Tom Herman tried every tactic possible to impress upon the Longhorns that a trip to Manhattan is all about business. Unfinished business.
The Texas coach doesn’t want his team, up to No. 18 in the AP Top 25 poll on the merit of two home wins over ranked teams in front of an electric crowd, counting on any positive remnants from the recent wins to travel to Kansas State.
Texas is 1-7 all-time on the road against Kansas State and hasn’t won there, Herman said, “since [Longhorns’ safety] Caden Sterns was 2-years old,” in 2002.
“So that is no small feat, certainly,” Herman said about winning at Kansas State. “And we don’t take that very lightly. And in our only road contest this year we obviously did not play very well. So, we’re preparing our tails off.”
The ranking in the AP poll is the Longhorns’ highest since Sept. 2016; Texas is one of four Big 12 teams in this week’s Top 25.
“I told our team yesterday: ‘They’re not going to spot us seven points in Manhattan because we beat TCU,’” Herman said Monday. “Can we take the lessons that we’ve learned, both from a football standpoint and a psychological standpoint from the last couple of weeks? Certainly.
“But what happened against TCU, what happened against USC, for that matter what happened against Maryland, is inconsequential to how we play and how Kansas State plays against us in Manhattan.”
Social media sites have been inundated with videos of the Longhorns’ victorious locker room celebrations in their past two games. Herman said it’s a natural based on the improvement of his team and the excitement surrounding it after seasons on mediocre, or worse, play.
Saturday’s win marked the first time since 2014 that Texas has won back-to-back-to-back games and the first time since 2008 it’s beaten ranked opponents in consecutive contests.
“Winning is intoxicating, and it feels really, really good,” Herman explained. “But the key that I’m proud of this group of guys, this team, is they understand that you don’t beat TCU on Saturday. You don’t. The three and a half hours on Saturday is the reward for how hard you prepare and the sacrifices that you made before that game.”
–Steve Habel (@SteveHabel), Field Level Media