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Tom Herman reflects on Iowa State loss, says Longhorns are motivated for challenge against Baylor Bears

Tom Herman spoke about the disappointment of losing to Iowa State and the challenge posted by the Bears in Waco.

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas lost to Iowa State 23-21 on Saturday, marking the Longhorns' third loss in five weeks. 

The loss puts the Longhorns at 6-4 on the season, a familiar mark as of late. Texas has lost at least four games every season for the past decade. 

To make matters even more difficult for Texas, the team's next game comes on the road against No. 13 Baylor, who are 9-1 and coming off its only loss of the season to Oklahoma in a game where they led 28-3 at one point. 

Tom Herman spoke about the disappointment of losing to Iowa State and the challenge posted by the Bears in Waco.

Tom Herman opening statement: "Obviously, I'm extremely disappointed in the outcome of Saturday. That was a game I think all of us expected to win, not that we don't in all of them. Despite playing so poorly, offensively, for most of the game, we still had a chance to win it in the end. Credit to Iowa State. They made many, many more plays on both sides of the ball. So, I'm sure you want to know where to we go from here. We've still got a bunch of seniors in that locker room that have bled, sweat and cried for this program. We owe it to be determined to correct the mistakes that were made and do our best to go 1-0 against Baylor this week. They're a top 25 team and deservedly so. Our kids are resilient and huge competitors. They understand that we have a game this week against an in-state opponent that has only lost one game by three points last week. They understand the difficulty that lies ahead of them. Pretty somber around the facility yesterday as it should be when you lose. After we watched the film and got coached up, we had an on-point practice yesterday. The thing that we have stressed to them is that you're not going to be defined by when you're knocked down. You're going to be defined by how you get back up. This will be a good challenge for us to see what we're made of. Injury update: Anthony Cook has a tibia/fibula sprain, very similar to what Caden Sterns had. He is listed as doubtful. Collin Johnson ... still listed as doubtful with a hamstring. The good news is Junior Angilau was back at practice yesterday. You're talking about a guy that returned eight days after a grade two MCL sprain. You want to look for a tough S.O.B on our team ... we've got a lot of them but Junior Angilau certainly is one of them. Remarkable what he was able to do with the time he had in rehab."

Injury report: 

Anthony Cook – tibia/fibula sprain, doubtful.

Collin Johnson – hamstring injury, doubtful. 

Junior Angilau – MCL sprain, returned to practice.

Tom Herman on lack of run game against Iowa State: "We had hats on hats for the most part. The issue was we had, sprinkled in there, way too many TFLs (tackles for loss) early. Some of those were communication issues and some were fundamental issues with how we were blocking them. I think you saw a unit, offensively, that could not get out of its own way. A bunch of self-inflicted wounds. It was a confluence of things. They made some really good one-on-one tackles on our running backs. It was a lot of things."

Tom Herman on how offensive game plan is formulated: "We're all involved. Just to take you behind the curtain a little bit, Herb Hand ... Derek Warehime ... Stan Drayton ...  at 7 a.m. on Monday's go down and watch cut ups. Try to formulate some run game thoughts. Myself, Tim Beck, Larry Fedora, and Andre Coleman are watching formations for big picture, blitz tips,  front tips, coverage tips, who are they from a personality standpoint. And then coach Mehringer and coach Meekins watch for personnel in the back end, who do we attack. How do we attack them? Coverage adjustments to different formations. Then we all get back together around 10 to 10:15 all in the same room and put our thoughts together and just have a roundtable discussion. Situationally, we look at third down, red zone, goal line."

Tom Herman on thoughts of disgruntled fan base: "They have every right to be. We have not played to the level of our expectations. If you're a fan of us, you probably have similar expectations and we have not met those expectations thus far. They have every right to have that opinion."

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Tom Herman on run game issues extending into game ten: "Everything is a coaching issue. Having two guys on the offensive line in the starting lineup where its the first time playing those positions. I think the uniqueness of the (Iowa State) defense."

Tom Herman on decision to go with run game late against Iowa State despite lack of production: "Had we thrown three incompletions and let 30 seconds run off the clock, I'd be answering much harder questions than I am right now. We called a quarterback run where we had an extra blocker that we didn't fit properly. At that point in the game, time is a factor. It is a humongous factor. We were playing pretty dang good defense. We felt like the right thing to do was use the clock to our advantage and use one if not more of their timeouts. And then the third down play ... you throw a tunnel screen that's probably going to be 99% completion and you're getting it into your best player's hand ... and they're nose guard makes an unbelievable play. That's excellent individual effort. To use the clock was the prudent thing to do. Three straight incomplete passes would have been a disaster at that point."

Tom Herman on lack of physical identity in 2019 as opposed to 2018: "We haven't coached it well enough. I do think there was a time when we were very, very banged up. Again, not an excuse, but you're asking for reasons and I'm trying to give you the best ones that I can. Even getting some of these guys back, they're playing hurt and playing through a lot of stuff and I commend them for that."

Tom Herman on Malcolm Epps' job replacing injured Collin Johnson: "Malcolm has done well. You saw Marcus Washington start the game, too. Malcolm gives us some advantages with his catch radius and size advantage. He'll be the first to tell you he busted some catches."

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Tom Herman on Devin Duvernay not being named a Biletnikoff Award semi-finalist: "I don't know how you leave off a guy that is leading the Power Five in catches. Leading the country in broken tackles. Leading the country in third down receptions. And you're telling me he's not in one of the 20 best wideouts in the country ... that's a shame. I don't know what the criteria is then. I'll have to call the committee that controls the Biletnikoff and say 'what does a guy need to do?' At least as a semi-finalist. But the first I heard about it was on the conference call right before this. Shocking. I don't know how that could happen."

Tom Herman on starting strong early in games: "It's very dangerous. I think the disconnect is offensive rhythm. We got to do a good job of making our players comfortable. We got to do a good job of making our players feel like they don't have to be perfect. I thought the mentality was great when the ball was kicked off ... and it wasn't. The simplest answer is get the offense in rhythm, get the quarterback in rhythm ad then on defense keep the calls pretty simple so they can get their feet wet and fly around." 

Tom Herman on players being motivated for Baylor: “It’s not harder than what you guys may think. These guys are competitors and losing is embarrassing. Nobody wants to lose. You appeal to every fiber of competitiveness that they have in them.”

Tom Herman on if he is stunned by season’s current results: “Did I think we would have a clearer identity? Yes. Am I stunned? No. I knew that we had a difficult schedule. I knew that we had a lot of inexperience defensively and especially when the rash of injuries hit early in the season. No, disappointed that we couldn’t overcome those things better to this point. We still have two regular season games and a bowl game to overcome those issues but I would not use the word stunned. I think we can be a very good offense. I thought our defense showed a lot of signs of life in the last seven quarters. The last drive was awful, gut-wrenching but to hold the team to two touchdowns. I think there’s a lot of positives that can be taken from that side of the ball. Iowa State’s offense was 3-of-14 I believe on third down conversions. We held them to three field goal attempts. Kept them out of the end zone for the most part. I think there’s signs of life there when they hadn’t been. We have shown throughout the season, especially against good defenses, that we can be a good offense and we have to get back to that. We have some strengths and especially defensively we can build ourselves back up.”

Tom Herman on Baylor's success this season: “Their season has been eerily similar to ours other than they’ve been able to win those close ones. They found a way to win a couple overtime games. In conference play, they blocked a field goal to beat West Virginia. They have found a way to make plays late in games. Their defensive front … they are guys that you have to game plan for … they are real dudes that are going to be an issue. We have to make sure we are buttoned up in how we are going to block them. It’s very similar philosophically to Iowa State where they’re going feature a three-man front and drop eight guys into coverage. They fly around they’re not the biggest guys but man are they physical and there’s eight of them back there with only three down lineman. Offensively, schemed very similar to us … a little more 10 personnel with four receivers. Very similar quarterback, obviously. He’s the gas that makes the engine go and he’s having a great season. He can run around and make plays with his feet. Just another day in the Big 12 with great receivers. Obviously the quarterback, we have to find a way to slow him down a little bit.”

WATCH TOM HERMAN'S FULL PRESS CONFERENCE HERE

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