AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas and head coach Tom Herman are doing their best to move on to Kansas.
Even if they don’t recognize the team that they watched on film in the loss to OU in Saturday’s Red River Showdown.
“It was the first time that I can remember that we got out-physical-ed on both sides of the ball. That’s not us,” Herman said. “I’m obviously disappointed in the way that the game unfolded and the way that we played. I’m not going to get angry at the kids. If there’s anyone to be angry at it’s me.”
Oklahoma shook the foundation of everything Tom Herman coached teams are built on. The Sooners ran the ball with ease, they created havoc around UT quarterback Sam Ehlinger and finished tackles on Texas playmakers.
The Longhorns looked great in run defense this season until Saturday. OU took it to the Texas front rushing for 276 yards and a staggering 7.3 yards per carry. Kansas comes to town this week bringing a fairly dormant rushing attack ranked ninth in the conference — even with talented running back Pooka Williams.
Ehlinger was sacked nine times by the Sooners who used a lot of stunts and switches to gash holes in the Longhorns protection. Herman has been adamant that the offensive line isn’t the only reason the Sooners racked up sacks. He pointed to mistakes in receivers routes and Ehlinger holding on to the ball too long.
Based off reputation, it looked the Longhorns and Sooners switched jerseys with their tackling in the secondary. Conservatively, Texas defensive backs missed over 20 tackles on OU players in the open field. It’s hard to win games that way. Herman noted that they haven’t been tackling as much in practice over recent weeks, due to the mounting injuries on defense.
“It was not a great decision on my part, in retrospect, to limit the tackling these last few weeks in practice, and it showed,” Herman said Monday.
The Longhorns are rededicating themselves to the art of tackling this week with Herman noting they will have live-tackling during Tuesday’s practice and worked on drills during Sunday’s practice, as well.
Herman believes all of the Longhorns mistakes are correctable, and Kansas is usually the squad that helps fix mistakes. Texas will need to take advantage of their opportunity against the Jayhawks with several difficult road games looming during the final month of the season.