When Tom Herman took the field for the first game of the season last year, his team rose to the challenge and knocked off an opponent from a major conference. When Tom Herman’s squad took the field for the opener this year, none of those things happened.
In his debut as head coach for Texas, Tom Herman’s Longhorns lost to Maryland 51-41.
Ty Johnson led the way for the Terps, gaining 132 yards on the ground. A stat made all the more impressive by the fact that he accomplished this while carrying the ball only 12 times. The Maryland ground attack also got a boost from quarterback Tyrell Pigrome, who amassed 64 yards on the ground, to go along with his 175 yards through the air. Maryland was also the beneficiary of a recovered fumble on a kickoff, as well as a blocked field goal return for a touchdown.
Texas also scored three non-offensive touchdowns in the game.
So, clearly the clash between Texas and Maryland featured a high-level of “flukiness.” It’s also early, and any panic over Texas’ start should probably be tabled until at least mid-October. However, Longhorn fans can’t feel great about what they saw from Tom Herman’s offense.
While quarterback Shane Buechele’s 375 yards will look great on paper, Texas’ offense only generated 13 points on the day. Some also might find it discomforting that Buechele accounted for 21 of Texas’ 98 rushing yards. All that coming at home, against a Maryland defense with all the ferocity of Mother Goose.
The Longhorns didn’t help themselves by committing 117 yards in penalties either. Texas was about a three-touchdown favorite over the Terps, and allowed a total of 263 rushing yards.
Still, credit must go to Maryland for going on the road and winning in that type of environment. It won’t be all rainbows and butterflies for Maryland though, quarterback Tyler Pigrome twisted his knee and had to leave in the third quarter.
Texas will face San Jose State next week, before going on the road to face USC. Texas really needs to beat San Jose State.