AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The video published above recaps the 2019 Red River Showdown.
After dropping the second game of the season, Tom Herman addressed the media following the 34-27 loss to Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown.
Next up for the Longhorns is the Kansas Jayhawks, whose last game was also a loss to the Sooners. Kansas lost to Oklahoma at home, 45-20. Saturday will mark Les Miles' first time coaching against the Longhorns as the Jayhawks head coach.
Herman is 2-0 against the Jayhawks as the Longhorns head coach since his tenure started in 2017. Texas is 14-1 in the last 15 meetings with Kansas, with the sole loss coming in 2016 when the Longhorns fell 24-21 in Lawrence.
Tom Herman opening statement: "Well, the sun came up. Our guys were eager to get back to work yesterday. Good energy at practice yesterday. There is a lot from that game we can improve on. We got a lot of guys dedicated to doing that. Our biggest goal – we have completely turned the page as a team – our sole focus, as it should be, is to do everything within our power to beat Kansas."
Chris Brown – forearm fracture, will need surgery. Out for six weeks.
Collin Johnson – continuing to be evaluated. Has not been diagnosed with a concussion and will lift weights in workouts.
Jeffrey McCulloch – dislocated shoulder, will be out for Kansas game.
Juwan Mitchell – sprained elbow, won't be limited too severely as week progresses.
Herman on missed tackles against Oklahoma: "The answer is yes – the (missed tackles) were glaring. We've got good athletes that need to be able to tackle better. Even though we weren't in pads yesterday, we did spend a good 10 to 15 minutes with that. We'll tackle live in practice tomorrow. We're so banged up defensively, it wasn't the best decision on my part in retrospect to limit the tackling these last few weeks in practice. It showed."
Herman on what aspects of the team are fixable after six weeks of games: "Everything is fixable. We knew we had to play more of a one-high defense against their (Oklahoma) offense – based on them being able to attack the middle of the field when you're in a two-high shell with a lot of their pop passes, misdirection pop passes, seams, etc. When you do that, you have to contain the quarterback and we did not do a good job of that. We knew that was an area of concern going in. But that is fixable. We got to let our guys play fast and fearless."
Herman on effects of Oklahoma defensive success early: "They flew to the football. They were very sure tacklers. When you live in the RPO game, you're going to deal with nickels and safeties that are unblocked. If the ball gets handed off, you'll have an unblocked guy in space and they did a good job of tackling in space."
Herman on Sam Ehlinger being sacked nine times: "It was nothing that they did that we didn't prepare for. There is a lot of things that go into sacks – backs that miss blitzers, receivers that ran routes at improper depths, quarterback hangs onto the ball too long."
Herman on what he learned about himself and his staff: "I felt like we could make some adjustments. I learned that our kids play really, really hard for their coaches which is important. I learned that there is no finger pointing in our guys when they face adversity."
Herman on the biggest positive and biggest negative of Red River Showdown loss: "The frustrating part was how we played offensively. We've been able to carry our young defense for most of the season. That was discouraging. The positive was our red zone defense continues to play well. We got two turnovers and did not turn the ball over, which is why we were in that game."
Herman on rebounding from Oklahoma loss: “There is zero sense of panic. There is zero sense of whoa is me. There is zero sense that our issues are unfixable. The things that we did do poorly we have shown at times to do well. We’ve got to coach our guys to play with a level of consistency … especially against top five opponents. We’ve got to play with that kind of consistency against really, really good people.”
Herman on addressing injuries on defense: “You figure it out. We’ll figure it out this week. Guys that are in our program for a reason because we feel like we recruited them because they have that ability level. The urgency level to ramp up some of these guys development is certainly there and around the clock at this point. There’s no other option. There really is not. We’re going to get the guys and coach them to the best of our abilities. Again, we’ve got put 11 out there and the 11 is going to be the best that Texas has right now.”
Herman on taking the program to the next step: “Resiliency. There were plenty of times in that game where there could’ve been a lot of finger pointing. I know that certainly has and could’ve happen to a lot of teams, but they kept fighting. It’s a close group of guys that love each other. I think that’s the biggest takeaway … we’ve got a lot of guys that are committed and compelled to fight through adversity.”
Herman on his level of anger from the Oklahoma game: “None other than at myself. It was the first time that I can remember that we got out-physicaled on both sides of the ball. That’s not us. I’m obviously disappointed in the way that the game unfolded and the way that we played. I’m not going to get angry at the kids. I’ll coach the coaches. If there’s anyone to be angry at it’s me. Obviously, I didn’t do enough to get the guys playing at a level that we need them to play.”
After being asked hardly any questions about the Jayhawks, Herman signed off the press conference with a hook 'em sign and said "Beat Kansas!"
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