Texas coach Tom Herman said Thursday that his job preparing the Longhorns for Saturday’s dustup with No. 22 Southern California was a little easier than normal, what with the stakes so high and the opponent as talented and prestigious as the Trojans.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of necessity to motivate our guys to practice this week,” Herman said. “We are playing at home against one of the best teams in the country. Obviously we have quite a bit mental preparation left, but the physical work was really, really good this week.”
It’s the first time USC (1-1) will play in Austin since 1966, and Herman expects the atmosphere at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium to be loud and raucous.
“I think it will be good – our guys will be excited to play,” Herman said. “We are in a really good place. The guys have let their hair down, and the games are supposed to be fun; practice is work, the games are the time to trust their preparation and go out and it loose.”
USC defeated the Longhorns 27-24 last season in Los Angeles in the two teams’ first meeting since the 2005 BCS National Championship game. Revenge will not be a factor on Saturday, and Herman said that his team, which usually plays well in “big” games, will be ready.
“We have 12 one-game seasons, and we won’t need any more motivation,” Herman said. “We have to be excited every week, and we try to go 1-0 in every game, and this is no different.”
The Longhorns had nine straight seasons of 10 or more wins under former coach Mack Brown from 2001-09. Since then have zero 10-win seasons. During that time 80 FBS programs have had at least one 10-win season.
Texas (1-1) has lost seven games by an average of seven points in Herman’s 15-game tenure on the 40 Acres. He said Thursday that his players can feel how close they are to breaking through but won’t be satisfied until they are over the hump.
“Our guys can taste it, they know how close to getting over that hump we are,” Herman said. “That’s a feeling they haven’t had here (for a while), but we are not happy or satisfied. We need to hurry up and start winning some of those games. We are happy with our trajectory.”
–Steve Habel (@SteveHabel), Field Level Media