Tom Herman: On Sam Ehlinger, Shane Buechele, running backs and Milky Ways

Posted October 30th, 2017


Tom Herman’s weekly game-week press conference has come and gone in advance of Saturday’s Texas-TCU game. Here are the highlights:

1. Injury updates:

Sam Ehlinger is back. He missed the Baylor game and all of last week’s practice while in concussion protocol, but returned to practice on Sunday.


Zach Shackelford’s back as well, out of concussion protocol. He missed the Baylor game too; Terrell Cuney took his spot.

Toneil Carter, who’s in concussion protocol, did not practice Sunday. He’ll be evaluated again today.

P.J. Locke is “very doubtful” for Saturday with a sprained ankle, Herman said. He added that they feel good about having Locke for the rest of the season after this week.

And Connor Williams “is close,” Herman said. “I think next week would be optimistic, the following week maybe a little more realistic, but we’ll see,” he said. Herman said Williams took part in field drills Monday morning with cleats on “and planting and cutting direction, all that stuff.”

2. Who’ll start at quarterback against TCU? Herman not only doesn’t want to say, he reminded us that he doesn’t have to say.

“The only silver lining to having those guys banged up and both of them having played very well at times is that we don’t have to,” Herman said. “We don’t have to name a starting quarterback, unless college football’s gone to the NFL we don’t have to say anything about our depth chart. By Wednesday or Thursday we should know internally, but I think that’s for (TCU) to figure out.”

3. Carter and Daniel Young had nice games at Baylor, and Herman sure sounded like he was on board with the freshmen. But he disagreed with the notion that the Longhorns need a “lead back.”

“Lead back, I don’t know that there is one for us right now,” he said. “But I think they definitely seized an opportunity to create more reps for them and more carries, and that’s encouraging. I thought what both of them did very well was play with good vision and they broke tackles. When an offensive line blocks a play for 3 or 4 yards and you’re getting 7 or 10, that’s very good. But I don’t know there is a lead back right now.”

4. And he was asked how long he expects to keep defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. It drew some light chuckles, but Herman answered it directly.

“I don’t know,” he said. “We’ll talk about other jobs in the offseason. I’ve said before, I want all our guys eventually to go be head coaches and run their own program and spread their wings and do their own thing. The beauty is we’ve provided Todd with the resources to be very, very selective when that opportunity presents itself. But it’s something we won’t even bat an eye about till the offseason.”

And remember a couple of weeks ago when Herman’s press conference ended with a question about his chewing gum? Today, he was asked a three-parter: (1) What’s his favorite Halloween candy, (2) what was his favorite Halloween costume growing up, and (3) what’s the scariest movie he’s ever seen.

His answers:

“My favorite Halloween candy, I’m not sure,” he said. “There are probably only a few specific Halloween candies, right? Like candy corn? I’m a Milky Way guy. I love caramel and nuget, I believe is what they call it.”

Herman couldn’t recall any memorable Halloween costumes of note.

And his scariest movie is “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” “That movie, growing up … even to this day, you throw that movie on right now, I’m not watching it.”

Texas (4-4, 3-2) and No. 10 TCU (7-1, 4-1) kick off at 6:15 p.m. Saturday in Fort Worth. It’ll be on ESPN. The Longhorns are one game back behind Iowa State, TCU, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the Big 12 standings; the Sooners and Cowboys play this week.

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