Texas eliminated from Big 12 title contention — Here’s what Tom Herman said after the loss

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns football season will end in failure after a 23-20 loss to Iowa State on Friday at Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium. Texas was effectively eliminated from Big 12 title contention after Cameron Dicker’s last-second 57-yard field goal went just wide of the uprights.

Iowa State didn’t lead in the game until Breece Hall’s touchdown with 1:30 to go in the fourth quarter, but the Cyclones made the key plays in the fourth quarter to almost clinch their spot in the Big 12 Championship.

Texas is 5-3 this season. There hasn’t been a Big 12 championship game participant with three conference losses since 2008. Texas will not break that trend barring some unbelievable results in the final weeks of the season.

The Longhorns still have two games left in the regular season at Kansas State and Kansas in the closing weeks, but the heat is certainly on Longhorns head coach Tom Herman after the stumbles during the 2020 season.

When asked about his future with Texas football, Herman said it wasn’t his decision to make.

“I feel like where we have the program right now compared to where it was. The future is very bright. We’ve won a lot of games in our time here. Played for an opportunity to get to that (championship) game today and lost in the last couple of minutes. I feel great in the trajectory of our program and where we’re headed on the horizon,” Herman said.

Here’s what else Herman said after the 23-20 loss to ISU.

Opening Statement

“Really hard fought game. Really proud of the way that we played off of 20 day layoff. Thought we came out fast. Very little sign of rust. Proud of the way we held that vaunted rushing attack like we did. Hats off to the fans…thank you. It meant a lot to us and it meant a lot to me. Hats off to Iowa State. They have a heckuva team. They will represent our conference very well in the conference championship. Take the tears out of our eyes and understand this is not the last game. I don’t think there’s anybody in that locker room that’s not heartbroken.”

Feeling on being eliminated from Big 12 Championship race

“Heartbroken for our seniors. Heartbroken for the rest of the team but still understand that there’s a job to do…to go 1-0 in Manhattan, Kansas.”

Evaluation of fake punt decision

“We’d worked it for two weeks and knew it was there and they did a good job, defending Cade Brewer. I think on the replay you’d see Roschon Johnson wide open on the corner route and he didn’t see him. Our defense really had our back.

Did this game epitomize the season?

“We knew we were going to play a bunch of close games this year and there is a ton of parity in this league. We’re going to have a conference champion with at least two losses. We’ve won some close ones throughout the season and couldn’t find a way to get this one for our seniors.”

Does Herman believe he’s the right man for the Texas job?

“It’s not for me to decide. I feel like where we have the program right now compared to where it was. The future is very bright. We’ve won a lot of games in our time here. Played for an opportunity to get to that (championship) game today and lost in the last couple of minutes. I feel great in the trajectory of our program and where we’re headed on the horizon.”

Decision to go for it on fourth down in fourth quarter

“It was a tough one. The analytics said to go for it. You go up there by two scores if you get it. You kick the field goal…you’re up by a touchdown. I felt confident in the play that was called and we didn’t get it.”

Thoughts on playcalling on second to last drive in fourth quarter

“We knew a couple of first downs wins us the game. We knew that after the first run that the box was going to be significantly loaded and we didn’t get the first down.”

Thoughts on play that ended in Ehlinger sack on last drive

“Four verticals and the back on the checkdown and was hoping to get the back on the checkdown to add some yardage before the field goal.”

Player quotes

Ta’Quon Graham on Tom Herman’s future with Texas: “I really don’t listen to the opinions outside of Texas football. I respect Coach Herman and I think he’s fit to lead this team. He’s going to continue to have my support the whole way.”

Sam Ehlinger on frustrations of season: “We still haven’t played a great game with both sides of the ball playing really well. That’s frustrating. Confused that so much talent that we can’t put it all together. A lot of self-inflicted mistakes leads to frustration.”

Sam Ehlinger on Tom Herman: “I really respect Coach Herman and I’m so thankful for the opportunities to play at this university. I do believe he is the right guy.”

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