After a loss to now-No. 4 LSU, Texas fell three slots in the AP rankings to No. 12. It puts the Longhorns in the same position they’ve been in each year of the Tom Herman era — 1–1 after two weeks.
Texas head coach Tom Herman stepped to the podium for his weekly press conference, thanked the fans for providing an “unbelievable atmosphere” and then delivered the news that sophomore defensive back B.J. Foster will miss “at least a couple of weeks” due to a significant hamstring injury. Replacing Foster is sophomore defensive back DeMarvion Overshown.
“The good thing is that’s by far our deepest position on the team,” Herman said. “With Chris Brown playing as well as he is, Josh Thompson playing a lot of football … there (are) certainly some good options in that room.”
Aside from the injury update, most of Monday’s press conference was spent reflecting on Saturday night’s performance.
No panic in the locker room
Despite the loss, Texas’ season is still very much intact, and the Longhorns know that. Herman was adamant that nobody in the program is worried about the future of the season or about what the loss means moving forward.
“There will never be moral victories at Texas,” Herman said. “But there are a lot of positive things that we can glean from that game … This is a preconference game that has no bearing on our standing in our conference, and we will be a better team for having played that game.”
For the Longhorns, the conference schedule doesn’t begin for another two weeks when Oklahoma State visits Austin. After an expected victory against Rice in Houston, the Longhorns will be positioned to start their season 2–1.
Johnson proving his value at running back
For the foreseeable future, it will still be sophomore running back Keaontay Ingram and freshman quarterback-turned-running back Roschon Johnson next to junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger in the backfield.
“There isn’t really an update,” said Herman of running backs junior Daniel Young and senior Kirk Johnson. “I think (they’ll be back for) Oklahoma State, and that’d be a pipe dream at this point.”
The lack of depth is still a concern, with Texas down to just one true scholarship running back. However, with the performances that Johnson has put forth in the first two weeks of the season, the Longhorns appear fine for the time being. Johnson had 10 total touches for 49 yards in the loss to LSU after a seven-carry 26 yard performance against Louisiana Tech. While his statistics don’t dazzle, how he gets them is the surprise.
“Roschon looks like he’s been doing it for a while,” Herman said. “You forget, it’s been 15 days in his life that he’s played that position.”
As long as Johnson continues to perform consistently, the Texas running game will be a stable one.
Senior quarterback Joe Burrow and the LSU offense ripped the Longhorn defense apart.
Burrow threw for 471 passing yards, ending the game with a completion to seven different receivers — three of which had over 120 yards.
The cornerback position has been an area of concern for Texas this year. After Saturday’s game, questions arose as to how they could perform in big games throughout the season. However, the concerns were taken with a grain of salt considering the talent level of the LSU receivers. Herman acknowledged the struggles but also vouched for his players and their ability to move on from the game.
“It’s very fixable,” Herman said. “We’ve got talented players that care … When you complete passes, it’s not always on the secondary.”
With a dominant corner yet to emerge from the herd, the competition continues into Week Three.