The injury bug has spread from the Texas running back room to the defensive room. Texas head coach Tom Herman announced Monday that sophomore safety B.J. Foster would not play in Saturday’s game due to a hamstring injury. Before his replacement, sophomore safety DeMarvion Overshown, could step onto the field as a starter, it was announced that he would also be sidelined due to injury.
“DeMarvion Overshown will not play,” Herman said. “(He) has a stress fracture in his back. I know that sounds really bad, but from what I’ve been told, (he’s) week-to-week.”
Now that Foster and Overshown are out, junior safety Chris Brown is next in line. Brown is a hard-hitter that has had his impact felt in the locker room just as much as on the field.
“He’s just a dog and has a dog mentality,” sophomore safety Caden Sterns said. “(He’s) definitely one of the leaders in the DB room, the secondary and a guy that we need on the field with us.”
On the opposite side of the ball, senior wide receiver Collin Johnson will be a game-time decision due to a hamstring injury. Johnson said Tuesday that the hamstring bothered him in the matchup against LSU. Prior to the game, Herman revealed the injury in his weekly press conference.
“You know we’re going to be smart with it because we’re going to need him all season,” Herman said. “But I know he wants to play, so he’s traveling.”
Injuries have been the story of Texas’ season. While every team goes through injuries, Texas is in the middle of one of the most unique injury situations in terms of what has transpired in the running back room.
Yet, the Longhorns received some good news on the injury front this week as junior running back Daniel Young has recovered well from his high ankle sprain, which at the time was believed to be significant.
“I think it would be a two-man rotation with Keaontay and Roschon and then (Young) if needed,” Herman said. “But it is comforting to know that at least we’ve got another experienced body back there.”
Having a familiar face in the backfield will prove to be helpful as the Longhorns are facing a team that operates differently from what they are used to.
“Rice is unique because there’s a lot of two tight ends, three tight ends, two back in the backfield,” defensive coordinator Todd Orlando said Wednesday. “We’re used to seeing a lot of spread stuff and fast pace … so it’s different, (and) we’ll have to be different.”
The change in scheme is compounded with the change of scenery. Saturday will be the first time this season Texas is on the road. Herman, his staff and even some players have played in NRG Stadium before, in the 2017 Texas Bowl. Nevertheless, the Longhorns are filled with youth at key positions and have to help manage the differences between road games and the comfort of home.
“It’s just educating them on what to expect and minimize as many distractions as you can,” Herman said.
Rice provides an opportunity for Texas to return to the winner’s circle and move past the sting of losing to LSU.
“Hopefully, everybody had already done that by Tuesday,” Herman said. “But we can have no lingering effects from that because at the end of the day, Rice doesn’t care whether we won or lost.”