Charlie Strong has 8.5 by 11 inch pieces of paper pasted everywhere around the Moncrief complex that say things like “Believe,” “Stay Humble,” “Don’t Believe the Hype” and “We Have Done Nothing Yet” in order to try and keep his team grounded even after a big win against Notre Dame and a No. 11 ranking. While Texas took a few minutes to really get the offense going after multiple pre-game injuries across the board, they eventually reached the end zone five times on its way to a convincing 41-7 victory over the UTEP Miners.
Following an offensive performance from two quarterbacks that rivaled anything the team could put together in 2015, offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert could have come out fully enamored with what he saw on the field. During his availability on Tuesday, he instead stressed his fast-paced, veer-and-shoot unit has room to work.
For several defensive players, the atmosphere at Royal-Memorial Stadium was one they had not seen since they were either freshmen or being recruited by former head coach Mack Brown. To see the stadium filled and loud was a welcome change of pace for the leaders on Vance Bedford’s defense.
Coming off of a big victory against Notre Dame, Texas brought some of the biggest offensive contributors to the win to speak to the media on Monday, including a running back who had a big day on the ground, a receiver with a big day of his own and two gunslingers with two entirely different roles.
There remains a lot of mystery surrounding the 2016 Texas Longhorns football team. Fans still are not entirely sure what they will see on Sunday when offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert’s offense steps on the field for the first time. Not only do they not know what the offense will really look like, but also who will take the first snaps at quarterback. Everybody in the program has been quiet on the subject.
After having a year to reflect on a five touchdown loss to Notre Dame, two leaders on the Texas Longhorns defense are ready for the long-awaited rematch against the Irish. With so many younger players likely to play, both senior safety Dylan Haines and sophomore linebacker Malik Jefferson know they have to provide leadership in order to bring their team down to earth. Both players are confident in their ability to do just that and in their team’s ability to play.
Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson and QB/WR Jerrod Heard lived with pressure even before they stepped on the University of Texas campus.
After dealing with the pressures of being a highly touted recruit during his freshman campaign, Jefferson now has to deal with new expectations in his sophomore season. While those are different, he is ready to take it on with the help of veteran teammates.
Texas head coach Charlie Strong faced a lot of familiar questions in his media availability on Saturday. Camp story lines surrounding Texas football include the quarterback position, freshmen who have good chances to earn immediate playing time and ping pong. While one of these is an off the field story, Strong’s responses to the on-field matters included secrecy surrounding his quarterback decision, notable players at various positions and other general camp updates.
Four experienced players were available to the media on Tuesday, although each had experience in different ways. Senior Trent Domingue has a few seasons of Division 1 experience at LSU, but this is his first at Texas. Senior Dylan Haines has been a mainstay in the defensive backfield, and sophomores Patrick Vahe and Connor Williams are coming off freshman All-America seasons. Each detailed their role, expectations and observations to the media.
After a week’s worth of practice, there still remains plenty of uncertainty for Texas head coach Charlie Strong and his team. Strong has yet to name a starter at quarterback in preparation for his Sept. 4 opener against Notre Dame, and now must deal with new injuries to some of his players, including at center, receiver and running back. While injuries are out of the team’s control, effort is not, and Strong had nothing but good things to say about his squad’s effort so far.