SCIPIO TEX ON TOM HERMAN HIRE
in this issue
Foreman Runs Wild in Lubbock | by Joe Cook Dâ€™Onta Foreman goes for 341 yards and three scores.
Missed Opportunites |
Justin Wells Longhorns fails to convert turnovers into points. by
Trouble in Kansas | by Joe Cook Six turnovers doom Texas in low point of Strong era.
TCU Dominates Second Half |
Frogs wear down Longhorns in 31-9 win.
Charlie Strong Timeline |
Mike Blackwell We chronicle the ups and downs of the Strong era.
Threading the Needle |
Scipio Tex Texas acted quickly and decisively to bring Herman to Austin.
Hoops Notes |
Tim Preston Observations from the first month of basketball. by
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FOREMAN RUNS W by Joe Cook
LUBBOCK -- The closer D’Onta Foreman gets to setting records, the closer he may save Charlie Strong’s job. A record-breaking 341-yard, three-touchdown performance and a Kris Boyd game-sealing interception helped lead the Longhorns to a 45-37 victory over Texas Tech at Jones AT&T Stadium. 6
WILD IN LUBBOCK
- TEXAS vs TEXAS TECH -
exas coach Charlie Strong made sure Foreman’s historic day remained joyful for his 5-4
Longhorns as his defense made Red Raiders quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ day difficult with containment and pressure. Foreman put several exclamation points at the end of his career day, rushing 38 yards for his second touchdown of the day with just over six minutes left in the third. He capped off Texas’ scoring on the day by running 74 yards with one shoe, giving the Horns enough points to survive the final Red Raider attack. Foreman’s performance was his 10th consecutive 100-yard game, which leads the nation, and ranked third allKris Boyd
time in Texas Football history. “Oh it’s got to be an A-plus,” Strong said about Foreman’s performance today. “It’s as good as I’ve seen. The thing about him is that he just takes it and it’s one yard, it’s two yards and then he goes on a 70-yard run. He just works so hard. He’s fun to watch.” Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury and his offense made the final minutes extremely interesting, first scoring on a short run with just under 11 minutes left in the fourth. But Tech failed to convert on fourth and short with four minutes left, and it looked like Texas simply needed a first down to wrap the game up. Once again, Foreman was left out of the picture in a critical situation. Texas tried twice to convert with the Tyrone Swoopes and the 18-Wheeler package, and failed to gain two yards both times.
“No, in that package we have been
Boyd took the head coach’s words to
successful,” Strong said on why he
heart, and made the big play to seal the
used 18-Wheeler runner, Swoopes. “We
knocked people back. You just are thinking that it’s third and two, the only thing
“We were in cover two,” Boyd said about
we need to do is get one. So I said we’re
the last play. “I just know they had to
going to go for it.”
convert long, so don’t jump any short routes. I’ve seen it. The mentality was
Tech’s final drive came down to a third
NFL mentality. Let the short route go. I
down from the Texas 20. Throwing to the
had to sink back and the defense played
end zone, Mahomes was intercepted by
the sophomore Boyd. Texas took a knee to finish the game and earn the victory.
Boyd brought that playmaking mentality all game.
“I kind of wanted the game to fall on the defense’s hands there at the end
“It’s kind of like an East Texas thing,”
because it’s just a confidence builder for
Boyd said. “I played against [Mahomes]
them to go out and make a stop,” Strong
before when he was at Whitehouse. I’m
said. “And I said, hey, you know what
out there to play. If it comes my way, I’ve
guys? This is exactly the way we want
got to make the play. Any playmaker DB
it. Now we have been playing well all
wants the quarterback to come their way
game, now let’s go finish the game.
so they can make the play and let them
- TEXAS vs TEXAS TECH -
know I’m here every day, all day.”
high-scoring opening stanza, the Texas
called, giving the Raiders a 23-14 lead
defense settled in, limiting Texas Tech’s
and the chance to step on Texas’ throat.
Texas Tech won the toss to open the
offense to only two more touchdowns
game, and elected to put the struggling
the rest of the game. However, the Red
“I was pretty upset,” Foreman said. “I
Texas pass defense on the field first.
Raiders were not held completely score-
felt like I probably should have just went
Mahomes, began the game by maneu-
less in the second quarter.
down. Maybe we would have went for it
vering through the Longhorn secondary.
again and I probably would have scored
Mahomes went 5-of-6 for 62 yards on
With just under eight minutes left on
on the next play. In the moment, I was
the drive, finishing with a 3-yard scoring
third and goal for Texas from the TTU
just trying to keep fighting for the extra
strike to Cameron Batson.
24, Foreman received the handoff, and
yards. Trying to get in the end zone.
pushed the pile all the way to the goal
Honestly I wish I could just take it back
but I can’t.”
rid pace this game was expected to be
However, Raider defensive back Doug-
They missed that chance, and Texas
played at. After finding junior Jake Oliver
las Coleman was ruled to have stripped
drove down the field, finishing the drive
for 52 yards on UT’s first play from
Foreman from the ball prior to the ball
with freshman Johnson’s second touch-
scrimmage, Texas finished the drive with
reaching the end zone, and returned
down reception of the game – also the
a rushing touchdown from Foreman.
the ball 100 yards to score six for the
first two of his career.
The Texas offense responded with a touchdown of its own, continuing the tor-
Red Raiders. Replays did not concluTexas forced the Red Raiders to kick
sively show whether the ball crossed the
Following the fumble return, Texas
a field goal on its next drive, and re-
plane under Foreman’s control, but they
scored 17 unanswered before Ma-
sponded with a 75-yard drive capped off
clearly showed Coleman stepped out of
homes’ third and final touchdown of the
by a leaping grab from freshman Collin
bounds prior to crossing the opposite
game midway through the third. Strong’s
Johnson, who made a great effort to
utilization of sophomore Malik Jefferson
keep one foot in-bounds for the score. Johnson hauled in four catches for 47 yards from freshman Shane Buechele, who
and freshman Jeffrey McCulloch to The play was held up as originally
spy Mahomes throughout the evening
went 20 of 44 for 244 yards and two touchdowns. Texas would not keep the lead for long as Tech quickly drove down the field and scored on a screen play to Jonathan Giles. Texas’ DL Poona Ford would block the PAT to prevent any more scoring in the 30-point first quarter. Following the long,
- TEXAS vs TEXAS TECH -
limited one of the nation’s top passers to
with Malik. We got some really good hits
“It doesn’t stop here,” Foreman said.
only 367 yards and three touchdowns,
on him. We never go out there to hurt
“We’ve got another road game coming
both below his season average.
anyone. We just want to make sure we
up, then we’ve just got to take care of
play good clean football.”
home field. We just got to keep fighting
“Once we got him to scramble, we
and keep practicing hard, and we have
were going to bring a guy like Malik or
The leading rusher said he knows what
McCulloch, one of our backers,” Strong
the team, now above .500 overall and
said. “We were going to chase him to
3-3 in conference, has to do to finish out
the outside. We did a really good job
- TEXAS vs TEXAS TECH -
WHAT THEY SAID... SHANE BUECHELE “This was a big road win for us,” he said. “We’ll just build on this one.
We’ve got a big one next week at home.””
“Just wanted the win for my team. We all
had to battle. I love the way we fought. We had to capitalize to finish.”
“I really didn’t. It’s so crazy because the offensive line asks me all the time where you at. They want me to rush for as many yards as I can. I didn’t know until after the game before I did the field interview and coach strong said 341. I was shocked.”
45 - 37 29 414 244 6-15 2 26:04
FIRST DOWNS RUSHING YARDS PASSING YARDS THIRD DOWNS TURNOVERS TIME OF POSSESSION insidetexas.com
31 115 367 7-20 2 33:56 11
AUSTIN — TEXAS FORCED WEST VIRGINIA INTO A SEASON-HIGH FOUR TURNOVERS, INCLUDING THREE IN THE THIRD QUARTER, BUT TURNOVERS DO NOT PUT POINTS ON THE SCOREBOARD. TEXAS’ INABILITY TO CHANGE TAKEAWAYS INTO MORE THAN SEVEN POINTS AND ITS SEASON-LOW POINT TOTAL OF 20 HELPED THE NO. 11 MOUNTAINEERS LEAVE AUSTIN WITH A 24-20 VICTORY. 12
PORTUNITIES by Justin Wells
13 Brandon Jones
- TEXAS vs WEST VIRGINIA -
exas remained in the game
light up following turnovers.
received the ball down four
them, but it was there for us and we just didn’t take advantage of it.”
until the very end, when they “We had our opportunities and made
on its own 12 with 1:25 left. UT had a
enough mistakes on offense and de-
Buechele set career highs with 318
chance at a Hail Mary at the end to win
fense and the kicking game that, with a
passing yards, 31 completions, 48 at-
the game, but Shane Buechele’s ball
game like that as close as it is, we just
tempts and 44 rushing yards, including a
intended for Collin Johnson fell to the
got to find a way to win it,” Strong said.
10-yard scoring scamper in the second
ground. Following a replay review that
“It was there for us to go get. We didn’t
confirmed the result, Texas left the field
get it.” Although the stat line was impressive, it
in defeat while the Mountaineers ran to The opportunities were there, and they
could have looked disastrous. Several
have also been there many times this
times throughout the course of the
Although Johnson could not bring in
season. Since Strong took over control
game, Buechele telegraphed throws
one more touchdown catch on the final
of the defense from Vance Bedford, his
that were nearly intercepted. Several
play, he still hauled in seven balls for 68
team has only been able to score 24
of them bounced off Mountaineer de-
yards and one 20-yard score in the third
points on 16 turnovers.
fenders’ hands and made their way to
their fans to celebrate.
the ground. After the game, Buechele
quarter that brought the game to within
complimented the WVU defense.
the final margin of four. Fellow receiver
“I just know at some point we’ve got to
Dorian Leonard had the biggest day of
hit it,” Strong said. “We didn’t hit it today.
the WRs bringing in seven catches for a
Defensively we were able to get some
“I think our offensive line did a good job
career-high 125 yards.
turnovers, and we gave up some on
picking some of that stuff up,” Buechele
offense, but you like to capitalize. That
said. “I think maybe that was the game
Even with the stat sheet filled up, Texas
was a good defensive football team. I
plan, I don’t know. They were a real
never gave the scoreboard a reason to
don’t want to take anything away from
physical defense and it showed.” Buechele’s offensive coordinator, Sterlin Gilbert, expressed a similar sentiment about the Mountaineers. “We knew they were the best defense that we’ve seen this year, and those guys just do a really good job,” Gilbert said. “They’re activating, they’re applying pressure, but at the end we saw something come at us today and we just have to execute and be able to be efficient.” The Mountaineers were able to “limit” D’Onta Foreman to only 167 yards on 35 carries. More importantly for Dana Holgorsen’s defense, they kept Foreman out of the end zone. Towards the end of the game, Foreman appeared to really labor for yards and in blocking, but
continued to give max effort.
- TEXAS vs WEST VIRGINIA -
“They’re really physical,” Foreman said. “I feel like they had a good defense. I can’t really say why we didn’t put up the points. We had a lot of great drives and we just didn’t finish. I know that was a good defense but I can’t say that they stopped us. We really hurt ourselves.” Foreman’s 167 yards allowed him to tie Earl Campbell’s record for consecutive games with 100 yards at 11. Foreman was honored with an announcement during the game, and even received congratulations from the man whose record he broke. “He told me that he hopes I break it next week,” Foreman said “He also said if someone breaks my record to come back and congratulate him when he does it. I told him I definitely would.” Texas’ defense was able to limit WVU to totals under their season average for both scoring offense and total offense, even without Malik Jefferson for much of Breckyn Hager
the game, who was forced to leave after sustaining a head injury. goal from Trent Domingue.
Texas up for a three and out. West Virginia would be the first team to
Although they played well, the team was struck by a difficult emotional situation
West Virginia responded with a field
reach the end zone, capping a 9-play,
prior to the game. Senior Tim Cole’s
goal of its own, giving the game a
66-yard drive with a strong 8-yard run
father reportedly collapsed as the team
seemingly normal start with both teams
from Kennedy McKoy. Texas would
was walking into the stadium during pre-
feeling each other out. The next series,
respond with a three and out, and West
things quickly got turned on their head.
Virginia would take advantage of the
Foreman fumbled on the first play from
UT’s offensive inability to get into the
“Tim Cole’s father had an issue and I
scrimmage, giving the ball to the Moun-
think now he’s in the ICU,” Strong said.
taineers on the 17-yard line. Making one of the best plays of the
“We told Tim – actually told the whole Luckily for Texas, Kris Boyd and
season, Ka’Raun White hauled in a
Anthony Wheeler made sure the ‘Eers
29-yard pass from Skyler Howard even
Strong took a different approach to the
could not take advantage of the short
after being interfered with by Boyd. The
beginning of the game, winning the toss
field, as both stripped the ball away from
play finished a quick 6-play, 70-yard
and electing to put his offense on the
drive. With a stop and another score,
team before we played.”
West Virginia could have taken control
field first. It paid off, putting three points on the board early with a 27-yard field
Boyd recovered the fumble, setting
of the game.
- TEXAS vs WEST VIRGINIA -
WHAT THEY SAID... CHARLIE STRONG “I just know at some point we gotta hit
it. We didn’t hit it today. Defensively we were able to get some turnovers, and we gave up some on offense. But you like to capitalize. And that was a good defensive football team. I don’t want to take anything away from them. But it was there for us and we just didn’t take advantage of it.”
“We had plenty of opportunities to score and plenty of opportunities to get the ball
back, and we just didn’t execute. Simple mistakes and simple execution errors are just keeping us from where we want to be.”
“You know, it’s an honor, honestly. I know they told me to get the record you have to go 11 or 12 hundred-yard games, and I said, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do that.’ Just continuously grinding, working hard. My offensive line was wonderful. I’m just so thankful to be mentioned with them.”
20 - 38 19 277 162 9-18 5 32:32 16
FIRST DOWNS RUSHING YARDS PASSING YARDS THIRD DOWNS TURNOVERS TIME OF POSSESSION
18 257 122 4-13 1 27:28
- TEXAS vs WEST VIRGINIA -
“You look at a young team,” Strong said.
A third fourth down conversion from the
P.J. Locke. Haines now is tied for fifth in
“It’s very easy, like I said, in the past
WVU two that would have likely been
school history with 13 career intercep-
it could have gotten ugly, and it didn’t
the last play of the half was folded in
tions. For Locke, it was his second pick
get ugly. We just continued to hang in
favor of a Domingue field goal to make it
of the season. Although the Texas de-
17-13 heading into halftime.
fense held WVU to only seven points in
Texas turned to two of the most reli-
“What I wanted to do was to try to get
able parts of its offense, Foreman and
it to one,” Strong said. “I think we were
Leonard. A pass to Leonard got the
down four. Just try to get it to one when
Texas’ next chance at bowl eligibility is in
drive going, and was followed up by a
we go in. We hit the field goal, it was 17
Lawrence next week against the Kansas
long Foreman run. Texas faced third and
to 13 and I just didn’t want to take points
Jayhawks. That is where Strong’s focus
two from the Mountaineer 10 and with
away from us. If you don’t get it, then
currently is, even with the pressure
everyone expecting Foreman to get the
you’re second guessing yourself.”
continuing to mount on his job.
Gilbert put it a different way.
“I can’t worry about that, and I really
the third, Texas could only match them on the scoreboard in the third quarter.
ball, Buechele kept it and ran untouched into the corner of the end zone to bring it within one score.
don’t worry about that,” Strong said. “I “There were a couple conversions and
just worry about the next game. I have
The Longhorns dominated time of pos-
we just decided that was what was best
a really good group of guys, and I know
session to end the second quarter. They
at that point in the game.”
they’re going to play for me. They’re
went on a 21-play, 84-yard drive that
going to battle. They’re going to give
included two fourth down conversions
Texas third quarter consisted of three
on the feet of Foreman, rather than us-
interceptions, with two from senior Dylan
ing the sputtering 18-Wheeler package.
Haines and the other from sophomore
YO U HYD R AT E
everything they’ve got.”
W E D O N ATE
CHARLIEâ€™S L BY JOE COOK
LAWRENCE, KS â€” Lawrence, Kansas presented multiple opportunities for the Texas Longhorns. It could have given the team a chance to get bowl eligible with a win against Kansas after missing a bowl game last year. It could have given the team momentum heading into TCU. It could have given head coach Charlie Strong a stronger argument to return to coach a fourth year at Texas.
- TEXAS vs KANSAS -
nstead, Lawrence became a nightmare zone. Texas turned the
Unfortunately for Strong and Texas, it was not. Kansas would tie the
ball over six times against a 1-9 team that had not won a confer-
game on a 36-yard field goal with seven seconds left to send the
ence game since 2014. Texas gave up an 11-point lead in the
game to overtime.
fourth quarter against the worst team in the Big 12. Even D’Onta Fore-
man’s 250-yard game on a school record 51-carries was not enough
It only took one overtime period to end UT’s nightmare in Lawrence,
to salvage a victory, as the Jayhawks defeated the Longhorns 24-21
as a first possession interception thrown by Buechele allowed Jay-
hawk kicker Matthew Wyman the chance to be the hero. He followed through, sending the crowd at Kansas Memorial Stadium into a frenzy
Following Foreman’s second touchdown run of the day early in the
and sending the Longhorns home to Austin with their first loss to
fourth quarter, Texas forced KU into a three and out. On Texas’ next
Kansas since 1938.
possession, only Foreman ran the ball, and Kansas was able to limit him to set up its comeback.
Texas got off to what appeared to be a scorching start against the Jayhawks when Jacorey Warrick took the first play from scrimmage to
KU responded with a long 10-play, 80-yard drive with a touchdown
the house on a curl route. Warrick avoided the defender, and outran every Jayhawk defender on the way to the end zone just 11 seconds into the game. Following the opening touchdown, both punters took over the game, with Michael Dickson getting six punts and KU punter Cole Moos launching seven in the first half. In total, both teams combined for 18 punts. Texas was hit hard by the turnover bug in the second quarter. The proverbial bug was able to get into the Texas huddle after Shane Buechele left the game for a series with a strained neck. “I think he came back and just didn’t make those throws,” Strong said. “Our doctors checked him out.”
On the first series in Buechele’s and a two-point conversion to pull it within three. In the fourth quarter,
place, senior Tyrone Swoopes fumbled the ball with Kansas recover-
offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert continued to try and pound out
ing on the Texas 23. However, Texas was able to stop the Jayhawks
the game with Foreman, but a Foreman fumble recovered by Kansas
on fourth and one to keep the Jayhawks out of the end zone.
defenders stopped the Longhorns and gave the Jayhawks a chance to tie the game.
Buechele returned the next series, and promptly underthrew a wide open Jerrod Heard. Fish Simpson was able to intercept the ball after
“You try to put it away and end up turning it over,” Strong said after the
missing the snap and letting Heard streak by him thanks to the un-
game. “The game was over.”
derthrow. Buechele had the first multi-interception game of his career
- TEXAS vs KANSAS-
with three, including his final throw. On the day, he was 17 of 26 for 165 yards and one touchdown. Kansas followed with a punt, but found the end zone at the Texas offenses’ expense when Brandon Stewart intercepted Buechele, taking it 55 yards to the end zone the next possession. The fourth and final turnover of the first half came when Foreman fumbled the ball, setting up Kansas for a field goal that allowed them to take a 10-7 lead into the half. Foreman ran for a quiet 61 yards in the first half, and followed it up with 189 in the second half. However, Foreman’s two lost fumbles
proved to be pivotal in the outcome of the game. Those fumbles soured what could have been a historic and
“When you had the blown opportunities we had, it’s hard to win a foot-
celebratory day for Foreman as a 19-yard run midway through the
ball game,” Strong said. “You had the game there, there were seven
third quarter put him over 100 yards, breaking Earl Campbell’s record
or eight plays there, and we couldn’t convert the first down then they
of 11 for consecutive games with 100 yards.
make the stop on defense.”
After the game, the loss struck Foreman more than the record.
No conversions, no stops, no luck, all nightmare. When asked about his status at Texas after the game, Strong could not provide an expla-
“I appreciate it,” Foreman said. “I don’t really care about it honestly.
We lost.” “No idea,” he said. Strong acknowledged they had the chance to seal the win, but let it slip through their hands.
Join the Conversation www.insidetexas.com insidetexas.com
- TEXAS vs KANSAS -
WHAT THEY SAID... SHANE BUECHELE “It’s just as important for our
team to recover from it. You just put in the past and you know you never want to feel this feeling again. It’s important for our team to just have confidence in each other and try to go out and do everything we can to get a win next week.”
CONNOR WILLIAMS “Errors and execution. We didn’t come out to play. Ball security is job security. To get turnovers like that, it put us behind, but we can’t change it.”
“We just have to take care of the football. You’re in that position so that’s when you have to finish it off. We put ourselves in a situation that would have put us up 14 points and we weren’t able to do that.”
21 - 24 22 238 165 3-17 6 33:02
FIRST DOWNS RUSHING YARDS PASSING YARDS THIRD DOWNS TURNOVERS TIME OF POSSESSION
15 112 220 3-17 2 26:58
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SLOW F by by B Bill ill F Frisbie risbie
AUSTIN — As TCU began to distance itself from Texas midway through the third quarter Friday, an LSU beat writer posted that Houston’s Tom Herman was going meet with UT officials after the season. Now, that’s all that matters. insidetexas.com
- TEXAS VS TCU -
his time tomorrow, UT fans won’t be thinking about TCU 31 – Texas 9. The
future is now for the program that has more upside than any other in college football, despite the chronic over-reach from self-important, bigmoney donors and its lame duck, interim athletic director. It’s a future, though, that Charlie Strong still wants to be a part of. “I told the players I look forward to coming back and getting this thing on track,” Strong during a postgame availability that felt more like a wake than a press conference. This returning roster has the foundation to win the national title, he said for the second time this week. The turnaround is just around the corner, he said for the umpteenth
time in his tenure. He likened the
won three straight in Austin. For the
To his credit, Strong tried to rally
team’s progress to a cake that’s
second straight year, his team is
his troops toward next season by
already been baked and, now, only
home for the holidays. His record
exhorting them to never quit, to
needs to be frosted and sliced.
falls to 16-21. He has the worst
pick themselves up and to “stay the
record of any three-year coach in
course.” The official announcement
of whether Strong stays in Austin is
“We’ve been building it for three years,” Strong said. “I said (previ-
expected this weekend.
ously) the third year we’ll make
If you think the buy-out for Strong
progress; the fourth year will be our
and his staff is steep, consider that
Offensive coordinator Sterlin Gil-
Strong has been paid $1 million
bert, kept out of the end zone for
for each of his 16 wins. Strong
the first – and probably last – time
Wherever Strong is next year, it’s
made passing references to his
in his one-year tenure, conceded he
not expected to be at Texas. His
won-loss record, choosing instead
had no idea what will happen now.
biggest problem has been this
to emphases the life-lessons who
Strong has yet to have that kind of
pesky thing called scoreboards.
hoped to impress upon his athletes.
the clarifying conversation with the
Somber players insist they love him
staff, Gilbert said Friday evening.
Case-in-point: TCU has outscored
and want him back, but the Texas
Texas, 129-26 the past three sea-
football coach has to be more than
“I have no regrets,” Gilbert said.
sons. Its three-game winning streak
the nation’s most overpaid guidance
“When you look back, in 2011 I’m
in the series is TCU’s longest in 80
a high school football coach and a
years. Meanwhile, Strong has never
- TEXAS VS TCU -
few years later I’m at the University
up short in a game like this, is very
“Everybody was in the right spots.
of Texas. It’s been a great experi-
It’s my job to put the ball in their hands.”
ence and I have no regrets.” The bitter irony is that Texas’ latest Sophomore linebacker Malik Jef-
version of Black Friday starts with
QB Kenny Hill carved up Texas’
ferson has already begun the work
the offense. The Horns moved the
zone like leftover turkey, hitting all
of steering the ship past the fourth
ball between the 20s but managed
six attempts on an eight-play, open-
losing season in seven years.
just three FGs on five trips inside
ing drive to take an early 7-0 lead.
the Red Zone. Particularly glaring “It happened today, honestly. I
was the inability to move the chains,
Next series, Devin Duvernay’s
talked in the locker room, and I said
as the Horns were a combined
diving 48-yard catch off play-action
this can’t happen again. I know
4-of-22 on third- (and fourth-) down
put Texas in prime real estate at the
we’ve said that multiple times. I
TCU 11. A busted played on 3rdand-four from the six saw the Horns
know we said that last year. It really relies on our hands because we
“TCU had a great game plan,” Fore-
settle for a 21-yrd FG. The visitors
have no idea what’s going to hap-
man said. “They blitzed all day and
took a 7-3 lead into the second
pen (with Strong).”
had extra men that we didn’t block.”
Lost in the frenetic spins of coach-
It was a ragged night for freshman
Jefferson’s seven-yard sack on 3rd-
ing carousels is that junior RB
QB Shane Buechele, finishing 16-
and-21 forced a 30-yard TCU punt.
D’Onta Foreman enjoyed a season
of-39 for 218 yards.
Buechele found TE Andrew Beck over the middle for 20 but misfired
for the ages. His 165 yards on 31 totes was his school-record 13th
“It was just a lack of execution on
on a 4th-and-three pass to Dorian
straight game of 100 yards rushing.
my part,” Buechele said, who has
Leonard at the Horned Frog 30.
His 2,028 yards on the ground this
always shouldered the blame rather
season trail only Heisman Trophy
than pointing fingers at teammates.
Next UT drive, Foreman rumbled for
winner Ricky Williams. Foreman’s 2,782 career rushing yards ranks No. 9 in school history. Foreman knelt alone in the end zone after the final seconds ticked from the clock and, presumably, from his career. The Doak Walker Award finalist is expected to declare for the NFL early next year. “I knelt and cried because this it’s emotional to put everything on the field,” he said. “I’ve given my all in every game, in every practice, in every step I’ve taken, and to come DeShon Elliott
50 yards on five straight carries. But
turned it over on downs at the one-
wide open Emanuel Porter down
Texas stopped feeding the beast,
the left sideline set up a 28-yard FG.
and the drive stalled. Trent Dominigue’s 38-yard FG attempt drifted
Here, you’re thinking it’s going to
wide right. And Dominigue’s day
take a defensive score to finally get
TCU put nine in the box on Texas’
Texas into the end zone. Sopho-
opening drive of the second half,
more safety DeShon Elliott nearly
but Foreman rumbled past the first
Consecutive series perfectly illus-
did it with his 24-yard INT return
line of defense for 44 to the 12. The
trated Texas’ ineptitude inside the
to the nine. Same song, different
fact that Texas reached the Red
10. The Horns had a 1st-and-goal
verse: Texas fell behind the chains
Zone meant TCU had ‘em right
from the five, and later a 1st-and-
when Buechele’s left sideline pass
where they wanted ‘em. A six-yard
goal from the nine, but managed all
to Johnson fell incomplete on first
sack saw Texas settle for Becker’s
of three points from two trips inside
down. A chorus of boos greeted
the shadow of the goal post.
the decision to settle for a 24-yard Mitchell Becker FG and a 7-6 half-
Hill ran untouched on a 41-yard TD scamper, 17-9, midway through the third. TCU’s most impressive drive, however, came courtesy of a backup QB. Sophomore Foster Sawyer engineered an eight-play 97-yard drive against a gassed defense to make it a 24-9 scoreboard. Still to come was Darius Anderson’s 71-yard TD run to cap the scoring with 7:32 left in the game and, presumably, Strong’s tenure. “You look at the foundation that’s been laid here now,” Strong said, “it’s
First, Collin Johnson’s 23-yard
time deficit, despite four trips inside
going to just get stronger, and it’s
catch-and-run spotted the ball at the
the Red Zone.
going to strengthen, and it’s going to be there because it’s there for
TCU 30. Back-to-back grabs from Duvernay, totaling 25 yards, set-up
TCU came out fast and furious on
you…You’re just going to see posi-
1st-and-goal from the five. Problem
their opening driving, mixing pass
is, Foreman managed 4.99 yards
and run. Two Hill scrambles got 21
on four straight runs, and Texas
yards while his 25-yard toss to a
- TEXAS VS TCU -
WHAT THEY SAID... CHARLIE STRONG “I was told three years ago when I came in here
to build a program. Just
“We’ve been blessed to have
look at the positives, look
him, and no one wants him
at where we are with this
to leave. Everybody wants
football team, how young
him to stay. We’re hoping
we are. The wins and
he can be back for another
losses, they don’t add up.
year with these guys. I don’t
But still it’s more than
know what that conversa-
just that. It’s all about the
tion is going to be like. No
total development, taking
one does. All the players,
the program and moving
everybody wants him back.
it in the right direction.”
The fans do. That’s all we can go with forward.”
D’ONTA FOREMAN “I was kneeling, I cried. It’s emotional for us to put everything on the line and everything on the field. I’ve given my all, every game, every practice, every step I was taking. I’ve given my all. To come up short in a game like this is very emotional.”
9 - 31 19 309 178 4-19 1 30:14
FIRST DOWNS RUSHING YARDS PASSING YARDS THIRD DOWNS TURNOVERS TIME OF POSSESSION insidetexas.com
25 189 218 1-11 1 29:46 29
CHARLIE By Mike Blackwell
8.3.14 - Strong dismisses two additional players, and suspends three others for at least one game.
1.6.14 1.5.14 - Charlie Strong chosen to replace Mack Brown as head coach at Texas.
1.6.14 - Strong is publicly introduced by Texas President Bill Powers and Texas Director of Athletics Steve Patterson.
8.30.14 - Strong’s team demolishes North Texas 38-7 in his first game as head coach. Unfortunately for the new head coach, he loses his starting quarterback, David Ash, and starting center (Dom Espinosa) to injuries in the game, from which they would not recover to play again.
9.6.14 - Strong’s team is trampled at home by BYU, 41-7. It’s the worst home loss since the 66-3 “Route 66” game vs. UCLA, a 66-3 shellacking in 1997.
1.15.14 - Strong finalizes his coaching staff, naming Shawn Watson and Joe Wickline to run his offense in a unique way: Wickline is considered the offensive coordinator, but Watson is tabbed to call plays. Vance Bedford is named as defensive coordinator.
1.5.14 - Strong’s first recruiting class includes 23 players, five of whom were brought in by the new coaching staff. The class gets above-average reviews, with most recruiting “experts” calling in a top 20 class.
5.8.14 - The NFL Draft is held, and for the first time since 1937, no Texas Longhorn football player is selected.
7.24.14 - Strong dismisses four players for violation of team rules, though one is later reinstated.
E STRONG AT UT 12.29.14 - In the one and only bowl
game of Strong’s tenure, the Longhorns are dominated by Arkansas, 317, ending Strong’s first season at 6-7.
1.22.15 - Wickline’s lawsuit against Oklahoma State is dismissed in Texas, however, the OSU side of the lawsuit continues.
7.2.15 - Powers, who was in the role when Strong is hired, resigns and is replaced by Greg Fenves.
9.13.14 - Speaking of UCLA, the Longhorns lose late to the Bruins in Arlington, 20-17. Strong’s team had confusion with the coin toss, and was criticized for time-management is-
9.5.15 - Texas travels to Notre Dame for its opener, and is handed a one-sided, 38-3 loss.
sues while holding on to a small lead late in the game. 9.8.15 - One game into the season, Strong hands the offen10.23.14 - Wickline and his former school, Oklahoma State, sued one another, pertaining to his contract with OSU in relation to his job duties at Texas. The argument was over the buyout in his contract.
sive play-calling duties to wide receivers coach Jay Norvell, taking the responsibility away from Watson.
10.25.2014 - Texas looked absolutely inept offensively in a 23-0 shutout loss at Kansas State.
11.27.14 - The Longhorns are humiliated in Austin by TCU, 48-10, ending Strong’s first regular season at 6-6. The loss comes following a threegame Texas winning streak.
- Charlie Strong Timeline with losses to Oklahoma State (30-27) and TCU (50-7). 9.15.15 - Patterson, who hired Strong, is fired. 10.3.15 - The Longhorns are thoroughly embarrassed by the Horned Frogs in Ft. Worth, 50-7.
10.10.15 - Shockingly, Texas beats Oklahoma 24-17, giving
9.19.15 - Texas loses a heartbreaker to California in Austin, 45-44, but seems to have found its quarterback of the future in Jerrod Heard, who compiles over 500 yards of total offense. The loss, however, is the first of three straight for the Longhorns, who follow the defeat against the Golden Bears
11.26.15 Strong his only win over the Sooners in his tenure at Texas.
10.31.15 - The Longhorns look lifeless in a 24-0 shutout at Iowa State, a game that saw Texas pass for exactly 85 yards.
11.26.15 - Texas is thrashed by Texas Tech’s offense in a 48-45 loss at home against the Red Raiders.
12.5.15 - Somehow, Texas follows up the Texas Tech loss with a win on the road at Baylor, 23-17.
12.6.15 - Strong offers TCU’s Sonny Cumbie the Longhorns’ offensive coordinator job.
12.9.15 - After two days of deliberation, Cumbie declines the Texas offer.
12.10.15 - 12.12.15 - In a bizarre three-day
12.12.15 - Texas makes announcement that Wickline and
period, Tulsa co-offensive coordinator Sterlin
Watson will not return in 2016.
Gilbert reportedly accepts, then declines, a Texas offer to become offensive coordinator on the Forty Acres. On 12.11.15, Strong flies to Tulsa along with athletic director Mike Perrin and school president Greg Fenves to meet with Gilbert, who then agrees to take the job.
9.4.16 - In what would prove to be the most memorable game of his tenure, Strong’s team defeated 10th-ranked Notre Dame 50-47 in two overtimes in Austin.
9.17.16 - Texas loses in gutwrenching fashion to California, 50-43.
10.1.16 - Embarrassingly, the Longhorns have three extra points blocked in a 49-31 loss at Oklahoma State.
10.22.16 - Texas travels to Kansas State and loses 24-
21 in a game, allowing the insidetexas.com
Wildcats to hold onto the ball for more than 38 minutes in the game.
11.19.16 - In probably what was Strongâ€™s final chance to salvage his job, the Longhorns lost shockingly to Kansas, 24-21.
11.25.16 - Texas fails to score a touchdown in a 31-9 loss to the Horned Frogs.
11.26.16 - Texas announces it has fired Strong after three years.
11.27.16 - Texan introduces Tom Herman as the next Longhornsâ€™ head coach.
5/19/11 2:17:09 PM
THREADING THE NEEDLE THE HERMAN HIRE BY SCIPIO TEX
ake a bow, Greg Fenves by Chris Hall If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well.
It were done quickly - MacBeth
rangements to fill glaring depth needs. Did Texas talk to anyone else? Sure. Texas spoke to other candidates though alumni intermediaries (and I hope they made their calls on Cricket wireless burner phones) - largely as
A neatly conducted fire, search and hire seemed
back-ups and to gauge interest on some dream
a dream. But it happened. Despite the specula-
hires - but Herman was always the guy. An open
tive wailing and gnashing of teeth from some
Texas job in any sport gets other established
Longhorn faithful (oh no, the Berkeley academic
coaches raises and it takes a smart, disciplined
is going to hire Caitlin Jenner and Plonsky will
executive to understand the real market versus
be the new men’s AD) our school president took
the theoretical dream market.
the reins of the job search firmly, understood that a strong, quick hire was superior to the siren’s
Nick Saban isn’t in play. Jim Harbaugh isn’t in
call of a lengthy deliberative process (that likely
play. Urban Meyer isn’t in play. Chris Petersen
wouldn’t turn up a better candidate and would
isn’t in play. Dabo Swinney was in play, but at
lose our best options) and Texas threaded the
what cost, what timeline and what happens when
needle with the most seamless transition in
Alabama comes calling in 2020 or so? Fenves
read the market correctly and acted. That takes a level of discipline and street smarts rarely attrib-
Despite a great potential for things to go awry.
uted to university administrators. I was optimistic
The speed of the hire also short circuited the
about our school president based on some chats
national media’s attempts at creating a “Poor
I had with Big Cigars and he vastly exceeded my
Charlie Strong didn’t get a chance” narrative.
Nothing replaces old news like new news. Uncertainty is a breeding ground for mischief. Fenves didn’t allow uncertainty and mischief has to take
root elsewhere. Like College Station.
The Reality-Based Timeline
With Herman hired literally hours after Charlie
Fenves made the decision to can Strong after
Strong’s last football game, Texas can recruit
the Kansas game. When I wrote that after the
meaningfully before the dead period and Herman
Kansas game, it wasn’t just logical inference.
has a legitimate opportunity to pitch the state’s
Fenves was even weighing the impact of whether
best, cherry pick his own U of H recruiting class,
an in-season canning had more positive than
get a sense of the current roster and make ar-
negative value as far back as West Virginia. He
- threading the needle knew what needed to be done. He also made the right call in allow-
The graciousness expressed towards Charlie Strong was both
ing Strong to complete the season, even if it made us all nervous.
heartfelt and good tactics. Strong took some bullets that any coach would have had to eat in his first two years here. That’s just roster
While hucksters and the eternally gullible floated rumors that Her-
reality. Year Three was his undoing. The wins and losses sealed it
man wasn’t in the running, or that Strong could earn back his job
for Joe Sixpack, but it was a lack of process and management skills
with an emotional player-supported press conference or a TCU vic-
that made the move necessary. The simple fact is that whatever
tory, we already knew that Texas had identified their #1 target and
coach took over in 2014 was going to experience tough sledding.
had put plans in place to meet with Herman immediately after the
And 2015 wasn’t exactly screaming 11-2 either. Strong turned
TCU game. They met even sooner than we thought possible. We
over the roster, brought in some good players, ate two rebuilding
all know now that Perrin and Fenves met with Herman late Friday
seasons that any inheritor would have had to weather and allowed
evening and they talked well into Saturday morning. Anyone who
Herman to come in as the Golden Boy who instantly turns Texas
thinks Strong could have saved his job with that meeting on the
into a Big 12 title contender. Would I have preferred that Strong be
books needs to come to San Francisco to see the bridge I’m willing
the right hire? Of course. But he leaves a roster and program infra-
to sell them. When Strong told some players after Kansas he was
structure in considerably better shape than what he inherited. His
gone, he was gone. What he told the national media is irrelevant.
time here, while ultimately a failure, was not without considerable value. Just not 25 million dollars worth.
That interview was important. Herman had the opportunity to talk his way out of a job. He didn’t. He impressed them with his passion,
Oh, well. I don’t recall getting rebates on my season tickets when
attention to detail and his rigorous approach to player discipline and
Texas has extra money laying around. Do you?
academics. If Greg Fenves had any nagging concerns about the fruits of the mercenary Urban Meyer coaching tree - and not without
Herman’s lost football games!
some cause given what Meyer left in his wake at Florida - they were dispelled.
Can’t hire him.
Herman has influences, but he’s his own man. He has private
If you believe he’s the right guy for Texas, those losses were a gift.
thoughts and critiques for all of his previous bosses. He saw the
Every single one of them. The last thing you want is the Cougars in
good and bad in all of the regimes in which he flourished.
a major bowl or, God forbid, in the playoff picture. While some are understandably concerned that Herman’s decimated U of H team
The Agent Game
dropped three games this year, no one has ever hired an undefeated coach and those losses shaved at least a million a year off
While predictable, watching media get played by agents is one of
of his contract. That, in combination with a favorable buyout, made
my favorite past times during coaching searches. They feed off
Herman more palatable to Texas. Similarly, meeting with Herman
of the media’s desire to create stories and narratives where none
mere hours after a crushing Memphis loss was psychologically
exist, the thirst for page views and subscriptions, and reporter’s
valuable. If Texas is a pick-up artist and Herman is the pretty girl,
general gullibility (they pretend they’re weary cynics, but they’re
he’d just been negged hard. A one loss Tom Herman could be an
newborn lambs) and their lack of general business acumen. The
insufferable negotiator rightfully looking for a bidding war. A three
idea that Tom Herman’s agent would agree to the LSU job without
loss Tom Herman is more tractable, his star shines less bright and
first hearing from Texas is ludicrous on its face. A fireable offense.
he’s reminded of just how quickly things can go wrong at a school
This is so basic that I feel almost insulted to have to write it. As you
like Houston where depth is a very near thing and every successful
are to read it. But somehow, people actually reported this with a
season is a function of luck as much as skill. He couldn’t bide his
straight face and we were expected to respond to it.
time and he couldn’t play games with his dream job.
Take a victory lap, Inside Texas
Charlie Strong’s Contributions
Forgive me for dislocating my shoulder Lethal Weapon style with pats on the back, but I hope you’ll at least allow me to pat your back
- threading the needle -
Left to right: Mike Perrin, Mark Herman, Greg Fenves
and that of my colleagues. I was heartened to see the faith that IT
their own legacy. That’s how it works. A staff, like a football team, is
readers had in our information and our collective decision to report
either improving or getting worse. There is no stasis. There’s good
reality over speculation, disinformation and hysteria. It wasn’t much
turnover and bad turnover.
of a decision, because it’s based firmly in the site’s culture and our respect for Texas.
Tom Herman was hired for enforcing good process. Not innovation. Not remaking offensive or defensive football concepts. I’m not
How can I put this delicately? We were right. Everyone else was
advocating blind faith, but we have to get over the idea that new
completely, often comically wrong. Actual connections and real
coaches will instantly hire an all-star team of disparate assistants
content wins. We have the connections on the UT side and in the
plucked from across the country that the new coach has never
Herman camp. Apparently, no one else did. We also saw through
worked with or met. Herman has a strong rolodex, a strong idea
transparent manipulation by agents, media and various camps.
of how he wants things run and clear performance expectations.
While I understand the fun of riding the disinformation rollercoaster,
That’s what matters. Superstar assistants come and go and if you
I don’t think those readers and fans fully comprehend the contempt
follow some long enough, it’s interesting to see how their stars dim
in which they’re held by some of the people they’re indulging.
over time while various “nobodies” rise. Assistants, like players, need development. And they can coach beyond their talents sur-
I’ll leave it at that.
rounded by the right environment.
College football is not an efficient market. So find a head guy that creates his own efficiencies and enforces a staff vitality curve.
Individual hires are less important than accountability and the larger processes they operate in. Everyone is looking for star assistants
- and there’s no question they’re out there - but the more important piece is how the head man manages his reports. Strong failed here.
Texas is set up well. In recruiting and in the current roster. I’m look-
Badly. Herman will not. He will make bad hires. They will be ex-
ing to forward to exploring how and why. Be excited.
pelled. He will make good hires. They will be rewarded, developed, challenged, elevated and eventually leave the program to create
It’s darkest before the dawn.
NEWS AND NOTES By Tim Preston
EARLY SEASON OBSERVATIONS THE SINKING TIDE OF MISSING SHOTS. Would this team be better with a true point guard? Of course. Kerwin Roach has been better about forcing his way into the paint over the last few games (turnovers notwithstanding, unfortunately). But there is little in the way of playmaking with the ball in dribble penetration. Look, though, there are plenty of teams around the country with weak or poor point guard play. That shouldn’t/can’t be the harbinger, single-handedly, for whether or not your team is going to score points. And it’s not with this team. Point guards and creating open shots are not synonymous terms. Open shots come from spacing, ball movement (whether via dribble penetration or passing), solid player movement, screening and preparation. Texas, for their issues scoring, is doing much of that, though they definitely can be doing much of that better.
This is my Jordan Hamilton as a freshman moment. The point of any offense is to create open looks. Texas’ offense If you remember, Jordan’s freshman year was an up and down
is doing that.
mess that magnified the player/coach relational hell that could They’re just not making shots. Davis’ issues are documented.
be Rick Barnes and talented offensive players who struggled on
Roach’s issues are documented. Andrew Jones and Jacob
Young haven’t shot as well as they are capable. Isom hasn’t The issue was this…Rick demanded defensive execution from
even suited up.
his players…Jordan was lost on defense and was victimized for But where do we fault the system and where to we fault plain
that by opponents somewhat regularly…Jordan also was a good
and simple missed shots?
teammate and person who wanted to help his team win…he wasn’t capable of impacting winning on the defensive end…so
My eyes and notes tell it’s more of the latter, even as the former
he did what he did think he could do to impact winning…which
isn’t exactly easy on my vision.
was shooting the ball.
GUYS ARE GOING TO DO WHAT THEY
So he shot and shot and shot and shot. And Rick’s face got red-
FEEL EMPOWERED TO DO.
der and redder and redder. The conflict was obvious. But it wasn’t a question of Jordan
being selfish or cruddy or whatever. He simply was doing what he thought he could to help the team. Enter Young, Jones, James Banks, whoever, right? Young’s defense is trash. He’s not particularly physically predisposed for it in the first place, but his awareness and positioning aren’t good, even if his energy is. Jacob knows this. It’s not some big mystery. But he’s got to play. And he knows the team is struggling. So he does what he feels empowered to do…shoot. Jones is falling into that trap. Davis is falling into that trap. Tevin Mack has lived that trap from the moment he stepped on campus. They are complementary players who are feeling the need to step up when they aren’t ready. So we’re seeing what we are right now. THIS YEAR HAS BEEN A THROW AWAY YEAR FROM THE START.
It’s no easier to write than it is for you all to stomach. But it’s true.
tent level with the ball that next year could be a special one.
Shaka, for better or worse, has built his coaching philosophy on
He’s right about that, too.
the progression of his players. That process, as he puts it over and over, comes through team building, personal accountability and
But what about this year? If they don’t figure it out, this could be
the worst year Texas has had since Penders’ last season on the 40 Acres.
All of those things take time and, often, are painful. And if Coleman sees that dumpster fire and chooses to go elseI’m not telling you anything you don’t know.
where…then the risk will have been an unmitigated failure.
I’m simply telling you that Shaka Smart is taking a calculated risk
with the 2016-17 version of his team. EVERY SINGLE COACH, EVER, IS EITHER He knew damn well that going into a season with Andrew Jones
THE RIGHT ONE OR NOT.
and Kerwin Roach as your only “point” guards was dangerous. He spoke about that at great length to begin the season and even after
I happen to trust in Shaka’s process. I think he’s the right man for
the early season wins.
this job and that his teams will have the chance to be very successful, even to the highest of levels.
However, that’s his reality and there were certainly point guards he could have brought in (plus, Texas has three open spots available,
And, if last season is any indicator, I believe we’ll see a vastly differ-
ent team in February than the one we do right now.
But he also knew that he was all in for Matt Coleman. He knew that
That would be nice. But, of course, I may be wrong.
if he could get either Roach or Jones (or both) playing at a compe-