Herman briefs media following devastating loss

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Photo Credit: Brooke Crim | Daily Texan Staff

Thousands of fans buried their face into their hands moments after Texas freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw the game-ending interception last Saturday, dropping the Longhorns to 3–4, 2–2 Big 12 following their loss to No. 10 Oklahoma State.

Two days have passed since then. Students have gone back to class, fans have gone back to work, but head coach Tom Herman still had to answer several questions that lingered after yet another heartbreaking loss for the Longhorns. 

Here are the leading storylines: 

Ehlinger sustains head injury, again 

Texas Athletics released an email Sunday evening stating Ehlinger was being evaluated by the Texas medical staff for a head injury sustained in the Oklahoma State game last Saturday.

“It was something that came up after the game, really after the media stuff that he did post game,” Herman said. “That is when the medical guys noticed something was off. He was complaining a little bit so they evaluated him at that point and sent him home, nothing concrete at that point, Saturday night. We gave it 24 hours, he came back yesterday (Sunday) and showed some symptoms.”

This marks the second-consecutive week in which Ehlinger has been evaluated for a head injury. The freshman quarterback was sidelined for a few plays two weeks ago in the Red River Showdown after his head bounced violently off the turf following a big hit. Ehlinger was cleared and returned later in the same drive. 

However, Herman said it is not clear when Ehlinger sustained the head injury in Saturday’s game. 

Texas confirmed that Ehlinger was held out of practice Sunday. Herman said he is under concussion protocol and will be day-to-day. If Ehlinger isn’t cleared, look for junior wide receiver Jerrod Heard or sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele to start under center on Saturday. 

Herman’s message: Don’t panic

Texas’ 2–2 conference record places the team sixth in the Big 12 heading into Week 8. And the Longhorns still have road games against No. 4 TCU and No. 22 West Virginia. But Herman’s message to his coaching staff following Texas’ overtime loss was simple: Don’t panic. 

“The process, the culture, the way that we do things is not going to change around here,” Herman said. “We have evolved, and we need to. But we’ve got to continue to because what we did Saturday isn’t good enough.”

Herman said he was proud of the way his team responded in practice Sunday, which is easier said than done. Especially after two close losses to No. 12 Oklahoma and No. 10 Oklahoma State. The team’s confidence hasn’t wavered despite the agonizing last two weeks, and Herman said it’s up to his coaching staff to maintain that certainty. 

“The kids know when you’re uncertain,” Herman said. “The kids know when you’re full of disbelief and hesitation and there has been zero of that from myself and the staff. Because we know there’s a difference in thinking this is the right way to do things versus knowing this is the right way to do things. The entire staff knows that the way we do things is the right way.”