||Thursday, December 20
Updated: December 24, 10:14 AM ET
Player diary: Nathan Vasher
Throughout the week leading up to the Culligan Holiday Bowl, Texas sophomore safety Nathan Vasher will be keeping a diary about his bowl experience. Check back on December 24 and 26 for new entries.
I think this was a good season for us and another stepping stone towards getting Texas back to the top. We've had our ups and downs, but as we grow as a team we will continue to get better. Although our last game didn't turn out the way we wanted it to, we still accomplished a lot and have some goals we are still striving to reach. It's been a journey, but we got 10 wins, won all of our home games and played in the conference championship game. That was exciting for us.
This year I was really just getting my feet wet as a player here. It was my first year to start and I got a lot of playing time. I really enjoy playing safety and returning punts. I go out and try to make plays every time I'm on the field. I want to help the team in any way I can. I had seven interceptions this year, but the credit for those goes to the rest of the defense. The other guys do a great job getting pressure on the offense and in pass coverage. I think we have some very athletic players on our defense, and that allows us to do a lot of different things.
We led the nation in total defense, and that's something we were shooting for from the beginning and an honor that we want to live up to in the bowl game. Coach Reese does a great job preparing us for every game and Coach Akina has brought so much knowledge and enthusiasm to the secondary this year. I really enjoyed getting to return punts this year, too. We treat the punt return as the first offensive play and we try to get good field position with it every time out.
Bowl game are a reward for all of the work we put in during the season and for the success we've had. I'm really looking forward to bowl week and one final chance to put it all on the line against Washington.
The team got back to practice last week and started preparing for a good Washington team. We have been watching a lot of film on Washington and our practices have been going great so far. We're trying to make sure everybody's relaxed and healthy for the bowl game.
As a defensive player, I've noticed Washington has a very good offense. Their skill players are talented and they have a good o-line. They certainly will be a challenge for us in San Diego. Hopefully, we will come out on top this year.
I finished all of my finals and we finished our last practice in Austin today (Wednesday). I have a chance home to Texarkana for a couple of days and then I fly out to San Diego on the 22nd. It's really going to be nice to see my family for an early Christmas before spending Christmas in San Diego with my other family -- the team. We start our practices out there for the bowl game on the Sunday (Dec. 23). I'm really looking forward to returning to San Diego, because we had a great time with the bowl events last year. It's a fun town and a great bowl destination.
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