It’s been five days since LSU beat Texas 45-38. Normally, by this time in the week, the Longhorns are fully focused on the next opponent. However, the sting of losing a prime-time matchup at home, along with the lessons that come with it, still surround the program.
“You only fail once you stop learning from your mistakes and improving,” head coach Tom Herman said Monday about his message to sophomore running back Keaontay Ingram who had a rough outing. “Making mistakes is part of life … You got to use mistakes as feedback and criticism and go improve.”
For sophomore safety Caden Sterns and Ingram, their mistakes were magnified not only because of the caliber of their ability but also because of the moment in which the mistakes happened. Ingram dropped a goal line pass on fourth-and-goal and Sterns was in coverage when LSU converted on third-and 17 to put the game out of reach.
Ingram is known to be hard on himself and is quick to take blame.
“Oh, yeah he’s hard on himself,” offensive coordinator Tim Beck said. “He’s a young kid. He’s extremely talented. He just needs to go back to that, have fun and play the game.”
Herman knows Ingram needs to respond better in moments like the dropped pass.
“(Keaontay) knows he needs to respond to adversity better in game,” Herman said. “I told the whole team yesterday, and it applies.”
Despite the trouble he had against LSU, Ingram still has the complete support of his teammates and coaches.
“You know we believe in him,” Beck said. “I think he’s a hell of a back. Sometimes guys have great games, sometimes they have good games and sometimes they have average games.”
Along with Ingram, Sterns made a mistake in one of the biggest moments of the game Saturday night.
“I lost inside leverage,” said Sterns on Tuesday morning. “I probably watched it more than anybody in the building. … It just comes back to practice and just do it. Not give up inside leverage.”
Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando knows how much the team means to Sterns and knows Ingram is eager to improve.
“He knows,” said Orlando of Sterns. “He cares so much that what do you say to him? … So when things don’t go right. ‘Okay, we’re 0-1. Let’s not go 0-2.’”
The mentality of moving on to the next play is critical for both, especially considering that the depth at both of their positions has taken a hit in recent weeks, highlighting the need for them to perform.
“We’re playing a very disciplined team,” Sterns said. “They don’t really shoot themselves in the foot a lot. And also, (we can’t let) the past loss affect us too much and not let it continually create a snowball effect. So just respond to that.”
Now with Rice next on the schedule, moving on to the next play turns into moving onto the next game.
“We just have another game to get ready for,” Sterns said. “Do we need to improve? Yeah. Are we bad? No.”