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Romancing each other since 2004

Updated: 2017-10-17T15:06:17-05:00


The Longhorn Republic looks at missed opportunities against Oklahoma



Texas was a few breaks away from a win in Dallas, but the Longhorns must regroup quickly as they welcome Oklahoma State

Gerald Goodridge and Kyle Carpenter break down what the difference was for the Texas Longhorns against the Oklahoma Sooners, why Sam Ehlinger was so successful and how to get the running game going.

Then, Kyle and Gerald try to find a weakness in the Oklahoma State Cowboys and their offense, led by Heisman candidate Mason Rudolph and the talented James Washington.

As always, Kyle and Gerald give you something specific to pay attention to in a segment called Bang the Drum.

Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher.

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Intro and Outro:

Earth, Wind, Fire (Ryan Little) / CC BY-SA 4.0

Tom Herman says the Texas rebuild is on schedule in effort and physicality


Playing hard is no longer the issue — now it’s about playing smarter. So much for just putting the icing on the cake and winning a lot of games. The now-infamous words of former Texas Longhorns Charlie Strong that he had “baked the cake” in Austin before giving way to head coach Tom Herman weren’t exactly echoed on Monday. “We're here for a reason, and that's to rebuild this thing from a bunch of years of mediocrity and sub-mediocrity, and we understand that that's going to take time. We also want to win right now, too,” Herman said. As injuries along the offensive line and at tight end have exposed the lack of depth in the offensive front, the ‘Horns have struggled to win games against a tough conference schedule, sitting at 3-3 halfway through the season. The secondary is still struggling with missed assignments, and if the kicking game was the icing for the cake, well, Strong left the cupboard bare there. However, that’s not to say that the rebuilding effort is behind schedule. “I think success would be if we play disciplined,” Herman said in early September, setting the expectations for the season. “If we protect the football on offense, and when people watch us, either opponents or when the casual fan watches us, if they can say, ‘Wow, I've never seen Texas play that hard. Wow, I've never seen Texas play that physical. Wow, I've never seen Texas play with that much passion, energy, accountability to their teammates and coaches.’ Then we'll be on our road to success.” In terms of that holistic evaluation, there’s plenty for Herman to be happy about. “We're well on schedule in terms of our effort level and physicality,” Herman said. “And I told our assistant coaches when we started training camp that if we can get them to play hard and play physical, we'll have a chance to be in every game that we play.” So far, he’s mostly been correct — the team played without effort and physicality at times against Maryland, but still battled back to make the game competitive in the second half. Against USC, Texas showed it could compete on the road against a talented, highly-ranked team. In the annual rivalry match against Oklahoma, Herman’s team recovered from a 20-0 deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter before falling late. In between, the ‘Horns showed some much-needed ability to actually on the road in beating the Cyclones in Ames and successfully closing out the double-overtime thriller against the pesky Wildcats at home. Put it all together halfway through the season and Herman still won’t admit to any moral victories... But immediately after that statement in Herman’s post-game press conference at the Cotton Bowl, he praised his team’s effort, enthusiasm, belief, and fortitude. Many of those attributes were conspicuously missing during long stretches of the Charlie Strong era, which features numerous blowouts. “Ah, here we go again,” players would say on the sidelines during blowouts like the 50-7 thrashing by TCU in 2015. Whenever it looked like the ‘Horns might be turning a corner, there would be a loss to the Cyclones on the road or to the Jayhawks on the road. By the time that Strong took his final lopsided loss at home against the Horned Frogs last December, it was abundantly clear that the Longhorns still lacked those crucial elements of effort and physicality, among other attributes. “I think a sense of accountability and brotherhood, which, you know, again, I've had numerous players tell me that they feel closer to their teammates now than they ever have, which is big,” Herman added. Ah, yes — alignment. Now, facing a trajectory in those areas that perhaps isn’t quite linear, but is certainly trending upwards, Herman’s task is to put his team in a position to take the next step — beat good teams like Oklahoma State and TCU. And then avoid the letdowns against weaker opponents that so deeply characterized Strong’s failed tenure. “So my challenge to our coaches this week was: ‘We've got to get [...]

Houston Lamar DB coach Theadis Reagins details what Texas is getting in D’Shawn Jamison



The physical nickel back keeps improving and still has upside remaining.

Houston Lamar High School has become a Division I factory over the years. One doesn't even need to look further than the Texas Longhorns current and upcoming roster for proof — junior defensive backs Holton Hill and John Bonney currently don the burnt orange, while four-star wide receiver Al’vonte Woodard and and now four-star cornerback D’Shawn Jamison will do the same next season.

Jamison, who became the Longhorns latest pledge on Saturday evening, has spent the majority of his high school career under the tutelage of Lamar defensive backs coach Theadis Reagins, who’s helped send seemingly countless talents to the Power 5 ranks over the years.

Jamison was far from the first, and he won’t even be the last this month — five-star Lamar cornerback Anthony Cook is set to choose between Texas, Ohio State and LSU on Oct. 30 — but for now, he’s the latest to continue the Lamar-to-the-Longhorns pipeline.

Burnt Orange Nation recently caught up with Coach Reagins, who raved about what Tom Herman and the ‘Horns are getting in their latest pledge.

"The thought of just having another DB from Lamar High School get the opportunity to play at a program like the University of Texas is an honor for D'Shawn Jamison and his family," Reagins said.

The explosive slot receiver is one of three wide outs currently committed to Texas, along with Houston natives Brennan Eagles and Al’vonte Woodard.

Moore, however, has been considered a flip candidate as of late with Purdue making its push. Moore officially visited the Boilermakers earlier in the month, but now making a return trip to Texas and his first since the summer, the ‘Horns staff will get a personal say in the matter.

Moore committed to Texas on June 25 over options including Ohio State and Louisville.

The 5’8.5, 174-pound Moore is ranked the as the nation’s No. 210 player, No. 40 wide receiver and the No. 1 player in Kentucky, per the 247Sports Composite ranking.

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And the Emmy Goes To...



Daily Round Up: October 16, 2017

Sam Ehlinger deserves an Emmy, according to Lincoln Riley.

“We got up on the quarterback once,” Riley said. “Ehlinger should’ve won an Academy Award for the one he got late. He did a great job. As a quarterback coach, I was a little jealous of it.”

Ehlinger will only get better.

Asked Saturday about his experience in his first Texas-OU game, Ehlinger said the atmosphere was incredible, losing sucked ... and ...

"I'm looking forward to the next three years."

That quote should've provided a ray of sunshine and just-you-wait to opponents for Texas faithful, who know exactly what Ehlinger meant.

The kicking game has had an impact on the season, and not in a good way.

"We were against the wind," Herman said. "And with our kicking woes recently, it wasdown by whatever we were, down by six at the time, and, no, I mean that was — didn't feel good about it being into the wind. Had we been going the other direction probably would have jogged the field goal team out."

The Horns’ recruiting is still going ahead as planned.

Nothing comes easy for Sooners this season.

SB Nation projects Oklahoma will make the college football playoffs.

The Big 12 race could be called survival of the healthiest.

It’s not like injuries didn’t matter before this season. It’s just they’re amplified over seven-week grinds like the one pulverizing the Big 12.

They’re also more acute in a conference that’s used to operating without a championship game, which means a longer regular season and a week's extra rest.

And now, Texas gets to play the other team in Oklahoma.

Texas criticized for playing QB Sam Ehlinger after head trauma


The criticisms are either driven by rivalry hatred or attack the ‘Horns for a nationwide problem. On Saturday in the Cotton Bowl, Texas Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger hit his head on a tackle near the sidelines against the Oklahoma Sooners, remaining motionless for some time before undergoing concussion protocol and returning to the game after five plays. “I wasn't ever confused where I was at all,” Ehlinger said after the game. “It was a hard hit. My head hit the ground pretty hard. And they were just taking precaution. I told them immediately I could go back in. I felt fine. They just took me into the tent to make sure everything was okay, go through the protocol and send me back out there.” On Monday, head coach Tom Herman confirmed that there weren’t any lingering effects from the head trauma Ehlinger suffered. “When it comes to injuries, we do what the doctor tells us to and when he says he's fine, he's fine,” Herman said. “And then yeah, we followed up. He was cleared for practice yesterday. He practiced and he feels great.” However, that didn’t stop some criticism from pouring in, with rival fans using it as an opportunity to take shots at Herman’s integrity, along with an editorial making similar claims. “[T]he handling of Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger’s frightening head injury should remind fans that collegiate athletic programs often do not have the best interests of players in mind,” wrote William Savage III, editor in chief and co-owner of As the editorial progresses, Savage points out the key differences between concussion protocol in the NFL and college and that the EYE-SYNC technology likely used to clear him to return may not necessarily correctly identify a concussion on the field in 60 seconds. In other words, Savage’s criticism of the Texas decision to allow Ehlinger to re-enter the game focuses more on the specific failings of NCAA concussion guidelines rather than accusations of specific malfeasance by Herman. After all, Herman can only do what the doctors tell him. Based on the available video, it’s impossible to determine conclusively if Ehlinger lost consciousness and there likewise haven’t been any indications from the school that the freshman quarterback actually suffered a concussion. He was immediately cleared to practice. Texas is also clearly making best-faith efforts to protect its players, becoming the third school to use EYE-SYNC technology, which is based 15 years of clinical studies, and becoming the first school to use the Riddell InSite helmet monitoring system for each player to track hits to the head. There’s also some debate about whether ensuring that players stay hydrated could help reduce the risk of concussions, a possible benefit of Herman’s intense focus on eliminating dehydration in his football program. With the adoption of EYE-SYNC and InSite, Texas is arguably doing as much or more than anyone else in college football to address concussions and head trauma, leveraging the available resources of the athletic department to invest in cutting-edge technology. And given that there are no indications from the school that actually Ehlinger suffered a concussion, there are no indications that the EYE-SYNC technology failed in any way. The doctors also have a responsibility to the players they assess — any criticisms of the decision to let Ehlinger play ultimately require either an accusation of malfeasance on their part or the belief that the NCAA guidelines simply don’t go far enough. In regards to the latter accusation, there’s certainly merit to it, as Savage lays out. But that’s an NCAA issue with a nationwide scope. As for everyone else piling on? If those rivals cared really cared about concussions, they would be better off spending time lobbying their schools to adopt the same technology as Texas or demanding that the NCAA match NFL concussion protocol. Concussions and head trauma are undou[...]

Texas RB Kyle Porter day-to-day with chest injury



The sophomore is banged up again.

One of the co-starters at running back for the Texas Longhorns is suffering from an injury sustained last weekend against the Oklahoma Sooners, as sophomore Kyle Porter is day-to-day following a chest injury.

Porter has consistently started with the first-team offense this season and had three carries for seven yards, along with two catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. On the season, he’s averaging 2.9 yards per carry, but has provided a boost to a struggling kick return unit by averaging 28 yards per return in the last two games.

If Porter isn’t available on Saturday, junior Chris Warren III and freshman Toneil Carter are both listed as co-starters at the position.

Texas WR Collin Johnson demoted on Oklahoma State depth chart



On a depth chart still filled with co-starters, this move is telling.

Right now, Texas Longhorns sophomore wide receiver Collin Johnson won’t make his eighth career start against the Oklahoma State Cowboys this weekend, as he was demoted at the X position on Monday’s depth chart.

The new starter there is senior Dorian Leonard, who has eight catches for 84 yards this season. The Longview product started seven games last season after John Burt struggled early in the year, eventually catching 29 passes for 397 yards and three touchdowns.

Johnson has been inconsistent this season — alternating seven-catch performances with two-catch performances — in addition to receiving some public challenges from his coaches in the past.

Head coach Tom Herman also acknowledged the difficulty of getting Johnson touches heading into the Kansas State game and was personally involved in addressing those challenges. As a result, Texas used more 10 personnel with another wide receiver lined up next to Johnson in the boundary so defenses couldn’t bracket Johnson so easily and also threw him more short passes, including screens.

For whatever reasons, that game plan fell by the wayside against Oklahoma and Johnson notably struggled some in establishing himself physically against man coverage. On Monday, Herman said that Johnson simply didn’t play his best game in the Cotton Bowl.

In other depth chart news, sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele is still listed as a co-starter with freshman Sam Ehlinger, though it seems clear that Ehlinger will get the start against Oklahoma State this weekend unless he’s hurt.

Junior right guard Jake McMillon is also listed as a co-starter with junior Terrell Cuney after sitting out the Oklahoma game due to a hand injury. Herman didn’t provide an update on McMillon on Monday, but the guess here is that he returns this weekend.

Defensively, there weren’t any changes, despite the poor play of junior cornerbacks Kris Boyd and PJ Locke III at times.