Coordinators Tim Beck and Todd Orlando have been with the Longhorns since 2017. Now in their third year, they have had the opportunity to watch young players grow and their now 2–1 team develop.
Both Beck and Orlando talked Wednesday about how their players have grown and what sets this squad apart from previous teams.
“I know Coach Herman’s talked a lot about it,” offensive coordinator Beck said. “(They’re a) very professional group, experienced group (and) hard working group. They go out there, they punch the clock and go to work. And they enjoy being around each other. They enjoy playing the game.”
Junior running back Daniel Young was back on the field against Rice after being out with a significant high ankle sprain for the first few games of the season. Young got his first rep of the season in the second quarter for a gain of 13 yards.
“I was really pleased to see Danny,” Beck said. “We knew we were going to probably get him back first. How much we would have got out of him going into this game against Rice was unknown, so it was good to get him to be honest with you. I think his role could increase more.”
Redshirt freshman quarterback Casey Thompson has gotten opportunities to play since the beginning of the 2019 season. Against Rice, he entered the game in the third quarter and left with 59 passing yards and a 71% completion percentage. Beck has been impressed with Thompson’s early growth and expects him to become a successful player as his career progresses.
“I think he’s going to be a dynamic player for us,” Beck said. “He’s just got to continue to learn. He’s done some good things. He’s handled his role really well, he’s engaged in the games. He talks to Sam and tells him what he sees. He’s kind of a go-between me and Sam sometimes, so I like where he’s at right now.”
On the defensive side of the ball, defensive coordinator Orlando has been most impressed with senior defensive end Malcolm Roach. As a captain on the squad and one of the most versatile players, Orlando couldn’t help but compliment him.
“I think Malcolm Roach is really, really playing well,” Orlando said. “I mean, he’s outstanding in practice. He’s playing at a high level. He’s a guy that I really think has elevated himself, personally, professionally and has really helped us defensively. He runs that show out there.”
Big 12 play is knocking on Texas’ door and the 3–0 Oklahoma State Cowboys are coming to Austin with a chip on their shoulder. Yet, Beck can’t help but feel that the 2019 roster is different and better than it has been in recent seasons.
“Offensively right now we’re playing with some confidence,” Beck said. “It’s taken time to get to that point. I think the Sam Ehlingers, the Collin Johnsons of the world, the Shackelfords, the guys that were here … at the beginning, feel it, more so than the younger players, because they don’t know any different. But the older players, they feel it, they can sense that this team is a little bit different than the other teams.”