AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Longhorns coach Tom Herman tried to warn his team that its first test against the Maryland Terrapins wouldn't come easy. His prophetic words for his team came true as the Longhorns fell 51-41 in Herman's Texas debut against the Terps.
"I told our guys, never get used to this feeling, but that if we all thought that we were going to come in here and in nine months sprinkle some fairy dust on this team and think that we've arrived, then we're wrong," Herman said.
The loss in Austin came in what Herman dubbed as a weird game, with special-teams touchdowns on both sides, turnovers and not much production in the run game. He was careful not to anoint the problems as the same old things the Texas teams in recent years have dealt with, though, and said a lot of what happened on the field is fixable.
"We're our own worst enemy right now," Herman said. "We knew there would be adversity, and we knew the key to the adversity would be how we responded to it. And we responded to it in the right mental and attitudinal way.
"But the execution and just the self-inflicted wounds at just the most inopportune time are things that are difficult to recover from, if not impossible."
Herman saw his offense give up an interception in its first offensive drive of the game, the defense give up 27 points in the first half, including a 71-yard return on a field goal block, and a run game that produced only 98 rushing yards.
There were some positives, though, as Herman pointed out his offense going 9-of-18 on third down, throwing for 375 yards and holding Maryland to 3-of-11 on third down.
Herman was proud that there was no bad body language with his players and didn't feel as if it was a here-we-go-again situation, but he knows this team has to improve. He told his players that they all know what happened, that they have to fix the problems on the field and that it starts on Sunday with getting back to practice and correcting the mistakes.
"We've got to figure out the why," Herman said. "And the only way to do that is to work and put your nose to the grindstone and get back after it, flush this game, learn from the mistakes, learn from the positives, which there were quite a few, and get ready for next week."