It's still all about Texas

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By Sean Adams, Inside Texas Special Contributor
Posted Sep 1, 2014
Copyright © 2017 InsideTexas.com


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Dalton Santos warming up. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Listening to players and coaches in a post game press conference is usually a mix of instructed answers, fatigue, trying to get through, and the emotion tied to winning or losing.

Watching the movement of the players, coaches, and even the staff on Saturday night after the game was a fascinating exposition.

 

I asked defensive coordinator Vance Bedford, linebacker Jordan Hicks, and defensive end Cedric Reed if they were happy and all answered, “Yes.” Hicks and Reed, when the interview was over immediately talked of work that needed to be done and improvement that needed to happen.

 

The conversation about the task at hand was no surprise. Every team realizes that there is a season of football to play and that nobody can get too excited over a victory that quite frankly was expected. But the excitement that I saw as I followed the team into the locker room was not about a victory over North Texas. The excitement that I saw was more about the journey having started.

 

I saw some individual happiness in players like Demarco Cobbs and Jordan Hicks. But they are young men that have experienced multiple long-term injuries and at least in regards to Cobbs were an afterthought in the mind of most fans. They have taken advantage of opportunities.

 

That is the difference between the players, fans, and the pundits amongst the media. The fans and the media predict the season because they feel a need to be right or feel a need to protect their heart.

 

Every team in the country that won this weekend feels that they ‘can’ win them all.

 

The Texas Longhorns that I saw and chatted with as they scurried out of the UT locker room after the game with their box meals had a workmanlike mentality.

 

As I was shaking the hand of one of the players that I interviewed he said, “One down, 11 to go.”

 

As a sportsman collectively and as a football player individually, that is the perfect mindset. Doubt, predictions, and worry are left to the fans, the media, and even the coaches that are left to figure out what to do at the center position of the offensive line.

 

I saw a team that is ready for a BYU squad that has been circled by this team, this fan base, and its leaders. BYU is the game that signaled the beginning of the end for the Mack Brown era in 2014 at the University of Texas. Texas was embarrassed by stats that I am ashamed to list here. Texas was accused of quitting during that game. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was fired after that game.

 

As Lou Holtz used to say, “You never get past someone by trying to get even with them.”

 

This is not a game of revenge. That is a wasted notion. The feeling I get from this team is that they are fighting for a ‘proper’ perception of who they are, who the Texas program is and how they play.

 

They were not over the top excited because there is no need for that. There was no disrespect to North Texas but the Mean Green was not the goal.

 

As Charlie Strong said early last week, “This game is not about the opponent. This game is about Texas.”

 

This week BYU comes to town but it is still about Texas.

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