Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong met with the media on Monday to wrap up the weekend loss to the Oklahoma Sooners and start looking forward to the home game against the Iowa State Cyclones this weekend.
Here are the news and notes from the press conference:
-- The game time for the Kansas State contest in Manhattan on October 25 will be at 11 a.m. CT and will air on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU, presumably depending on how both teams perform this weekend.
-- There was no update this week on the status of suspended offensive tackle Desmond Harrison. A third failed drug test results in a six-game suspension, with Iowa State representing the sixth game since Harrison was suspended for a second time. If that is indeed the length and cause of his punishment, then he should return the next week against Kansas State.
-- Likewise, there wasn't an update on injured junior wide receiver Daje Johnson, who missed the Oklahoma game with a hamstring issue. Strong said that he tried to jog last week and wasn't able to do so. When he does return, Strong doesn't anticipate him displacing senior wide receiver Jaxon Shipley on punt returns, though Johnson could see time on kickoff return.
-- Strong said that going to a bowl game is important because of the ability to get in extra practices with the young players, but he said that he doesn't like to focus on games down the road and prefers to take it contest by contest.
-- The Texas head coach heaped plenty of praise upon redshirt freshman Naashon Hughes, who has played at linebacker and defensive end, getting the start at the weakside Fox position on Saturday and playing well in the estimation of Strong with his range. Strong was asked about whether he thinks Hughes can hold up at the point of attack and he said that he thinks he can, even though he took a good shot from the Oklahoma fullback on the first play. In all, Strong said he was "unbelievable" and one of the brightest spots on the defense.
-- Junior wide receiver Marcus Johnson took some ribbing from Strong when he bubbled inside in the open field after a catch and was caught from behind. Johnson told his coach that he thought the defender was right behind him and Strong told him that if he had kept heading straight he would have scored.
-- In talking about missed opportunities, Strong stopped himself when he started talking about the possible record if the Horns hadn't made so many mistakes and some beat writers think that he was going to say 5-1, which makes sense given the role that those mistakes played in losses to UCLA, Baylor, and Oklahoma.
-- Former quarterback David Ash has been focusing on graduating in December, so he hasn't been with the team much, but he has been coming out to practice when he can.
-- Strong emphasized the need to get off to a quick start against Iowa State and said that Texas isn't good enough to overlook any opponent right now.
-- He also said that a number of coaches have specific areas of special teams that they handle, so the mistakes aren't all on ostensive special teams coach Chris Vaughn, who also has the responsibility of coaching the defensive backs. In terms of improving, he said it's about players not taking plays off.