Tom Herman: With Ehlinger’s status in doubt, the close shave against OSU is in the past

Posted October 23rd, 2017


Tom Herman’s weekly game-week press conference has come and gone ahead of Saturday’s Texas-Baylor game.

Here are the highlights:

1. As reported Sunday night, Sam Ehlinger is in concussion protocol. So is Zach Shackelford. They’re both considered day to day.


2. With Ehlinger missing practice, Jerrod Heard will move over to the quarterbacks room. Herman said the medical staff noticed Ehlinger wasn’t quite right on Saturday night; he went home and still showed some symptoms on Sunday. Herman said it wasn’t known at what point during the Oklahoma State game that he was hurt.

3. Shane Buechele will start if needed. Herman said the sophomore is still wearing a boot to protect his ankle, but that it was more for precaution than anything else. And Kyle Porter, who missed the Oklahoma State game, is back.

4. Despite another close loss to a highly-ranked team, Herman said the Longhorns are in a good place.

“A lot of teams in the country would have splintered at this point,” he said. “It allows us the learning opportunities to grow and our guys have embraced that. We know we have a lot of work to do. We are committed to doing that and making sure at whatever point it is that we break through that barrier and wind up winning the games we had on Saturday. The only way we know how to do that is to keep swinging, keep working, work harder, work smarter, more together, and pull together in that little bunker that we have in Moncrief.”

5. Herman also was asked about fan attendance — or the noticable lack thereof — at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Saturday. The student section as well as the south end zone were light on UT students.

“I was disappointed,” he said. “The one thing I hope you guys have learned from me, I’m pretty honest. I was disappointed. We’ve gotta win. Everybody loves a winner. So some of that’s on us. I was disappointed that we had performed to the point where students had that kind of apathy for it. … Our marketing and fan engagement people need to do better, I need to do better, we all need to do better, the students need to do better.”

Beyond that, some of the more interesting moments came when a Daily Texan writer asked if Herman was concerned about the number of hits Ehligner has taken in recent weeks, in terms of risking a possible injury.

Herman seemed confused by the question. “How much do I worry about putting his health in jeopardy?” he repeated.

The question was repeated.

“It’s football,” Herman simply replied.

KLBJ’s Ed Clements asked whether Herman — who showed up today clean-shaven — had shaved it all off in order to change his luck.

“I don’t believe in luck,” Herman said. “I believe in routine.”

The coach then explained that he simply shaved a little too much off “and went too far and it was gonna look bad,” so he decided to keep going and shave it off and start over.

Later, American-Statesman columnist Cedric Golden asked how different having four losses so early in a season feels.

“I anticipated difficulty. There’s no secret to that,” Herman said after a pause. “What keeps coming back in my head is when you tell a woman that you love her, and that I wanna be a college football coach and here is what it’s going to entail, and you’re both in love so much it’s ‘Yeah, we can make it work, it’ll be great.’ But then you’re moving every two years and you’re living in Huntsville, Texas and Ames, Iowa and places you’d never imagined, and the reality of how difficult it is sets in.

“But the commitment to home and to that partner supercedes everything. That’s kind of how I’m feeling now. Absolutely knew it’d be difficult? Yes. Is it hard for me to lose? Yes. It’s awful. Awful. But the commitment to the place that I love supercedes that, and makes it easier to work every day.”

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