No. 21 Texas opened the 2018 season with a 34-29 loss to Maryland at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on Saturday, falling to the Terrapins for the second consecutive year despite being double-digit favorites.
Afterward, Longhorns coach Tom Herman said that Saturday’s game bore little resemblance to the loss in Austin last year outside of the fact that Texas didn’t win.
A lot of people are going to say that this feels a lot like last year – and it doesn’t to me,” Herman told reporters. “We have a lot to learn from and how to start and finish better. The slow start is on me – our guys worked so hard and wanted this to be perfect. We have to find a way to relax our guys coming out of the tunnel and to have them play loose.”
Texas fell into a 24-7 hole in Saturday’s game before rallying for 22 consecutive points and taking a 29-24 lead early in the third quarter.
“The second and third quarters we played the way we are supposed to play,” Herman said.
The Longhorns made a game of it, and nearly won, despite forcing no turnovers and committing 10 penalties for 102 yards, and that doesn’t even include a targeting penalty by Gary Johnson for which he was kicked ejected from the game.
Johnson, a preseason All-Big 12 honoree, was ejected after the second snap of the second quarter when he put his shoulder into the facemask of Kasim Hill as the Maryland quarterback slid after a run. Johnson will miss the first half of the Longhorns’ home opener versus Tulsa next week as well because of the penalty.
–Steve Habel, Field Level Media