Winning does wonders for confidence
The record (4–4 overall, 3–2 Big 12) may not indicate it, but the Longhorns’ confidence is soaring after blowing out a winless Baylor squad, 38-7, in Waco. Just ask head coach Tom Herman.
“My confidence is at an all-time high,” Herman said. “And I think our players’ are too.”
Texas’ win comes after consecutive heartbreaking losses to No. 8 Oklahoma and No. 11 Oklahoma State, but Saturday didn’t just put Texas back in the win column. The Longhorns’ victory not only removed the nasty taste in their mouths from the previous two losses, but also gave them a much needed boost for Saturday’s matchup with No. 10 TCU.
Here are two other storylines from Herman’s Monday press conference:
Longhorns continue injury battle
When sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele returned to the field Saturday, freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger wasn’t even on the sideline. Both Ehlinger and sophomore center Zach Shackelford were not cleared by the medical staff after going under concussion protocol last week and did not travel with the team to Waco.
However, Herman announced that both players were cleared and practiced on Sunday. Freshman running back Toneil Carter also went into concussion protocol after Saturday’s game and has yet to be cleared.
The big name in Texas’ injury update was junior All-American left tackle Connor Williams, who sustained a knee injury on Sept. 16 against USC. No timeline for recovery was announced, but in September, Herman said Williams opted to go the nonsurgical route in hopes of returning this season. And from the sounds of the Monday press conference, he will.
“Connor Williams is close,” Herman said. “I think next week would be optimistic and the following week might be a little more realistic. But we’ll see. He finally started going out, in fact this morning, doing on-field drills and putting cleats on and actually changing direction, cutting, planting. We’ll see where he’s at with a full week of doing those drills.”
Herman said junior safety P.J. Locke III also sustained a sprained ankle in Saturday’s contest and is “very doubtful” for Texas’ matchup with No. 10 TCU. He will likely return for the remaining three games.
Herman: ‘I’m a Milky Way guy’
For the final question of the press conference, Herman was given the opportunity to discuss an important off-field matter: Halloween.
“Favorite Halloween candy, I’m not sure.” Herman said. “There’s probably only a few specific Halloween candies, right? Like candy corn. So I’m just gonna go candy in general. I’m a Milky Way guy. I love caramel, nougat, I believe is what they call it.”
Herman said he doesn’t really remember what his favorite costume was as a kid. He did remember doing the bed sheet with two eyes depicting a ghost, but said he didn’t have anything too memorable. When it comes to scariest movie, however, Herman had no problem remembering the 1983 Disney film that haunted his childhood.
“Scariest movie by far for me was ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes.’ It was a Disney movie actually,” Herman said. “It’s about this carnival guy, I don’t know if he’s the devil
reincarnate or something, but that movie growing up, even to this day, you throw that movie on right now, I’m probably not watching it.”