There were plenty of college football fans scratching their heads last Saturday after No. 23 Texas lost to unheralded Maryland.
Several Longhorns met with the media Tuesday and tried to explain what went wrong in the swamps of Landover, Md., against an unranked Maryland club.
Asked why they didn’t play better, senior defensive end Breckyn Hager said the Longhorns were faced with a hostile environment.
“Going in, the humidity got me for sure and I was cramping by the first quarter,” Hager said. “My cramps got so bad that eventually I couldn’t walk. That’s what happened in the end zone (when Hager had to leave because of the ailment).
“That was a really passionate team out there – Maryland has been through a lot. They came out with everything. It wasn’t a bad football team by any means, they’re [from] a Power five conference, it’s not like we had some cupcake team walk in and play them. That team was good.”
Hager also said Texas players just wanted the game too much, a sentiment that’s been echoed this week by coach Tom Herman.
“We were too passionate and too riled up,” Hager said. “We wanted that game so bad, we were so excited and ready to play. I don’t know what it is, we just played real tight. We didn’t just let it loose.”
Senior defensive end Charles Omenihu said the Longhorns’ slow start was a case of first-game jitters.
“First time going against somebody else – that’s not an excuse but I think that had a role to play in it,” Omenihu said. “But you have to find ways to try and eliminate that so it’s not a constant kind of thing. It can’t be a thing that we’re going to start slow and then get going. It has to be full pedal on the gas from start to finish.”
Texas opens its home slate on Saturday evening against Tulsa.
–Steve Habel (@stevehabel), Field Level Media