Texas coach Tom Herman was quick to get in front of any negative talk on Monday at his first press conference since reviewing the Longhorns disappointing loss to Oklahoma on Saturday.
“The sun came up, which is always a good thing,” he said.
There are a host of things that Herman and every Monday morning quarterback will be questioning in the week before the No. 15 Longhorns host Kansas Saturday at 6 p.m. at DKR.
Glaring missed tackles, an offense that struggled to move the ball, questionable decision making on special teams and a defensive unit that continues to get thinner due to injuries every week.
“There is zero sense of panic. There is zero sense of woe-is-me. There is zero sense that our issues are unfixable,” Herman said. “The things we have done so poorly, we have shown at times to be able to do well. We’ve got to play with that kind of consistency against really, really good people.”
Injuries continue to shake up the Texas roster, especially on defense.
Defensive back Chris Brown has a forearm fracture that will need surgery and will be out about six weeks. Linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch will miss the Kansas game with a shoulder injury while defensive backs Jalen Green and Caden Sterns continue to be sidelined.
Herman said it’s 100 percent fixable, it’s just a matter of reinforcing the details.
“With all the young guys playing, we’ve got to simplify moving forward,” Herman said. “We’ve got to let our guys play fearless, unafraid to make mistakes. We’ve got to be able to get those guys playing fast and not thinking, and the only way to do that is if they’re 100 percent sure in everything that they’re doing.”
Offensively, Herman won’t name a starting running back for the Kansas game on Monday afternoon.
Roschon Johnson, who originally joined the Longhorns as a quarterback before swiping positions in the fall after injuries and transfers crippled the running back room, has been the better rusher in the last two games, going for 121 yards against West Virginia and 95 yards and a score again Oklahoma.
Sophomore Keaontay Ingram has started all six games for Texas this season and has 322 yards and three touchdowns. But he has just 27 yards on 13 carries over the last two games.
“We’re not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater,” Herman said.
Kansas is 2-4 overall and 0-3 in the Big 12. The Longhorns under Herman have never lost to the Jayhawks and Kansas has never won in eight tool trips to Austin.
Nobody will ever admit to overlooking a team, but while many Monday meetings with the media are focused on the team coming up, this week was overwhelmingly spent looking back at what just happened.
“I'm obviously disappointed in everything, in the way that the game unfolded and the way that we played,” Herman said. “I'm not going to get angry at the kids. I'm going to coach the coaches, and the coaches will coach the kids.
“It was the first time that I can remember that we got out-physicaled on both sides of the ball. That's not us.”