AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas football will go through a dress rehearsal this weekend as training camp draws to an end and the focus shifts to Louisiana. The team is still a week away from the season opener, but Steve Sarkisian wants them to feel like game day is happening this weekend.
This week, the Longhorns will go through their Friday “gameday” routine — including staying in a hotel Friday night.
On Saturday, the Texas coaches and players will treat every moment like game day, leading up to a 3:30 p.m. start to their “mock game” to match the kickoff time against Louisiana.
“We’ll go to the hotel, we’ll do our meetings, we’ll get up Saturday morning and do our walk throughs, we’ll come to the stadium and do all our pregame warmups and then we’ll reenact those scenarios that happen in the game from substitutions, to injuries, potentially, things that guys are prepared for as back ups whether they’re on offense, defense or special teams,” Sarkisian said. “Really trying to get the guys in a routine of what we do [and] why we do it to get them comfortable and prepared to play at a high, high level next Saturday.”
The other challenge as a new head coach and coaching staff is that, aside from a couple of transfers from Alabama, Sarkisian has not coached any of these players in an actual game. Sarkisian will be learning the intricacies of his players as they respond to in-game adversity.
“That’s why we scrimmage the way we do,” said Sarkisian. “A lot of it is you want to see the guys that are able to cut it loose and play fast and free and you want to see the guys that maybe get out of themselves and don’t trust their training. You want to recognize the guys, if any, that have a little performance anxiety and how we can help them. Ultimately in front of 100,000 people on national television, some guys may react a little different and we need to be prepared for that.”
Sarkisian still hasn’t seen enough to name a starter at quarterback.
“No, I have not named one,” Sarkisian said on Thursday.
The battle between Casey Thompson and Hudson Card has been going since Sam Ehlinger left for the NFL. According to Sarkisian, they’re still splitting reps evenly between the starters and the backups.