The Longhorns jumped to No. 18 in this week’s AP Top 25 rankings, but next Saturday, Texas head coach Tom Herman will be faced with a task that the program hasn’t achieved since 2002.
Here’s what Herman had to say at his Monday afternoon press conference about preparing for the upcoming week against Kansas State:
Moving on to Manhattan
Though Texas is riding a three-game winning streak for the first time in five seasons, the Longhorns can’t take the week off — seeing as they haven’t won on the road against the Wildcats in over a decade.
“We have moved on officially yesterday to trying to win a road game, which we haven’t won,” Herman said. “Our program hasn’t won in Manhattan, Kansas, since Caden Sterns was two years old. So that is no small feat, certainly. And we don’t take that very lightly.”
Kansas State hasn’t looked favorable this season as they sit with just a 2–2 record through four weeks. But the losing spell alone should be enough reason to avoid marking this game as a runaway for Texas.
Herman not anticipating difficulty motivating players
A primary point of emphasis for Herman after the USC win was trying to help his players avoid getting complacent going into the next week. As the Longhorns doubled down on their success this past weekend, Herman was again asked Monday about what he would be telling the athletes in the locker room.
“You want that feeling again? Great. You’re very capable of getting it,” Herman said. “But you’ve got to go do the things you did Sunday through Friday, last week. In order to make that a reality on Saturday you’ve got to do the exact same thing, and maybe to even a higher degree because we’re playing on the road.”
The second-year head coach has notably commanded a greater presence on and off the field than he did last year, and as a result, does not think it will take much outside motivation to propel his players forward to the next game.
Herman also devia ted from his trademark “Winning is hard” phrase on Monday, saying instead that winning has become an intoxicating feeling for him.
“How could you walk into this building and not want to do it that way again and again?” Herman said.
Key players set for return to practice field
Herman also gave a list of updates on the team’s injury front with a large mix of players returning to the field for practice on Tuesday.
Graduate transfer tackle Calvin Anderson, who played through knee issues against USC, and freshman tackle Samuel Cosmi, both, did not participate in practice Sunday, but “should be back, ready to go,” moving forward, said Herman.
Meanwhile, junior offensive lineman Zach Shackelford and freshman wide receiver Brennan Eagles, who were both held out on Saturday, will practice Tuesday, in addition to a pair of freshmen — running back Keaontay Ingram and defensive back DeMarvion Overshown.