Heard on Texas' Mindset: "Straight Hunger"

Heard also talks about freshman quarterback Kai Locksley and what roll he is playing on this team.

After practice on Tuesday, a relaxed-yet-confident Jerrod Heard said the mindset of the Longhorns is "straight hunger."

"We don't want to get too lax," Heard said. "We had a great win, but we still have stuff to do. We can't get caught up with what happened two weeks ago. Right now, we're working hard every day and preparing for a good team in Kansas State."

Heard said he expects K-State to come to Austin after a 55-0 waxing by Oklahoma with the same intensity Texas went to Dallas with after a 50-7 loss at TCU.

"When a team goes through a loss like that, they want to tear the head off of the next team they play," Heard said. "We've been through that. And we still have that anger, too, so it should be a good fight.

"Every day, I look at our 2-4 record, and it makes me mad."

The Longhorns' 58 rushing attempts against OU (for 313 yards) - a lot of those out of the 2-back set in the shotgun with speed-sweep motion - represents the identity Texas is seeking offensively.

"We're always going to be a run-first, nasty, get-in-your-face offense," Heard said. "That's what we like to do, and that's what we're going to do until you stop us."

Heard said the team's chemistry right now "is excellent."

"The communication on the offensive line is great," Heard said. "They are making quick calls - communicating blocks, making sure who has who. The receivers are studying more and know the routes. Everything is coming together. That win two weeks ago showed that we could all come together."

Heard's roommate at the team hotel is freshman QB Kai Locksley. Heard said he gets along well with Locksley, because "he is as goofy as I am."

Heard said Locksley has been a sponge, learning the offense and has a game similar to Heard's.

"Kai ran the same kind of offense I ran in high school - make one read and either run or throw deep. It's been exciting to see him grow."

This week, Locksley has been the scout team QB, impersonating K-State's Joe Hubener and Kody Cook.

Texas offensive play caller Jay Norvell said for the Longhorns to take off over the second half of the season, "Jerrod (Heard) really needs to improve in these last six games. He's a young quarterback, and we need to train him."

Norvell said the areas of the offense that got the most attention during the bye week were:

1) third-down situations

2) pass protection

3) route running

4) more consistency in the pocket

 

"Those are the areas we are working hard in, and it's really more about repetition and energy in practice, which I think has been good," Norvell said. "It's a fun year to play and coach, because there's not a lot new in what we're doing now. It's just about energy and repetition. 

"We want to be more productive in the passing game. Against OU, we were very banged up - up front. Sed Flowers, Connor Williams, Patrick Vahe were all not 100 percent, and losing Daje (Johnson) (head injury) really hurt us. And Marcus Johnson wasn't 100 percent," Norvell said. 

"Getting Perk (RT Kent Perkins) back in the mix with a healthy Sed Flowers, Connor and Vahe, that's big for us. And Daje is practicing. We expect him to play Saturday. I tell Daje and Marcus, our seniors, you're only guaranteed six more games."

When asked how Oklahoma was able to put a 55-0 beating on K-State, Norvell said, "Obviously, OU was motivated. K-State has struggled in pass defense. But we don't think we're going to see the team that played Oklahoma. We expect to see a very prepared, motivated team at 11 o'clock on Saturday. We're looking forward to it."


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