Charlie Strong said Saturday was his worst day as a head coach. His team had just been beaten 50-7 by No. 4 TCU.
“I just felt like that the way we played the last two weeks, we were going to come in and compete,” Strong said. “We knew this was a good [TCU] team. This is the No. 4 team in the country. But still, though, that should not stop us from going out and playing our best.” But Texas has played far from its best in 2015, as the Longhorns suffered their second blowout loss this season. The fourth loss kept them on pace for the worst start since 1956, when the Longhorns went 1-9. For Texas’ embattled coach, his Longhorns have now lost seven games by at least three touchdowns.
“Today was awful,” Strong said. “It was embarrassing. But we just got to continue to coach.”
As for the players, Strong said he’s still looking for leaders — a concerning statement for a team in the crosshairs of a historically bad period in Texas football history.
The Longhorns preached a turnaround at Monday’s weekly media availability. They said a players-only “come to Jesus” meeting brought the team together and got them all on the same page. But against the Horned Frogs, they
looked anything but.
Texas gave up 30 points to TCU in the first quarter and entered the locker room down 37-0 after a mistake-ridden first half, including a misfired snap and two missed field goals.
The Longhorn defense gave up 346 total yards in the first half, while the offense only managed to accumulate a total of 141 yards.
“We have to clean up our mistakes,” sophomore running back D’Onta Foreman said. “We just got to come together and figure out why we made mistakes.”
But Texas knows why it has struggled this season — or so it says. The players spread the same message of “needing to execute.”
“I think we got out-executed or just lack of execution,” said redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard, who started the last three games but traded reps with junior Tyrone Swoopes in the second half Saturday. “As for a lack of executing, that’s a team thing. It hurts everybody.”
But the Longhorns’ gospel of execution has grown stale and carries little weight after their fourth loss of the season.
When asked about Texas’ lack of leaders and its inability to compete, senior linebacker Peter Jinkens refused to comment. He did, however, say that the Longhorns do know how to win, despite their struggles this season.
“I feel like we do [know how to win],” Jinkens said. “We just got to get it from all three phases [of the game].”
Saturday was a bad day for Strong and Texas, but the players still believe in their coach.
“We still believe in him,” Jinkens said. “He’s a great coach and a great man. All we got to do is rally behind him.”