Texas Football: How much pressure should be on Tom Herman?

Texas Football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Texas Football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The Texas football program is sitting in dire straits as the Nov. 23 24-10 loss to the Baylor Bears puts head coach Tom Herman in a difficult position.

While it shouldn’t be considered a complete disaster, the Texas football program saw the stretch run of Big 12 play this season amount to just one solid win and a 6-5 (4-4 Big 12) record. A rough 24-10 loss on the road where it just felt like Texas didn’t put the effort and fight in that was needed against the No. 14 ranked Baylor Bears should leave a bad taste in the mouths of anyone in and around this program.

The Texas Longhorns football program should just be too talented and too good to be coming up short like they did against Baylor on the road on Nov. 23. The mantra behind head Texas football coach Tom Herman and his squads used to be that they played up and down to the competition. Now, the Longhorns just look subpar at best against teams that have more talent than.

No knocks on Baylor, they are doing very well in the third-year under former Temple Owls head coach Matt Rhule. This is a good Baylor team that the Longhorns lost to, but it was the way it happened and how this team looked before Week 13 that really hurts their image and momentum.

So where should the blame be falling as the Longhorns have just one game remaining for the 2019 regular season?

A lot of blame can go around for what happened of late in the Longhorns camp. Junior star quarterback Sam Ehlinger is supposed to be much better than he showed in the last five games. Yet another performance from Ehlinger that should leave the Longhorns and their fans scratching their heads is not a good sign.

In this game alone, Ehlinger completed just 22-of-37 passing attempts for 200 passing yards and one interception. He didn’t have any touchdowns through the air or on the ground, despite tallying 79 rushing yards and 19 tries. The only touchdown of the day against Baylor last weekend came from an unlikely source, junior running back Daniel Young.

However, Ehlinger couldn’t do it all by himself against Baylor. Texas didn’t have a single rusher that went over 100 yards, and the Bears were blanketing senior wide receiver Devin Duvernay all day long. Having senior wide receiver Collin Johnson out again with lingering injury issues didn’t help anything either.

But in the last four outings for Ehlinger, he has six passing touchdowns and six interceptions. He hasn’t gone over 300 passing yards in any single game but once and he doesn’t have any rushing scores in that same span of time.

Obviously there is something wrong with the play calling and communication on the offensive side of the ball. That blame can be spread between the Longhorns skill position weapons, Ehlinger, Herman, and offensive coordinator Tim Beck.

With how bad the offensive line play was of late, some of the blame can fall on the shoulders of that position group and co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Herb Hand.

There might have to be some sort of shakeups within the ranks of the Texas assistant coaches this offseason. Herman needs to shake up his program in some way, and that should come before he is put on the hot seat himself.

Texas is just recruiting too well and didn’t have a complete disaster of a regular season to the point where Herman should be on the hot seat quite yet. There was enough instability and turmoil on the recruiting trail of late anyway.

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If you asked most of the Longhorns fans, then Beck might be the first name on their minds that should go. Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando had a lot of pressure coming his way of late too. But in the last two losses for the Longhorns, this defense that was previously struggling allowed less than 50 total points to two solid offenses. It’s the offense that managed to put up less than 32 points in each of the last two games that cost the Longhorns dearly.