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The stars of Texas’ winning effort over Louisiana Tech can finally focus on the Louisiana matchup most Texas fans have been waiting for since the final whistle of the Sugar Bowl.
Sam Ehlinger, Joseph Ossai, Brennan Eagles, and Keaontay Ingram were integral in going 1-0. Here’s some of what they had to say about the win.
*Ingram rushed for 78 yards and a score on 11 carries, and added three catches for 43 yards. A good day at the office, right?
“It felt pretty good,” Ingram said after the game. “Kind of disappointed in my level of production for the simple fact that I didn’t feel like I helped the team enough. I felt like I need to step it up a little bit if we want to achieve and do big things around here. I’m putting that on me.”
With his own bone bruise during fall camp and running back compatriot Jordan Whittington not at 100 percent after a certain point in the game, Ingram’s workload was light Saturday.
He made it clear after the game he could handle more.
“Most definitely,” Ingram said. “Whatever the team needs, I’m ready for.”
*Not only was Ingram’s carry count limited, but Ehlinger’s called carry count was as well.
“We didn’t have any designed quarterback runs,” Ehlinger said. “Just a few scrambles.”
On those eight carries, Ehlinger still said he struggled with sliding to avoid contact.
That’s something tough for a competitor like Ehlinger, but it’s something that will benefit him against better defenses on the schedule… like LSU.
“We’re all so excited,” Ehlinger said. “It’s what you come to the University of Texas to do, compete against extremely good programs and do it in front of a lot of people. We’re really excited and it’s going to be a good one.”
*The title of Texas’ leading receiver was shared by Collin Johnson and Brennan Eagles, each with 59 yards.
Eagles distinguished himself with two touchdown grabs, the first two of his Texas career.
He found daylight for his first after the safety dropped down to cover the slot. The corner couldn’t keep up with him, and Ehlinger found Eagles on a post route.
Eagles immediately found a lineman to celebrate with.
“If it wasn’t for them that play wouldn’t have happened,” Eagles said in praise of his OL. “Everybody has to contribute into one play.”
A mid training-camp elbow surgery likely contributed to Eagles being in the backup Z role behind fifth-year senior John Burt. Eagles made sure to continue to work even if his body couldn’t.
“Honestly, it’s just been mental, all mental,” Eagles said of his preparation. “Especially for me, taking mental reps and mentally being there for my teammates because I’m not on the field all the time. Being a vocal person around and being there for them.”
*Eagles isn’t the only player making an adjustment in his second season. Ossai has seen a significant increase in his playing time.
Ossai, however, had to adjust to the rover position in Texas’ dime personnel grouping.
“The adjustment has been rough, but we have a great teacher in Coach Orlando,” Ossai said. “You’ve just got to be willing to learn football and get in there and work every day and all day. Great teacher there, great QC, great GAs working with you extra time. The transition has been smooth. Although it’s been tough, it’s been smooth. I feel pretty confident in that position.”
He acquitted himself well recording an interception and almost recording a second if it weren’t for a roughing the passer penalty.
Ossai wanted that potential pick six and said he even joked with Brandon Jones about his penalty that wiped out what would have been Ossai’s first career touchdown.
*But now, it’s time to prepare for LSU.
“We’re going to prepare just as hard as we prepared for La Tech,” Ossai said.
“This is Texas Football,” Ingram said. “We’re going to prepare like we normally do, nothing different. Just go out there and play hard, practice hard, and put in the preparation like we normally do.”