It became very clear Saturday that Texas coach Tom Herman’s Longhorns tenure wouldn’t have the same immediate feel-good that his time at Houston had.
Herman’s Houston team started his first season 10-0. His Texas team is 0-1 after Week 1 following a 51-41 loss to Maryland at home.
After the game, Herman said his team was its own worst enemy. Texas flashed potential at times, but also made key mistakes.
“I told our guys to never get used to this feeling but that if we all thought we were going to come in here in nine months and sprinkle some fairy dust on this team and think that we’ve arrived then we’re wrong,” Herman said. “And the only way we know how to fix things is to work harder.”
Before going to Houston, Herman was an assistant at Ohio State. And his ex-boss, Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer, had some tough love for Herman in an interview with CBS Sports.
“C’mon man. I don’t know where that came from,” Meyer told CBS Sports. “It’s like a new generation of excuse. [Herman] said, ‘I can’t rub pixie dust on this thing.’ He got a dose of reality. Maryland just scored 51 points on you.”
Ohio State plays Oklahoma and first-year head coach Lincoln Riley on Saturday. Meyer was asked about Riley on Thursday and it was hard not to see how his answer applied to more than Oklahoma.
“I think the thing I advise my coaches when they go into positions and take new spots is always be extremely complimentary,” Meyer said at his press conference. “Never talk as if those players aren’t your players. Obviously he was elevated from inside the staff, but when I hear coaches say ‘Well it’s not — these aren’t my guys, wait until he gets his guys,’ I cringe. Whose guys do you think they are? Once you become the head coach they’re your guys once you say I do.”
It’s easy to wonder if Meyer feels compelled to talk about Herman’s “dose of reality” because of the relationship the two built at Ohio State. If Herman wasn’t a former assistant of Meyer’s, does the Buckeyes coach say something different?
Herman also cited the 2014 Ohio State team in his postgame press conference. Herman was the offensive coordinator on that title-winning team and noted how that team lost at home to Virginia Tech in the second week of the season.
“I don’t know that shocked — I was telling anyone that listened how good this football team was and that we were still a work in progress,” Herman said when asked if he was shocked about the loss. “So I don’t know that shocked is the right word. Very disappointed. I think that probably the best example I have is in 2014 where I was offensive coordinator at Ohio State, second game of the year Virginia Tech rolls in and absolutely kicks our butt.”
“We came together as a team, we figured out the problems. We solved the problems, we had a great group of kids and we went on to win a national championship. I’m not saying that by any stretch is what our goal should be here or anything other than I’ve been a part of teams that have taken a very unexpected and ugly loss and learned from it and built on it.”
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