Don’t worry Texas fans, Tom Herman understands your frustration.
Just a few days after the No. 15 Longhorns needed a fourth-quarter drive to eke out a 50-48 win against Kansas, Herman admitted that supporters should be concerned, especially with the defense.
“We have standards at the University of Texas that we need to play up to and we didn’t on that side oft he ball,” he said. “None of us are okay or satisfied with that defensive performance just because we won the game. They don’t count (wins) any differently, but we expect to play much, much better.”
Texas allowed the Jayhawks to rush for 259 yards on 39 rushes, and Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley completed 47-of-27 passes for 310 yards and four touchdowns. There were 50 combined points in the fourth quarter.
Longhorns’ kicker Cameron Dicker hit a 33-yards field goal as time expired to give Texas the win.
Herman said there was no letdown emotionally after Texas dropped the Red River Rivalry to Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago in Dallas.
“I think they did their best emotionally,” Herman said. “When you watch even on the defensive side, I mean, we were flying around, we were running to the ball. We were just doing it with poor angles and the wrong spot and had some poor fundamentals and some poor fits. So the effort level was not a question on either side.”
The Texas defense has been hit hard with injuries over the last few weeks, and some freshmen and a few walk-ons have seen significant playing time. Safety Caden Sterns will continue to be out while DeMarvion Oversewn and B.J. Foster continue to work their way back from injuries.
It’s hard to pinpoint what’s happening on the defensive side of the ball.
Herman said the coaches need to hold up their end of the bargain and help guys that have been in the program play better in isolated coverages. He’s never going to blame the talent of the personnel, but experience level is something that is a legitimate concern.
“If it were that easy it would be fixed tomorrow,” Herman said.
The defense has given up 100-yard rushers three weeks in a row and now faces a TCU team in Fort Worth that has lost back-to-back games but has a few offensive playmakers that will look to continue that streak.
Horned Frogs’ quarterback Max Duggan threw for 132 yards and rushed for 115 yards in their loss to Kansas State last weekend. TCU running back Darius Anderson averages nearly 100 yards per game, and receiver Jalen Reagor has three touchdown receptions.
“I do know that they're going to play really, really well and hard on defense, be very difficult to scheme against, and then especially with Reagor and Anderson, they have got two really explosive players on offense too,” Herman said.
The offense has not been a problem for Texas.
Despite the defensive breakdown against Kansas, Saturday was the first time the Longhorns have had a 390-yard passer, a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver in the same game.
Collin Johnson looks to be back to near full strength after missing the first part of the season with a hamstring injury, and running back Keaontay Ingram had a bounce-back game with 101 yards and a score on Saturday.
“It was good to see him get rolling again,” Herman said. When he's going and is understanding and his vision is on point I think you see the kind of back that he can be.”
Human nature is to blame, complain and defend yourself. The coaching staff fights that urge every day.
When Herman took over the program a couple of seasons ago, he said the price of winning championships and returning the program to an elite level on a national scale was high.
“That price will never come down, ever,” Herman said. “And it's the same thing about the standard of the level of play here at the University of Texas, that regardless of who we jog out on the field, that standard is expected to be met.”