AUSTIN, Texas — After a dominating performance at NRG Stadium in Houston, Tom Herman addressed the media to field questions about developments from the Rice game and the upcoming matchup against Oklahoma State.
Here is what Herman talked about in Monday's press conference:
Tom Herman's opening statement:
"To recap this past Saturday's game. I want to thank our fans. There was a ton of burnt orange at NRG Stadium. I'm proud of our team for responding not just on Saturday but the way they went about their business. Injury update ... the three guys you're probably all going to want to know about Zach Shackelford, Collin Johnson, and Joseph Ossai are all probable. Zach will be fairly limited in practice today. Joseph Ossai sprained his shoulder. He'll put a brace on in practice tomorrow. And Collin will practice tomorrow, as well."
Herman on defensive outlook going against Oklahoma State:
"I've used the phrase before, it's a scene from Armageddon, right? It's the scariest environment imaginable -- that's all you had to say. You know, they have the nation's leading rusher. They've got an All-American wide receiver. They have a quarterback that can not only throw it to that receiver, but is a threat with his running ability, too. It's going to be a challenge, for sure, but you can't sell your soul I guess to stop one because they're so proficient in the other (areas). You just have to be sound."
Herman on if he's concerned the defense gave up points in the fourth quarter even though the game ended on an "up note" with a kickoff return touchdown:
"No. The score was 38-0. I think we out-gained (Rice) 467 yards to 112. (Rice) crossed the 50-yard line one time going into the fourth quarter when we put all of our back ups in. Some of those guys that were playing were on scout team in the week's preparation. So, there wouldn't have been a bad taste in our mouths, for sure. I do want to say, I think it's a testament to our players and their culture. The score is 38 ... whatever it was ... 13 with a minute and some change left, we have guys fighting like it's the opening kickoff of the Super Bowl. You don't see that a lot at many places in the country.
Herman on defensive back Chris Brown:
"Playmaker. He's got great instincts. Physical, but had a lot of development to go in terms of ... you know he's not going to grow. He's not going to get any taller, so we needed to make sure that he was strong and able to stand the physicality of the position. But I think we all knew very early that he had a knack for the football and wasn't afraid to throw his body around."
Herman on coaching against Mike Gundy:
"(Gundy's) obviously done a really good job of two things: one, evaluating talent and recruiting and recognizing some diamonds in the rough. And then he develops the heck out of his guys. They've had a lot of skilled athletes go on to get drafted. That's what you think of when you think of (Gundy): talent evaluation on the recruiting end and then development once they get there. Obviously his offenses speak for themselves.
Herman on Tylan Wallace compared to past Big 12 wide receivers:
I never want to get into comparing players. I know he's really good. I know he's a preseason All-American for a reason. They don't give that distinction to guys that are bums. He's as complete a receiver that we'll see in terms of his route running ability ... speed ... he's a ferocious blocker, too. For a receiver of his talent, it's rare to see and we respect that about him.
Herman on freshman wide receiver Jake Smith's 2019 season performance thus far:
"Great. (Jake's) not an early enrollee so his first taste of college football was training camp and it hit him like a shovel to the face. But he made it through those dog days of training camp. Really proud of our staff for not panicking when all of those running backs went down and saying well this is a kid that played a lot of running back in high school. It would have stunted his growth a lot at the slot receiver position. Really pleased with his toughness and dependability."
Herman on Daniel Young's return to the running back group:
“We’ve got to have some discussions on what we do with David Gbenda moving forward if Danny stays healthy. To have two, scholarship backs and a third, converted quarterback playing that position very well allows you to take a breath a little bit.”
Herman on Keaontay Ingram and his self-criticism:
“(Keaontay) is very self-critical. Every successful person in life – that I know at least – is very self-aware and self-critical. The challenge with him is not obviously letting two mistakes follow one. Personally, I didn’t think he started the Rice game really well. I was really keeping a close eye on him and he bounced back and wound up having a really good game for us. After those first couple of runs, he really bounced back and had one of his better games.”
Herman on Oklahoma State's running back Chuba Hubbard:
“(Hubbard's) vision is really good. He’s got some good strength and size to him. His offensive line is playing really well in front of him. The thing that stands out is his vision. His decision-making with the ball in his hands is really good.”
Herman on his team's pass defense:
“When our ones were in there, I thought did a good job against the pass. We are what our stats say we are. The Louisiana Tech game was not near as concerning to me simply because they had to throw the ball 54 times, but we’ve got to do a better job against the elite teams … the LSU’s of the world … we’ve got to do better. Every experience is a learning experience. No player is a finished product, ever. The good thing is I haven’t seen the same mistake over and over again.”
Herman on using Rice film as learning experience:
“You don’t always have to learn from mistakes, you can learn from things you do well. The two biggest takeaways for me from both sides of the ball were how well we handled such a multiple defense and they got their tackles for losses, but all of those things … if you’re good at something, enhance it and if you’re not good at something, figure out a way to fix it. I thought Taquon Graham had his best game at Texas and then obviously Keondre and Malcolm continued to be disruptive.”
Herman on offensive line grades for Sam Cosmi and Junior Angilau:
“They graded out well. The redshirt for Junior and Sam were both for different reasons. For Sam, it was to put on weight and for Junior it was just a transition to a triple-option offense. But he came in … pretty physically there.”
Herman on close games and confidence of team:
"The confidence is as high as it’s been and it should be because of how hard and how well these guys have trained. The last couple years … it was I think we’re going to win.”
Herman on Sam Ehlinger's performance through three games:
"(Sam's) control of the offense. Completion percentages are great, but just knowing where to go ... getting us out of bad plays and into better ones. And then being on time with his throws. It's a testament to him that the Sunday after last week's game (LSU) we were like 'yeah, probably wasn't his best game' and you look up and he's got 400 yards of total offense and five touchdowns. And you're talking about that not being his best game. We have very high expectations of him and he has that of himself."
Herman on tight end performance:
“I think both tight ends are playing great. They’re blocking their tails off. They have been an asset … certainly in the run game."
Herman on Joseph Ossai’s importance to defense:
“Joe Ossai and Keondre Coburn are the energizer bunnies on that side of the ball … they just go so hard all the time. Joe is extremely athletic and has a great skill set, but the thing you notice is how hard he plays.”
Zach Shackelford – probable (foot)
Collin Johnson – probable (hamstring)
Joseph Ossai – probable (shoulder)
B.J. Foster – hamstring (out, but hopeful to return after bye week)
WATCH FULL PRESS CONFERENCE HERE:
Texas kicks off against Oklahoma State at 6:30 p.m. on KVUE.