Fresh off the bye week, head coach Tom Herman met with the media Monday to discuss the state of the team following a gameless Saturday. Now heading toward Kansas State, Herman said the bye week was a great time for the team to regroup and relax.
In his press conference, Herman touched on injury updates, how team relationships have improved and the team’s confidence.
Injury Update: Some players are still question marks for Saturday
Herman said the bye week was a great chance for Texas’ roster to heal but especially those who have been out with injury.
Senior linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch, who has been out with a shoulder injury, was on a positive trajectory for this upcoming week, but it didn’t keep progressing. Herman said it’s probable he will practice on Tuesday or Wednesday. Like McCulloch, sophomore defensive back Demarvion Overshown is still showing weakness in his shoulder but has been cleared to practice. Herman hopes the upcoming 24-48 hours will speed up his recovery.
Herman said sophomore defensive backs B.J. Foster and Caden Sterns are probable. Fans may be seeing the return of freshman running back Jordan Whittington this weekend too, as he practiced Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Though these players are coming off of injury and weeks without being on the turf, Herman still has high expectations for their return.
“If they’re cleared, then they’re medically cleared, so I don’t know what would be the hold-up,” Herman said. “I had the expectation that if you play in the football game for the University of Texas, you’re going to go out and be able to play at the standard that is expected around here.”
Team relationships have improved
On Wednesday, Herman spoke about how the team was in need of relationship building. Herman said he took the first steps over the weekend with the class of 2019 by creating a 10-20 play cut up for each player and meeting with them for 30-45 minutes.
Herman said he felt his relationships with those players got better and they reaffirmed their commitment to the rest of the season.
“As a head coach, I miss coaching players,” Herman said. “It was really good to reacquaint myself with those guys. All of them are in great spirits. In terms of moving forward, they’ve all assured me that they understand that they’ve got to fight through this. I think the off week really, really helped.”
Confidence remains high
Even with a close win against Kansas and loses to TCU and Oklahoma, Herman said team confidence has not been shaken whatsoever. Texas understands what it needs to do to get better in order to get the job done this weekend.
“I don’t think anybody’s oblivious to what’s in front of us in terms of our only long term goal, which is competing for and being in the mix for our conferences championship … We’ve left the margin of error very slim, and that’s okay,” Herman said. “Everybody’s pushing in the same direction, saying we want to fight our way off the ropes, and it’s been a really good week and a half.”