Texas lost a game, not a season, in Stillwater on Saturday.
Tom Herman allowed himself to deviate from the usual refusal to look back or beyond the next game after Texas was bumped off course at Oklahoma State on Saturday. The Longhorns’ 38-35 loss spiked the upward trajectory that began in September with Texas’ win over USC.
But Herman’s point to his team in the losing locker room was not to let losing a game become losing the season.
“I told them in the locker room after the game, ‘We don’t talk about big picture very often around here with our mantra being, 1-0,'” Herman said Monday on the Big 12 conference call. “I felt it necessary to remind our guys that although we want to go 1-0 every week, from a big-picture standpoint … that loss was not devastating. That we still control our own destiny. I think that allows our guys a little bit of, not hope, but it allows you to move on from the loss a little bit sooner, little bit quicker know that this game is very, very important to us this week.”
Texas finds out Tuesday with the rest of college football how the College Football Playoff committee views the Longhorns’ body of work. At 4-1, Texas can still win the Big 12 thanks to wins over Oklahoma and West Virginia. The No. 12 Mountaineers visit Austin on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
The greatest concern for the Longhorns’ defense will be containing quarterback Will Grier.
“He’s a Heisman Trophy candidate — one of the best players in the country. Certainly one of, if not the best player at that position in the country,” Herman said of his impressions of Grier. “When you’re not playing him, it’s certainly been fun to watch him this season, and obviously throughout his career. But when you are playing him, the week that you’re playing him, he’s a handful. I mean he is an absolute difference-maker back there.”
–Field Level Media