AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns drowned out the distractions of a two-game losing streak and the debate over the school song “The Eyes of Texas” for a 27-16 win against Baylor on Saturday at Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium.
The Longhorns pushed a 13-3 halftime lead to 27-3 in the fourth quarter before Baylor made a small run to make the final minutes somewhat interesting.
In postgame, Texas head coach Tom Herman said he’s “always relieved” to get a win. It probably feels a little better that the Longhorns corrected several issues that have been nagging the team during the first four games.
Sam Ehlinger led the way with three total touchdowns and the running game amassed 159 yards on 47 carries as Texas put a strong emphasis on the running backs and the offensive line.
Next week, the Longhorns (2-2, 3-2 overall) will travel to Oklahoma State to face the undefeated Cowboys in Stillwater.
Here’s what Tom Herman said on Saturday after the win against Baylor.
“Really, really pleased to deliver a win for our fans in the stadium and our millions of fans at home. Very few missed assignments from what I could see. The points of emphasis…the punt protection was very solid. We ran the ball effectively and we stopped the run. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re still playing a lot of catch up from the installation of a new offense and a new defense. Was very productive over the bye week and our guys really bought in. Really happy for our program, our fans to get a victory. We know we’ve got a big one this week too. We’re going to celebrate this one tonight.”
On success in 3rd quarter after previous failures
“I wish I could tell you there was some magic thing we did. There wasn’t. We made an emphasis on it. We wanted to make our guys aware of that. Roschon Johnson gave a very impassioned speed to remind the team of the emphasis we’ve placed on it. Proud of the way our guys responded.”
On success of third down defense
“It was really big and you factor in the fourth down stop…it was five of 15 in stopping drives. You get what you emphasize. Early in the game, I was a little disappointed we didn’t get off the field, but it was after a couple first downs. We got that settled down. You get what you emphasize. I thought we pestered the quarterback pretty well. They completed some balls but we rallied and tackled.”
On focus and improvement of running game
“A lot. Bijan responded well. Our o-line, we had some breakdowns. Credit to Coach Yurcich and the offensive staff for sticking with it. They’re going to make a few plays. We had some one yard and two yard runs and that’s OK, but we had some nine yard and 11 yard runs. We challenged the offensive line and we challenged the tailbacks…really everyone on offense. Last week in practice, it was run period, run period, run period. We wanted to make the most of the bye week and improve our areas of deficiencies for one week.”
How did the team handle distraction of the past two weeks?
“I would like to think our players are trained to drown out the noise. You’ve got to have a still mind, you’ve got to have a focused mind, free of distraction. You’re only as good as your next ballgame. We’re going to enjoy this one but we’ve got a tall task ahead of us next weekend.”
Does Herman feel relieved after win?
“I’m always relieved to get a win. My bosses and myself are completely aligned and on the same page. I have made a habit. I don’t get on Twitter very often. I use it to recruit and celebrate momentous occasions. I don’t know if the relief was anymore today than any other. Winning is intoxicating but it’s also a relief any time you get a win.”
On overall defensive improvement
“To finally have two really good weeks of practice and translate into…that provides a lot of confidence. You’re basically starting a bunch of freshmen out there. I know they’re not but class, but it’s only five games in this system. By no means are we a finished product on any side of the ball.”
Does team believe it can compete for a championship?
“We don’t talk about the race. The leaders on this team understand who we have left to play and there’s a long road ahead. Those things are very difficult to do. We don’t talk about it. We talk about taking it one game at a time. The guys in the locker room know exactly what’s left to play for.”
On success of containing Baylor’s passing attack
“We played a little more two-high shell to protect our corners. We knew that in order to push the ball down the field that that would take some time and we were confident in our pass rush. We had the assumption that the game was going to be played underneath. Not got beat deep. We gave up one explosive. I think that worked really well.”