Strong: “Who?”

Davis: “ESPN.”

More laughter. Strong: “Each and every week, I’m the topic of conversation. Either they’re ripping me or trying to get me a new job.”

Cedric Golden: “At least they’re trying to hire you now.”

More laughs.

It was a fun exchange, but Strong noticeably never actually answered the Miami question. So about 10 minutes later, there was another swing taken from the press: “And, to clarify, would you be interested in Miami?”

Strong: “I have a great job here. I laughed (earlier) because Brian just came out and asked me about it. I’ve gotta get things done here.”

On to other topics …

On injuries: Texas is pretty healthy, having gotten right tackle Kent Perkins and receiver/returner Daje Johnson back after two games. But running back D’Onta Foreman, who had back-to-back 100-yard rushing games against TCU and Oklahoma, gave way to Johnathan Gray against the Wildcats. Strong praised Gray’s hard running, but was asked if there was truth to reports that Foreman may have a foot injury or issue. Strong answered that it may be more of a problem with his toe, and that Foreman’s “walking around in a boot, more for protection purposes. He’ll be ready.”

On Texas’ offensive identity: “We still have some ways to go. It’s going to be hard to rush each and every week for 300-plus yards. We’re going to have to make some throws.”

On Tyrone Swoopes’ 18-Wheeler package: “Tyrone is such a solid person. When we made the change, I sat down with him and told him, ‘We’ll still have a package for you. It’s not like you’re going to just sit and hold the clipboard. Since you played and started all the games last season, you can teach Jerrod some things.’ The whole team gets excited when it’s third-and-1. That package at the end (against Kansas State) where he just kept running, he was so physical and so strong. Another thing, he can throw the football, too. So it’s a good package for us.”

On the challenge of playing a road game this week: “There have been times we went on the road and we just haven’t played good. Dallas doesn’t count. We have to play better. We have to start off right, whether it be defense or offense. We need to move the football and get some points. We can’t go out there and go three-and-out and then punt the ball. We need to be consistent and go play at our best.”

On punter Michael Dickson, who was named the Big 12 special teams player of the week: “He’s an older player. He can get over things. Even Saturday, he picked up the one and punched it downfield. He said coach, I’m not going to let that happen again. I said, ‘Good thing it didn’t go out of bounds this time. It didn’t go into the first row of the stands.'”

On Shawn Watson’s role in this offense: “Shawn is a professional. He’s a very mature young man, and he understands. And he’s still involved. Jay’s (Norvell) on the field and he’s in the box. He is making decisions. ‘Hey, let’s think about this. When we go through the next series, this is here. I can see this happening.’ He’s truly involved.”

On Texas’ turnaround this season: “So much was said about the players before that Oklahoma game. You kind of sensed when we walked out that we were gonna play well. That whole week, they didn’t say much and they were getting blasted — they had no chance, where’s the pride in this program. They got tired of hearing it.”

Saturday’s game is a 6 p.m. kickoff. It’ll be aired on FS1.

Texas is 11-1 all-time vs. the Cyclones, the lone Iowa State win coming in the Longhorns’ forgettable 2010 season. The last five meetings:

2014: Texas, 48-45 (DKR)
2013: Texas, 31-30 (Ames)
2012: Texas, 33-7 (DKR)
2011: Texas, 37-14 (Ames)
2010: Iowa State, 28-21 (DKR)

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