Texas players met with the media on Tuesday night after practice to reflect on where the Longhorns stand at the midway point of the season. Here are two notes from Tuesday’s media availability.
Despite 3–3 record, Texas players believe they’re close
At the halfway point of the season, the first under head coach Tom Herman, the Longhorns sit at 3–3 overall and 2–1 in the Big 12. Texas has had close losses against then-No. 4 USC in double overtime a month ago and then-No. 12 Oklahoma this past Saturday. A few plays in each of those games made the difference between Texas being 5–1 and 3–3.
“That’s the most frustrating part,” junior linebacker Malik Jefferson said. “We know what to do. We got to get back to the drawing board. It’s time to get technique right. It’s time to get the playbook right. It’s time to get guys in the right spots. We lose on big plays, and that’s the problem — we shoot ourselves in the foot.”
Jefferson said that the Longhorns are close to turning the corner following the 29-24 loss to Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl. On Tuesday, Jefferson and many other players shared that same message about Texas’ progress through six games.
“As a team, I like the steps we’ve taken from in the past,” senior linebacker Naashon Hughes said. “I think we just need to take a couple more steps and just take that final step and finish teams.”
If the Longhorns hope to turn the corner and start moving toward a more positive trajectory, they’ll have to start stringing together some wins. With No. 10 Oklahoma State coming to Austin on Saturday, Texas has another big test ahead of itself, facing a high-powered Cowboy offense led by senior quarterback Mason Rudolph.
Ehlinger pushes Warren for critical scoring play against Oklahoma
Trailing 23-10 with under five minutes to play in the third quarter of Saturday’s Red River Showdown, one play in particular made heads turn and helped continue to build the tenacious reputation of freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger.
Facing second and goal from the 1-yard line, Ehlinger handed the ball off to junior running back Chris Warren III, who then took on two Oklahoma defenders. Ehlinger quickly followed behind and thrust his body into the back of Warren, helping push him into the end zone for a touchdown.
On Tuesday, Warren joked about how much help he had from Ehlinger getting into the end zone on that play.
“I think you guys give (Ehlinger) a little too much credit on the push, frankly,” Warren said. “But he did give some help on the push. The guy that tried to tackle me, he missed mostly, so I had more momentum going toward the end zone. Sam definitely pushed me in there.”