Confident UT Emerges From OU Loss; ISU Next

Here are 20 notes/thoughts from Monday's press conference that featured TExas head coach Charlie Strong, center Taylor Doyle and quarterback Tyrone Swoopes.

1. Still no update on Desmond Harrison from Charlie Strong. But HornsDigest does have some news about him here.

2. Charlie Strong said that Daje Johnson tried to jog a little bit on Sunday but did not elaborate on his status for this week's game against Iowa State. Strong was asked if Johnson would see time in punt return when he returned, and it doesn't sound like that will be the case. Strong is comfortable with Shipley in that roll because he'll catch the ball. Strong did say Daje could see time in kickoff return.

3. Special teams have been terrible this season for UT. As Chip pointed out in his "Kiss of Death," The Longhorns are THE worst team in Division I in kickoff return defense – 125th of 125 teams - giving up an average of 32.3 yards per return. Strong said that there would be change in personnel on special teams. He said that the punt team would continue to have starters play a major roll but that kickoff is a place where younger guys could see an opportunity to play.

4. Strong said that each coach is in charge of a phase of special teams and that he was actually responsible for the punt team. "What needs to happen is you don't take a play off with special teams. That's not the time to take a play off. We will change out guys."

5. Texas has to guard against a letdown after an emotional loss to its biggest rival. Iowa State might come into this game equal in wins, but you know Paul Rhoades will have his team ready. "After you play so well in a rival game, you tend to have a letdown. That’s what we need to guard against this week."... "I've always had alot of respect for Paul Rhoads. Iowa State does a really good job of mixing it up."

6. Strong seems to really like what he's seeing from the offensive line combination of Hutchins-Flowers-Doyle-Perkins-James. He said he walked out onto the field on Saturday and thought it might be a long day when he saw how big the Sooners' defensive front was. But he was pleased with how well they did in protecting Swoopes. "I think we are really getting good on the offensive line. We are protecting the QB."

7. The third quarter once again was a mystery for the Longhorns on Saturday. It's been Texas' worst quarter throughout the season and Strong has yet to figure out why that is. "I don't know what it is. We have to do a little something different. It's not so much that we are relaxing. We have to play a complete game. There are 30 minutes left."

8. The Longhorns are in real danger of not getting to a bowl game this season. Will have to win four of last six to qualify.Strong doesn't like to look past this week's game but he did say he thought it was important to get to a bowl game because of the extra practices for the young players.

9. Strong said that David Ash is focusing on his academics right now and that he helps out the team when he can.

10. Alex Norman has some back issues right now and he's working out in The Pit so it doesn't flare up. He hasn't been practicing.

11. Freshman OL Elijah Rodriguez had a concussion but should be back soon.

12. Strong raved about the play of Naashon Hughes on Saturday, calling the young hybrid defender one of the "brighter spots on defense."... “Naashon plays unbelievable. He's a starter and then he ran down on special teams and made some plays." We've always heard to Hughes had the athleticism to be a freak on defense - akin to what Eric Striker does for OU in many ways. Saturday could have been Hughes coming out party."

13. False start penalties were everywhere for UT on Saturday. Strong mentioned noise being one issue and that Taylor Doyle wasn't snapping ball fast enough on others. It was the third straight week that the Longhorns have fumbled a snap in the red zone. "Then you get down in the red zone and have a new snapper and we had to get a field goal. If we would have snapped the ball we would have probably scored a touchdown there," Strong said.

14. Strong understands that the fan base expects more from this program but encourages them to stick by the team as they try to improve upon their 2-4 record. "This is our football team. We have to have their support. This is the University of Texas and we need their support." ... "This is a great fan base. If you looked at our fans at the end of that game, and how they stayed, it makes our team feel good. We aren't where a lot of them want to be but it's all about supporting this team."

15. Taylor Doyle said he was honored when asked by Joe Wickline to move to center. Doyle had previously played center at practice but that was it and that was early on in his career at UT. Made move to center last week. Had shared reps with Jake Raulerson for "maybe a few weeks."

16. Doyle said there were nerves before the game but that once he got going they went away. "The transition wasn't too bad because I had two great guards next to me. They helped ease the transition."

17. Doyle isn't worried about all of the false starts being an issue for this team moving forward. "There were a lot of nerves in a game like this in a really loud stadium. We had a lot of false starts but that is something we can easily fix."

18. Doyle said it was miscommunication on fumbled snap near goal line against OU. "It was loud. We couldn't hear."

19. Tyrone Swoopes said he just "cut it loose" vs. OU. "I went out there and showed myself really what I can do." He said the way the team fought back against the Sooners really shows what he and this offense is capable of. "It was very big. It shows how much we've grown on offense. Third quarter we dipped but picked it up a lot in the fourth quarter. I think that shows how good of an offense we can be if we play all four quarters."

20. Swoopes said that he finds it easier to go uptempo because defenses don't have time to dial up crazy blitzes and just show base defenses, which are easier to throw against.


Longhorns 2015 QB commitment Zach Gentry's junior highlights


Not a member of HornsDigest?

Get the rest of the college football season at HD for only $4.95!

Follow these three easy steps:

1. Select the "1-Month Pass" option right here.

2. Enter the promo code "TEXAS"

3. Enjoy the best content on Longhorns sports and recruiting that you'll find!


Get 10% off Longhorns tickets, tickets to other sporting events as well as concerts by joining Click here to get discounted tickets!

Horns Digest Top Stories