Tom Herman’s game week press conference in advance of Saturday’s TCU game has come and gone.
What you need to know
1. Injury updates — the good: Jalen Green practiced on Sunday and will go through contact drills on Tuesday. Brandon Jones was limited in practice, but Herman said if the game was being played tomorrow, he’d play. And Jordan Whittington probably won’t play on Saturday, but Herman said the more realistic plan is for him to come back after the bye week next week against Kansas State.
2. Injury updates — the not so good: DeMarvion Overshown, who had a great game against Kansas, has a shoulder problem. He practiced on Sunday but complained about it today. And B.J. Foster is still bothered by the shoulder he hurt late against Oklahoma State. “We’re working him up for anything and everything,” Herman said, pointing out that it was obvious that Foster was playing with a bad left shoulder on Saturday. “We’re making sure we’re crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s.”
3. Injury updates — the definitely not good: Caden Sterns won’t play Saturday. He’s running again, but will be a “week-to-week” deal, Herman said.
4. Cameron Dicker was named the Big 12’s special teams player of the week today.
The best questions Herman got today
Maybe the first one was the best one — because it was the most obvious one, in that the Statesman’s Kirk Bohls asked him what (a) some (b) a lot of (c) all fans are thinking this week: Because it was Kansas, and because the Horns were favored to win by three touchdowns, is it wrong for fans to be concerned or upset by a close home win over Kansas?
Herman, who could have gone the “winning is hard” or “a win’s a win” route, instead owned it. At least initially. Then he went with winning is hard. Then he went with a win’s a win. Then he came back to owning it:
“No. They should be,” Herman said. “We’ve got standards at the University of Texas that we need to play up to, and we didn’t on that side of the ball.”
“Again, when you’re starting nine freshmen or sophomores on defense and you turn the ball over twice in the fourth quarter where we turned it over, that’s not real good complementary football, too. So although the numbers say we played really well offensively, I would argue that situationally, we didn’t help our defense.”
“But none of us are OK or satisfied with that defensive performance just because we won the game. Are we happy we won the game? Absolutely. At the end of the year, this one’s going to count just the same as all the other ones do. They don’t count them any different. But we expect to play much, much better defensively.”
Fair enough. A little bit of everything in that answer.
2. Anwar Richardson of Orangebloods asked about the defense. What’s the issue? Scheme? Personnel? Coaching? Combo?
“Everything,” Herman said. “If it were that easy, it would be fixed tomorrow. But it’s not. To say it’s just one thing, or if we do ‘this’ then we will be a really good defense, I think guys that have been here two and three years should be able to play man-to-man coverage and quarters coverage, so the coaches need to uphold our end of the bargain in terms of the techniques, and the players need to uphold their end by employing those techniques on game day. I’m never gonna say it’s personnel; we’re going to have really good players at the University of Texas. Now, how experienced are they? How developed, physically and mentally and from a technique standpoint? Only time can handle experience and we as coaches can handle the development part.”
The significance in that answer: He didn’t blame the injuries.
- Was there an OU letdown? Herman said no, pointing to the quick 14-0 lead.
- Besides playing with effort, over the last two or three weeks, what has Herman seen this team get better at? “Umm, good question,” he replied, after taking a drink of water. “We didn’t get better at very much anything two weeks ago (Oklahoma), I can tell you that.” But then he answered: Texas played better offensively vs. Kansas; improved on third downs; the “tight” red zone execution offensively, and the blocked kicks.
- Did Herman know that Texas is ranked dead last in the country in punt returns? No.
- Will we see more passes to Cade Brewer? No.
- Does Herman still like Texas’ defensive scheme? Yes.
Texas wasn’t punished in the AP Top 25 poll for that two-point nailbiter over the Jayhawks. The Longhorns are still ranked 15th this week. Baylor (7-0) moved one spot ahead of Texas, though, at 14th. Oklahoma is fifth.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 2:30 p.m. at Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs are slight favorites. It’ll be shown on Fox.
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