Texas Tech running back SaRodorick Thompson had just broken a tackle and ran down the field for a 75-yard touchdown, putting Texas down 15 points with 3 minutes and 13 seconds to go in the Longhorns’ overtime win over the Red Raiders in Lubbock Saturday.
In a teleconference Monday, Texas head coach Tom Herman said he remained calm on the sideline despite the circumstances. He even managed to smile at Texas Athletics Director Chris Del Conte.
Senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger was confident the Longhorns would tie up the game, telling his coach they would win it in overtime. Herman said the determination Ehlinger showed Saturday is actually atypical of quarterbacks.
“You’d be surprised how many aren’t that way,” Herman said. “There’s a lot in this country that would have checked in at that point.”
It took more than Ehlinger’s efforts to win the game though. Herman said he was impressed with Texas’ wide receivers, who delivered to lead the Longhorns into overtime.
Redshirt sophomore receiver Joshua Moore hauled in the 18-yard touchdown to bring the Longhorns within two and junior wide receiver Brennan Eagles then caught the two-point conversion to tie it up.
Graduate transfer receiver Brenden Schooler also showed up Saturday as a key contributor in Texas’ final scoring drives.
“This guy’s got a tremendous feel for the game and he goes so hard,” Herman said. “He makes up for a lot of small mistakes with just the effort that he plays with. I think if you’re a young receiver trying to earn the trust of your quarterback, go watch Brenden Schooler.”
Longhorn defensive players had more to hang their heads about, even with the win. Tackling was poor Saturday, and they all knew it, Herman said.
“Our players on defense, they’re embarrassed,” Herman said. “They watched the same video (everyone) watched, and they were part of the same game everyone else saw. They know that they’ve gotta tackle better.”
If the defense plays like it did Saturday, Texas’ next game against TCU could prove challenging. Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman, who threw five touchdowns Saturday, is a pocket passer, hypothetically easier to contain than what Texas will see this week.
Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan can pass and make plays on his feet, Herman said. Duggan threw three touchdowns in TCU’s season-opening loss to Iowa State Saturday.
“He is dangerous with his legs, whether it’s designed runs (or) zone retype runs where he’s reading somebody and just scrambles,” Herman said. “And we’ve got to be very, very disciplined in our rush lanes when they do drop back to pass.”
Duggan torched the Texas secondary last season when the Horned Frogs beat the Longhorns 37-27 in Fort Worth. Ehlinger also threw four interceptions in the matchup, so TCU’s star safeties will be a problem too.
Herman said he’s happy Texas left Lubbock with a win, but the Longhorns will have to be more disciplined at home this weekend.
“The battle is can we play more fundamentally sound than them, can we play harder than them,” Herman said.