Optimism surrounds Herman’s Horns; still have to prove it

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The preseason vibe around the Texas Longhorns football program is once again extremely positive.

As it has been since the beginning of Texas football time, there are no tempered expectations in the fanbase or program. Only the expectation to compete for a championship.

ESPN broadcaster Joe Tessitore used the line “Texas is back” when the Longhorns upset Notre Dame in the 2016 season opener. Since then, Texas’ record is 11-13 and Tessitore’s line is a joke often used in the college football community.

It’s fair that the Longhorn fanbase has become snake-bitten by the positivity, and Texas head coach Tom Herman is approaching his own team with the same idea. Believe the hype when you see it translate to wins on the field

“You are what your record says you are, right? Do I feel confident in the fact that we’ve improved and developed, our kids, our players, our coaches? Do the people in that building feel confident that we have developed? Absolutely,” Herman

“But if I was Joe fan, I would feel the same way.”

In his first season with the Longhorns, Herman’s team often took one step forward only to fall back when they had a chance to make a statement win.

Texas players believe the statement and tone were set in the 2017 season finale– a 33-16 win over Missouri in the Texas bowl.

“The adage is teams usually make the most improvement from Game 1 to Game 2, and programs usually make the most improvement from year one to year two,” Herman said.

“I would expect us to make some improvement. Now, again, I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know who is going to get hurt. I don’t know, you know — again, we’ve got to get hit in the mouth too.”

Herman says training camp has been tough and yet these guys have responded to every challenge. The regular season is the next challenge ahead facing a Maryland team that knows it can beat the Longhorns.

“That’s something that we talk about very often, because of how happy the team is right now, how excited they are to be here, how they’ve embraced and bought in to the culture and have gone so, so hard in training camp, and everything’s great right now. But what are we going to do when we get down ten points in Washington, D.C., if we do? What are we going to do when, you know, another team, you know, decides that they came to play too?” Herman said.

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