Several Texas players, including team captains, said Tuesday they supported cornerbacks Kris Boyd and Davante Davis and would not hold Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma State against them.
Boyd and Davis, both seniors, were suspended for the first quarter in Stillwater, Okla., leaving redshirt freshman Kobe Boyce and true freshman Anthony Cook to fill the void. Oklahoma State quarterback Taylor Cornelius went after both youngsters and the Cowboys racked up 260 total yards in the first quarter en route to a 17-7 lead.
Boyd and Davis got back onto the field in the second quarter; the Longhorns got back to within three points in the fourth quarter but ultimately lost 38-35.
“At the end of the day, me being a captain, you just have to learn not to bash a guy down,” senior defensive tackle Chris Nelson said. “This guy still has to come on the field and play for you.”
The Longhorns (6-2, 4-1 Big 12) suffered their first conference loss, fell out of the top 10 in the rankings and likely saw their College Football Playoff chances disappear. Fair or not, it’s a game that will forever be remembered as the night UT played shorthanded and had its six-game winning streak end.
“You can get in somebody’s head in that way, and he can just go downhill from it,” Nelson said. “Just have to call those guys to the side, let them know that they did wrong and build from there. And let them know how bad we need those guys to play their A-game at all times.”
Neither Boyd nor Davis were made available to reporters on Tuesday during the players’ weekly press luncheon. Others were positive that both will bounce back when No. 15 Texas hosts No. 12 West Virginia (6-1, 4-1) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Royal-Memorial Stadium.
“Obviously you can preach to do the right thing all the time, but we’re college kids. And not everyone’s going to always be always on top of their stuff, and that’s just the way it is,” quarterback Sam Ehlinger said.
“I think just focusing on what’s in front of us and continuing to try to be the best that we can is the message that needs to be preached.”
Boyd and Davis were suspended along with receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey for being late to a team function, UT coach Tom Herman said. Boyd and Davis entered the game early in the second quarter. Humphrey missed UT’s first possession. OSU targeted Boyd when he entered the fray, and the Thorpe Award semifinalist struggled. One of the biggest plays of the night was a 36-yard touchdown pass to Tylan Wallace late in the first half. Boyd mistimed his jump and Wallace hauled it in for the score.
Boyd finished the game with four tackles, including a half-tackle for loss. Davis was not credited with any tackles. Humphrey had four catches for 69 yards.
Saturday’s game against OSU came less than two weeks after Boyd was asked what he learned about himself in the first seven games. “Um … I’m good,” he answered.
“I love Kris Boyd. I’ll stand by his side all the way,” said offensive lineman Elijah Rodriguez, also a team captain. “He’s always shown in my one-on-one interactions with me that he cares about me. He loves me. I see that with the other guys on the team as well.
“I’ve called him my brother before, and if I call somebody my brother, they’re always going to be my brother no matter what they do,” Rodriguez said. “People always make mistakes. We all have to learn throughout life.”
Offensive guard Patrick Vahe said everybody makes decisions. You learn from them and move on, he said.
“It’s not like we’re trying to go at those guys and say blah, blah, blah, rah, rah, rah or none of that,” Vahe said. “No. These are really good guys. I know these guys a very long time. It’s something they’re going to learn from and we’re going to get better as a team from You just got to move on.”
Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.