Tom Herman Creates Hope For Texas
Texas Loses Nail-biter In Overtime At DKR-Memorial Stadium
Tom Herman Coaching Set The Stage For Victory Yesterday In Austin
The Texas crowd roared in anticipation as freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger dropped back to throw what they hoped would be the game winning touchdown pass in overtime Saturday at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium. Tom Herman and staff had set the stage for victory with a brilliant coaching job which limited high-powered Oklahoma State and quarterback Mason Rudolph to only 13 points through four quarters and one overtime period.
All Ehlinger had to do was sling a touchdown pass to one of his receivers and Texas would pull out a thrilling victory. Unfortunately, it was at that moment the reality of the moment veered from the script Herman and his coaches had written.
An Oklahoma State defender intercepted the ball in the end zone instead, and the 10-ranked Cowboys escaped with a 13-10 victory. The win keeps Oklahoma State alive in the Big 12 title hunt with only one loss all year to TCU,
Frustrated Texas fans' reaction to the loss ranged from frustration to disappointment and even anger. However, the calm Herman explained the final play as follows: "We were supposed to throw it in the flat on five steps. Get it out as a little sprint pass....For whatever reason (Ehlinger) didn't throw it early enough to the flat so he was scrambling around," according to the Austin American Statesman.
Herman Recruiting Class No. 4 In the Nation
The fact is Herman is in the process of recruiting either the fourth of fifth best recruiting class in the nation for 2018 which should provide hope for Burnt Orange Nation that greatness looms on the horizon. It is to be expected that freshmen quarterbacks will make the kinds of mistakes Sam made on the final play of Saturday's game. Until that moment, he hadn't committed a turnover all day, and he did well enough to lead the Longhorns to a 10-10 deadlock at the end of regulation with one of the top teams in the nation. Not bad.
While the record for this year's team sinks to 3-4, Herman has proved again he's a great recruiter with 14 quality commitments which leaves him only behind Penn State, Ohio State and Miami in the whole country in the recruiting rankings.
The Longhorns have dominated in-state recruiting inside the Lone Star State while also plucking blue chippers from across the nation. Coveted quarterback Casey Thompson from Southmoore (Oklahoma) High inked on the dotted line with Herman. He's a real steal. His father Charles Thompson was a real star for the Sooners during the halcyon days of Barry Switzer. The fact Herman was able to persuade a top quarterback in Oklahoma's backyard to head south of the Red River is impressive.
Herman also flipped top California quarterback Cameron Rising from Newbury Park who had previously leaned toward signing with Oklahoma. Those two quarterback recruits alone are powerful evidence Herman is capable of returning Texas to national prominence.
Herman is doing even better inside football-rich Texas. Recently, UT received pledges from three of the state's top 10 prospects including Alief Taylor High wide receiver Brennan Eagles (No. 3), Heights High cornerback Jalen Green (No. 5) and Lamar High wide receiver Al'Vonte Woodard (No. 9).
Tom Herman Defends Offensive Co-Ordinater Tim Beck
In the wake of the loss Saturday, Herman felt compelled to defend his offensive co-ordinater Tim Beck. The defense has been extraordinary this year in keeping the Longhorns in all their games. Texas has lost to three top-10 teams by a combined 11 points. Their performance in limiting the top offense in the nation to only 13 points was exceptional. Never before this season has Oklahoma State been held to such a meager number of yards and points.
But the offense has been the target of criticism which led Herman to defend his offensive co-ordinater who followed him from Ohio State. Herman said, "Tim's doing fine. I hired Tim because he's very, very capable of doing his job, and he's got a big task ahead of him. We do. We've got a big task ahead of us to right the ship on that side of the ball."
Tom Herman Had Success As Iowa State Assistant Coach Before He Was Hired At Texas
Tom Herman Record Earned Him Time To Rebuild Texas
While some fans may be getting impatient with the team's 3-4 record, Herman has earned the time to rebuild the once powerful Longhorns into a national championship outfit. His best known accomplishment as guiding the Ohio State Buckeyes to a national championship as the quarterbacks coach and offensive co-ordinator. While Urban Meyer was the head coach, it was Herman's brilliant play-calling for Wichita Falls Rider High School standout J.T. Barrett which led to the Big 10 Championship. When Barrett went down with injury, it was Herman who called the plays for third string quarterback Cardale Jones to lead the Bucks the rest of the way to a national championship in the College Playoff Championships.
It should be noted Jones never has regained the heights of success he achieved while under the tutelage of Herman at OSU. The following year after Herman took the Houston head coaching job, Jones was beaten out by Barrett in the middle of the season, and the Bucks failed to repeat as national champions despite being heavy favorites. While OSU didn't lose any players from its national championship team it did lose Herman.
Todd Orlando Praised For Defensive Effort
There has been nothing but praise for Todd Orlando's defensive unit in the aftermath of their great performance against Oklahoma State. One of the wisest things Herman has done was to bring Orlando with him from Houston as his defensive coordinator at Texas. Social media has been buzzing with praise for the stellar job Orlando's defense did in shutting down Oklahoma State's No. l ranked offense in the nation yesterday.
Herman said of Orlando, "Todd is as good as it comes in a defensive coordinator. He did an unbelievable job for us at Houston and has a long track record of leading defenses that speaks for itself."
While Orlando is being paid a three-year contract believed to be worth $1 million, which would make him the highest paid assistant in Texas football history, the consensus is he may be underpaid for the job he's doing.
As defensive coordinator at Houston, Orlando directed a unit which limited 12 other teams below their typical scoring average and led the nation with 35 takeaways. Last year his aggressive Cougar defenses resulted in 39 sacs, tied for 11th most in the nation. Houston also finished fourth in the nation for run defense.
Under the brilliant defensive scheme devised by Orlando yesterday, Brecklyn Hager was a disruptive force off the edge, sacking the Cowboy quarterback on three occasion to prevent throwing plays downfield. Linebacker Malik Jefferson roamed the field yesterday making countless tackles to halt Oklahoma State drives.
Orlando's outstanding defense appeared to intimidate the Oklahoma State offense into a shell of its normal self as the Cowboys repeatedly shunned downfield throws for conservative running plays. The two-deep defensive scheme probably had something to do that with zone coverage eliminating long throws for the most part.
Texas Defense Shuts Down Oklahoma State
National Championships Inevitable With Herman At The Helm
National championships are only a matter of time at Texas under the direction of Herman. With his incredible record at Ohio State and Houston there is no doubt the former Texas assistant coach will lead the Longhorns back to the promised land in the near future. There's no reason with the strong fan base Texas has, that Herman can't lead the proud program back to the heights it enjoyed not that many years ago when Vince Young ran and passed the Horns to a thrilling victory against USC and a national championship.
Proclaimed by many as "the greatest college game ever", Mack Brown's team came from behind to defeat the two-time national champion Trojans to claim its own national title.