Keys to the Game: vs. San Jose State

Wills Layton

Shake off last week’s disappointment

Maryland shook Darrell K Royal Stadium with a huge upset this weekend. The then No. 23 Longhorns, who faced high expectations for immediate success under new head coach Tom Herman, disappointed with a 51-41 loss to the Maryland Terrapins.

However, there were some bright moments in last week’s game, including punt and blocked kick returns resulting in touchdowns. The offense improved after a slow start, with sophomore Shane Buechele recovering from an early interception to throw for 375 yards and two touchdowns.

It is important for the Longhorns to remember that the season is not lost and there’s still plenty of time to get back on the right track. This starts with moving past last week’s loss and focusing on a win this Saturday.

Establish the run game

The rushing offense for Texas never showed up against the Terrapins — it mustered only 98 yards on 31 carries for an average of 3.2 yards per carry. By contrast, the Maryland offense produced 263 yards on 43 carries, nearly doubling the Longhorns’
average yards per carry.

Running backs junior Chris Warren III and sophomore Kyle Porter couldn’t get any leverage on the ground, which forced the offense to resort to screen plays and short passes to pick up yards where the rush attack could not.

Improvement is a must against the Spartans, who held Cal Poly running backs to an average of 3.2 yards per carry last weekend. 

Play with urgency

It’s no secret that fans and experts alike expected the season to start in Texas’ favor, but there is still a lot of time to bounce back this season. Picking up a win against the Spartans this Saturday before traveling to California to play No. 6 USC on Sept. 16 is crucial for the team’s confidence.

The last time the team started a season 0–2 was in the 1992 season. In order to avoid becoming the first Longhorn team in 25 years to do the same, the focus in fixing mistakes and minimizing penalties has to be at a high level against San Jose State this weekend.