Despite the Texas Longhorns most recent outing being a 50-43 road loss to the California Golden Bears, Charlie Strong said on Monday that he still believes his team is face-to-face with an opportunity to control the Big 12.
"I say that to them, why can't it be?” he asked. “Why not us? You look what we have and we're a very talented football team, and we can make an excuse of being young. It's no excuse."
Strong cited the two-quarterback system that’s worked quite well for the team early on, two powerful running backs in D’Onta Foreman and Chris Warren III, a slew of playmaking wide receivers, as well as depth on the offensive line as reasons to believe in what Texas can do going forward. Strong also mentioned that the defense has multiple areas where improvement is necessary, but said he reiterates to his team that the talent is, in fact, there.
"I always tell them, we're the fastest, most physical team in college football,” said Strong. “Let's go prove it."
Regardless of Texas defensive struggles, which Strong insisted would be fixed during last Monday’s media availability, the Longhorns realistically enter conference play with a golden opportunity to headline the Big 12.
Oklahoma hasn’t proven to be the power many expected, while TCU has seen its share of early struggles. The only undefeated teams remaining are No. 13 Baylor and unranked West Virginia.
With Texas now boasting an offense capable of surviving shootouts in averaging 500 yards and 44.7 points per game, there’s reason to believe the ‘Horns will have a legitimate chance to win each conference game.
If the young, but immensely talented defense can figure things out sooner rather than later, Texas’ chances of re-emerging as the Big 12’s frontrunner after a half-decade of struggles becomes increasingly likely.
That’s something Strong said his players are looking ahead towards, rather than peering backwards and dwelling on the Cal loss.
In fact, if you ask Strong, Texas still has all the momentum it did after the 2-0 start and No. 11 ranking.
"The momentum has not shifted at all and we haven't lost it at all.”