Texas Stunned By Maryland 51-41: 3 Things That Matter
Texas got floored by Maryland in Tom Herman’s debut for the Longhorns.
1. And here come the excuses
There aren’t any.
I don’t want to hear about how there wasn’t any discipline under Charlie Strong. I dare anyone to say that to his face – he cleaned house when he showed up.
I don’t want to hear about recruiting issues. Texas was in the good-enough-to-beat-Maryland in everyone’s top 15 over the last few years – the talent and players are there.
I don’t want to hear about the program needing to rebuild. This is it. This is the year. This is when Texas was supposed to start making bigger strides considering the veterans in place. No, this might not be national title-good Texas, but it’s supposed to be good enough to be far, far better right now.
And it still might be.
This loss stinks, but the potential is still there to have a big season under Tom Herman. But remember, this is the guy who’s supposed to be the fix. He’s the one who was given a relatively full cupboard full of positives.
But his team couldn’t tackle, got hit for 263 yards on the ground, and made mistake after mistake after mistake with 11 penalties, two turnovers, and with several special teams issues.
This was a bad, bad loss for Tom Herman, and a bad, bad loss to Texas. There’s no way to make it look any better.
2. How about giving Maryland a little bit of love?
There were more than a few chances for Maryland to blow this.
Texas roared back in the second half with several big plays and a massive momentum swing to pull within three going into the fourth quarter. But even with mounting injuries, and even with true freshman Kasim Hill thrown into the toughest of situations late, the Terps still came through.
There might have been a few breakdowns – to be kind – but on the road, Maryland outgunned Texas. It won the turnover margin 2 to 1, was almost even in time of possession, and when the pressure was on in the fourth, didn’t wilt.
Maryland is at least a year away from being amazing under head coach D.J. Durkin – the talent is coming in. But hanging 51 on Texas? Maybe the timetable has moved up.
3. Okay, now what?
It’s still Week One.
There’s no preseason, there’s no warm-up, there’s no break when playing a decent Power 5 program to kick things off. It would’ve been nice if Texas had scheduled Cupcake U., but this was the deal.
Texas has one week against San Jose State before having to go to USC. The Longhorns really are good enough to beat a team like the Trojans – again, no excuses – and if they do, then Maryland doesn’t matter. It’s an aberration.
There’s still time. This wasn’t a Big 12 loss, this wasn’t Oklahoma, and there were a slew of positives – the team looks fast, Shane Buechele threw fine – but the O line has to play up to its talent and the running game has to show up in a big hurry.
Meanwhile, Maryland gets Towson and UCF up next before going to Minnesota and Ohio State. This might not have been the official arrival of the program as a Big Ten East player, but it just won in Austin, Texas. You don’t think that’ll matter when it comes to going to Columbus, Madison, and East Lansing?