AUSTIN (KXAN) — There will definitely be some questions about the Longhorns defense Monday at Texas head coach Tom Herman’s press conference even if the availability is intended to preview the upcoming game against TCU.
Texas won the game against Kansas, but it’s hard to imagine anyone felt great about the defense’s performance on the field. The Jayhawks amassed 48 points and 560 offensive yards nearly getting an unprecedented upset at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
The Longhorns turn their attention to TCU this week for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Texas won last season’s match-up 31-16 stopping a losing streak to the Horned Frogs.
TCU, coached by Gary Patterson, are struggling this year at 3-3 overall, but the defense is still playing to an elite level. TCU lost at Kansas State Saturday 24-17.
“Excited to be back at work. Had a really good practice yesterday. Obviously, we know we’ve got to play better defensively. Everyone on that side of the ball…we all get it and we’re committed to figuring it out. We can and we will.
DeMarvion Overshown- shoulder injury
Jalen Green- practice Sunday
B.J. Foster- left shoulder (evaluating)
Caden Sterns- not available
Jordan Whittington- questionable
On not playing to team standards against Kansas
We’ve got standards at the University of Texas that we need to play to and we didn’t on that side of the ball. When you’re starting nine freshmen or sophomores on defense and you turn the ball over twice where we did…I would saw we didn’t play good offense situationally. We expect to play much, much better especially defensively.
If there was a let-down after OU loss
“We jumped up 14-nothing and got some stops and played well offensively. They did their best emotionally. When you watch the defense…we were flying around. We just did it with poor angles, at the wrong spot, with wrong fits. The effort wasn’t the question.”
On pinpointing defensive issues
“Guys that have been here for 2 or 3 years should be able to play man-to-man coverage and quarters coverage. We need to uphold our end of the bargain with techniques and the player need to hold up their end by playing well.”
How to rally defense with so many injuries
“The one thing we can’t and will not coach is effort. We are playing with a tremendous amount of effort and now it’s on us to figure out what do they do well and enhance it. Where are they deficient and improve it or eliminate it from the game plan and then it’s on the players to do what they’re coached to do. It all circles back to coaching because players that have tremdous amount of buy-in…usually do the right thing at the right time. One of our biggest issues right now is we’ve got some guys trying to do too much.”
Defensive leaders helping with youth
“As far as the defensive leadership, there’s three captains and Joseph Ossai…when families are hit with adversity you either come together and get stronger or you splinter. I think our leaders are doing a good job of coming together. Everybody sees the issues and addresses the issues and are taking the necessary steps to improve.”
On developing depth and its important to building program
“Critical and you’re seeing it. I had our training staff do a study through seven games. We actually have eight less injuries this year…it just happens to be at the same position. It was running back in training camp and now it is safety. That’s why you recruit the way that you do because you’re going to have to play young guys and those young guys are going to have to go out there and play well. That’s why recruiting is so important and your miss percentage has to be pretty low.”
Where has Herman seen improvement
We didn’t get better at anything two weeks ago. I can tell you that. I thought we got better offensively this week. I was proud of our tight red zone execution offensively. If you want to look at plays of the game defensively. The blocked kicks provided a huge swing.”
Thoughts on TCU
“I don’t know if they’re defense is giving up big points. The SMU sticks out to everyone…but their defense played pretty well. I felt good knowing that last year’s team won 31-16 but we’re watching in the third quarter and wondering when did we score all these points. They kicked our butts early. No. 90 is a load. He’s as good a defensive tackle that we’ll play this year. They are going to be really well-coached defensively. They’re still finding their way a little bit at quarterback. Jalen Reagor is as electric as they come. I know they’re going to play really well and hard on defense. They’ve got two really explosive players on offense, as well.”
On reminding players about the standard
“Our job is to defeat human nature everyday as coaches. Human nature, if you’re a young player on defense is to say…well, I’m young. That’s human nature to blame, complain and defend yourself and we have to constantly educate them. Talking about the price of a championship…it is really expensive in terms of time and energy. Regardless of who we jog out on the field that standard is expected to be met.”
On special teams and return game
“Still a work in progress. The return game has not been good. We’ve got to play more starter on special teams and you’ll see more of the combos…should see a lot more starters on that. If we’ve got a talent advantage, we should be using it in special teams. I think in the day and age, all the statistics with touchbacks being at 25-yard line returning a kick yards in the offense is statistically probably not the right move.”
On Cade Brewer
“We know what Cade can do. We’re throwing the ball pretty good to say we’ve got to change or add to our repertoire would be a bit silly. We knew what Cade could do…it just so happened we had really advantageous looks to take advantage of them.”
On defensive strategy
“I think we’re confident. I think you always worry that if you don’t evolve…teams are going to catch up. Look no further to the defense that we’ll play this week. I don’t think pressing the reset button is necessarily the answer. That was my charge to the defensive staff. Believe in something.”
On offensive line evaluation
“Good enough in that game. I think overall we’re playing better than we have over the last three years. Anytime you can rush for 200 yards and I think we’ve done it three times…three or four. You can say, hey we’re playing pretty well.”
On decision to go for it on fourth down
“All of those analytics…it is a very complex formula and I don’t always listen to it. More so, believe it or not, on the conservative side of things. We’ve got to do a better job of coaching our guys to execute those plays. I do think…certainly with any of those decision how the other side of the ball is playing. There’s a lot of factors that go into each one.”