Texas did a lot of things well offensively last week in its loss at Maryland but failed to get off on the right foot, a scenario that Longhorns offensive coordinator Tim Beck said had a direct impact on the outcome of the game.
Beck met with the assembled media after Texas’ practice on Wednesday and answered questions about why the Longhorns sputtered early last Saturday. Texas had its chances late but committed turnovers on its final three possessions.
“We made mistakes early that put us behind the chains, but we got better at staying out of those situations as the game went on,” Beck said. “We beat ourselves — we felt pretty confident we were going to win the game when we took the lead, but we made too many mistakes at the end by turning the ball over.”
In assessing the positives on offense, Beck lauded left tackle Calvin Anderson, a graduate transfer from Rice, and junior center Zach Shackelford for their play in the line and gave props to wide receivers Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson.
“We had some guys play good games, and we played pretty well from the second to the fourth quarter,” Beck said. “You just can’t turn the ball over like that late, especially on the road against a good football team that had so much to play for like Maryland did. That was just a recipe for disaster there at the end.”
Beck even had plenty of good things to say about quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who had two interceptions in the stretch run and continues to make critical errors.
“All of this is a journey for him and for us,” Beck said of Ehlinger. “We are not a one-game team. The idea is to improve and get better. I thought as a quarterback Sam did some really good things with the looks Maryland gave him. He forced some things at the end when he shouldn’t have.”
Reports surfaced early this week that Texas coach Tom Herman took over the majority of the offensive play-calling after the Longhorns struggled early, producing just 60 total yards in their first six drives. Beck stayed in step with the party line by saying the play-calling, as well as game-planning, are a collaborative effort within the offensive coaching staff.
“I communicate what I see from up in the box, and coach Herman takes what I give him and looks in the players’ eyes to see what will work best,” Beck said. “We are all in that together after we develop a game plan that we think will work. I still feel great about what we are doing. I thought we had a good plan — we attacked them well.
“We’ve identified some good things we can do to be better and help our guys. We still want to play faster and play carefree. The team played cautious.”
–Steve Habel (@SteveHabel)