Breath easy Longhorns fans, Jerrod Heard is feeling much better after playing against Oklahoma State a little under the weather.
“I was still 100 percent but my stomach, boy, something was jacked up,” he said. “I don’t know what I had. I just knew I was not right.”
Heard was not made available to the media after the game as he usually is, which drew some suspicion. But he’s good to go for TCU.
“I just drank a lot of water and made sure I kept my metabolism up,” he said. “I was really just kind of down and was having very hard stomachaches. Other than that I knew I had to put good nutrients in my body.”
Heard didn’t use it as an excuse though. That’s just not something you can do when you are the quarterback at Texas.
“That’s part of signing up at as the quarterback at the University of Texas,” he said. “You put yourself in the light like that. Even if you have a 102 fever or can’t stand up straight because your stomach hurts, you still have to play to your fullest extent.”
Heard knew he wasn’t going to have as easy a time finding open field to run against Oklahoma State as he found there to be against Cal. But he felt that he still should have been better.
“OSU did a great job of sending pressure and having spies,” he said. “But at the same time, you know, I felt like it was still my responsibility to makes plays happen. I feel like I still have to compete and execute as well, and hurt defenses as well.”
Heard said he saw the spy defense quite a bit at Denton Guyer so it’s nothing new to him. He’s just going to keep his head down and keep pushing.
“It only makes me want to go harder,” he said. “I’m going to still execute and try to run.”
Charlie Strong had said that he felt like Heard held on to the ball too long at times against OSU. Heard agrees.
At times it led to him getting sacked; he was sacked seven times on Saturday. But that’s not always necessarily a bad thing.
“Like Coach [Shawn] Watson says, sometimes you are going to have to take a sack,” he said. “It happens so quickly. You don’t want to jeopardize throwing a pick. Sometimes the best thing is to take a sack and live another day.”
Heard said his biggest takeaway from the OSU loss was his lack of execution.
“I should have been moving the ball down and getting the ball down where at least the kicker could make his points,” he said. “I take full responsibility on that. It will be different this weekend.”
TCU is averaging 51 points per game and 636.5 yards per game on offense. So the Longhorns could find themselves in a shootout in Forth Worth.
“Definitely. I feel like I have full confidence in all of us,” he said. “We can keep up and match it. I also have full confidence in our defense that we are going to make stops. Not saying that they are going to make all the stops because I know how good TCU’s offense is. But I feel like they’ll have great stops and give us good field position for us to score.”
The Longhorns might be starting a backup at right tackle on Saturday if starter Kent Perkins, who left with a knee injury in the third quarter against OSU, can’t play.
Heard said he has confidence in whoever lines up on the offensive line, and that part of that has to do with the fact that he works with the second offensive line in practice.
“I feel totally confident in my OL,” he said. “The 2 OLs still run with the 1s. I still have great comrodory with the 2s or whoever the backups are. It’s a neat deal how coach implements that in practice how we all work together.”
If there was ever a time for the Longhorns to establish a ground game, this might be the game.
Not only could it help keep TCU’s high-octane offense off the field, but the Longhorns have a couple of big backs that could be an issue for TCU’s smaller linebackers (Montrel Wilson is 6-foot-3 and 208 pounds and Travin Howard is 6-1, 190).
“I did hear about that but I’m little myself,” he said. “I can’t talk because the heart can weigh more than pounds. TCU is small on that end but they can execute as well. When we do run it we are going to have to run it hard and play backyard football sometimes.”
TCU is giving up 169.8 rushing yards per game and 4.4 yards per rush.
There are going to be yards on the ground for the taking. But can Texas stay in the game long enough so they don’t have to abandon the run?
On if it’s tough bringing the juice after the last two weeks: “If you have the juice you are going to have the juice. When you get that in you, you aren’t going to lose it. I totally respect Coach Strong and the whole thing about not losing it.”
On the INT that went through Marcus Johnson’s hands: “I think Marcus just didn’t see the ball and wasn’t ready. I felt the blitz and threw right into it. He didn’t see the ball and wasn’t ready. Stuff like that happens.”
On the touchdown pass that wasn’t by Marcus Johnson due to penalty: “I wasn’t in front of the line of scrimmage, or something with the bubble. I wasn’t backwards enough. I felt like I was.”
On Daje Johnson’s throwing abilities: “Daje can bomb it.”