Texas coach Tom Herman looks ahead to premiere match up with LSU

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The lights will be bright Saturday night at Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium when No. 10 Texas and No. 6 LSU kick off.

Texas is hosting its first all top ten showdown since 2012 when No. 7 West Virginia beat the No. 9 Longhorns 48-45.

The Longhorns are 1-0 for the first time under Texas head coach Tom Herman after a 45-14 win over Louisiana Tech Saturday night. LSU dominated Georgia Southern 55-3 for its first win of the season.

This is the first match up between Texas and LSU since the 2003 Cotton Bowl. Mack Brown’s Longhorns beat up on Nick Saban’s Tigers 35-20 behind Texas receiver Roy Williams.

On Monday, Herman met with the media to breakdown the Longhorns’ match up with LSU

Opening Statement:

“I do want to thank our fans. Our student section was here extremely early and you could feel them. I thought it was an excellent atmosphere. Shoutout to Chris Del Conte and Drew Martin for what they’ve been able to do in two year. We were fresh, we were physical I was proud of the effort.”

Injury Report:
Jordan Whittington- torn abductor (sports hernia) likely out 4-6 weeks
Josh Moore: suspended indefinitely (still practicing)
*Keaontay Ingram, David Gbenda, Roschon Johnson will be the running backs*

More on Jordan Whittington:

“It was repaired in high school and it nagged him a little bit in spring ball, but he missed zero practices in spring ball. It did not sideline but we knew it was nagging him. He had an MRI done a few weeks ago and it was not torn and a play that he got tackled…it was torn.”

On Keaontay Ingram:

“I though Keaontay played well. Maybe a little too excited. Lacked a little patience on a few runs…the good thing was when he squirted out of it he was able to get some good runs. Roschon Johnson, it’s good he was here in the spring. He knew protections…as a quarterback you have to know it all. He’ll certainly get a lot more (snaps) this week.”

Anything change in practice with RB injuries:

“Not on game day I think you have to do anything that it takes to win. In practice, these guys have been wearing green jerseys non-contact for three weeks. But on game day, you have to turn it loose and do what it takes to win.”

On pass defense giving up over 300 yards:

“Any time a team goes 54 passes, you’re going to give up some yards. You’re not going to hold them zero. I thought it was good…we still have work to do. I think we can eliminate some of those yards with assignments that we busted. Jalen graded out as a champion, the other three guys did not. We know we have to get better as the season progresses.”

On LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda:

“Enjoyable guy to be around…very cerebral. I think I hosted him on his visit to Cal Lutheran. He transitioned into student coach. We stayed in touch throughout the years. We bounce ideas off each other quite regularly…haven’t in the past couple of years because we knew we’d playing each other. We’ve stayed in pretty close contact. Dave has a lot to do with me hiring Todd Orlando five years ago. Todd was at Utah State and he was going to replace Aranda at Utah State. What Todd did then we a carry over of what Dave was doing at Utah State. When I was calling around about Todd, Dave was someone I leaned on pretty heavily. He said (Todd) was a no-brainer, can’t miss.”

On scheduling SEC teams:

“I know it’s his (Chris Del Conte’s) vision to have a marquee non-conference home game every other year. He comes to me with suggestions and it’s a ‘yeah, I’m good with or no, I’m not good with it”

On if SEC is the best conference:

“It’s not my job to know which conference is better, but I’ll tell you there’s not a scout that says they’re drafting a guy because a patch on their jersey.”

On Texas’ front seven:

“I thought the front three played really well. You felt Malcolm Roach, Taquon Graham graded out as a champion. The linebackers…Jeffrey McCulloch played really well. Joseph Ossai played really well. Dele Adeoye and Juwan Mitchell….it was good to get their feet wet. Still confident in those guys.”

On LSU quarterback Joe Burrow:

“I love Joe…I recruited him. He’s a coaches kid. He reminds me a lot of our guys. He’s uber competitive. He’s a leader among leaders. With any good quarterback, you’ve got to pressure him, but you’ve got to vary the looks. We can’t just dial up a blitz every snap….as good as Joey is…we definitely know how intelligent he is.”

Significance of this match up:

“I don’t want to downplay the significance of the match up. It’s signficant for us. We understand to get to where we want to be as a program…we need to win these games. I also know Bob Bowlsby isn’t handing out the Big 12 Trophy after this week…we also know there’s a bigger picture.”

On LSU’s offensive changes:

“He’s distributing the ball. They’re playing with pace…they’re going to snap the ball faster than Louisiana Tech.”

On LSU’s defense:

“The size and strength up front. K’Lavon Chaisson is the edge setter and pass rusher and he’s elite. They’ve got two All-Americans in the secondary. This is as elite of a unit as we’ve seen in our time here. They’ve got NFL players at pretty much every position.”

On handling pressure situations with younger players:

“That they didn’t care how bright the lights were. I think for the most part they handled it well. I think Jake Smith’s first play was a punt returner. I thought Tyler Owens had a great hit on kickoff return. The way the game went was certainly helpful because it’s not new to them anymore.”

On if he’s ever seen a running back situation:

“Never…our running back room was supposed to look like this and five of them are gone for multiple weeks and four are scholarship backs. I’ve never heard of it happening. Credit to those guys saying whatever this team needs.”

On Roschon Johnson handling running back duties:

“He’s taken to it like a fish to water. He’s a really competitive guy too…when he makes a mistake he’s really hard on himself. He’s tough, I have no doubt he’ll play well regardless of the competition.”

On Devin Duvernay’s streak of catching passes:

“In practice, it’s very rare. I can’t remember him dropping a pass. He’s very strong and competitive. I think that’s what helps him.”

If lack of running back depth will affect run game:

“It doesn’t…if both of those guys get hurt…the game plan will change significantly but they’re really good against the run too. It will not change the game plan. We’re confident in Keaontay and we’re confident in Roschon.”

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