Despite the rumors across Austin and beyond, the 6-5 record, the back-to-back losses to Iowa State and Baylor, third-year head coach Tom Herman hasn’t lost his players’ respect.
“You sense it, because no one’s given up,” linebacker Joseph Ossai told the Austin American-Statesman’s Hookem.com. “You see, if you watch the games, we’re still fighting. We still believe and we still have hope in him. We have hope in ourselves because we can get it done.”
But while journalists and fans speculate about where, exactly, the Texas Longhorns went wrong during the 2019 campaign, the players and coaching staff said they’re back to work as they prepare for a short week in the lead-up to taking on the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Asked whether it’s frustrating for the Texas Longhorns to be struggling this season, quarterback Sam Ehlinger said during a press conference, “Absolutely. I think that we definitely didn’t envision meeting a road block, but that’s part of life and it’s part of football.”
Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando said the blame falls on the coaches, not the players.
“Ultimately, we have to do a better job as coaches to get these guys to play at a ‘Texas’ level,” Orlando said of developing players. “At the end of the day, that’s our jobs. Joe Ossai is a good example of it. They’re trying their hearts out. We’re very demanding on those guys.”
Offensive coordinator Tim Beck agreed.
“I know we can be better. I know our players feel like they can be better. We didn’t put our best game out there,” Beck said of the most recent loss to Baylor.
NEWS FROM ELSEWHERE IN LONGHORN LAND
- Texas released a court rendering for the new basketball arena, the Moody Center, earlier this week. Included in the mock-up was an all too familiar face.
- Former Texas quarterback-turned-NFL tight end Tyrone Swoops got the nod in Seattle late last week, when the Seahawks promoted the third-year player from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. Swoopes’ stepping in was required after veteran tight end Ed Dickson went down with a knee injury, landing him on IR for the remainder of the season. The Seahawks were also without Luke Willson, who’s out with a hamstring injury, and Will Dissly, who landed on IR earlier this year as well, during what was potentially a breakout season.
- For former Longhorns linebacker Malik Jefferson, his tenure in the NFL likely hasn’t turned out quite as he’d planned. But, it seems, there may be hope on the horizon for the former standout, as he signed with the Los Angeles Chargers’ practice squad earlier this week. Jefferson was drafted in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, where he’d go on to appear in 12 games that season. He also played in nine games for the Cleveland Browns during the early portion of the 2019 season, but was later cut.
- Despite the Longhorns losing a series of defensive player commitments in the weeks leading up to the one-score loss to Oklahoma, four-star Highland Park linebacker Dorbah Prince says he’s made up his mind: As of early next year, he’s signing with Tom Herman’s Texas Longhorns, according to the Austin American-Statesman’s Hookem.com. “I’m committing [to Texas] no matter what happens,” Dorbah said, presumably referring to whether the Longhorns can win out the remainder of the 2019 season. “My mind is on winning a state championship and then it’ll turn to Texas. They showed me love like no other school did. They always wanted me and checked on me as a person.”
- Black Pumas are scheduled to headline the Longhorn City Limits postgame concert after Friday’s home game against Texas Tech. The Austin-based psychedelic soul band was recently nominated for their first Grammy Award in the “Best New Artist” category.