Texas ready for harsh environment in Lubbock

Texas number 22 is 2-1 and heading into the conference game next week. The Longhorns will make their first trip to Lubbock since 2020, and this will be the first for Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian.

Here are three takeaways from Sarkisian’s weekly press conference on Monday:

a warm welcome

Sarkisian said Texas men’s basketball coach Chris Beard contacted him about the Texas Tech gaming environment.

“We are the University of Texas. Nobody likes us. Everything is fine. We embrace hate,” Sarkisian said.

Beard led Texas Tech to its first Final Four appearance in 2019 and its first National Championship appearance. Beard joined Texas in 2021 and most recently led the Longhorns to their first NCAA Tournament win since 2014.

Beard’s first game in Lubbock as Texas coach was quite a scene, with Texas Tech fans even blocking the Texas bus from leaving practice at one point.

If Beard’s warm welcome is any indication of what Texas football will be like this Saturday, then Sarkisian and his team are in for a busy weekend.

quarterback progression

When asked about the quarterback’s current situation, Sarkisian said they were all training today.

“Everyone practiced today, which is positive. That, to me, is a very good sign. Last Monday, not everyone trained,” he said.

Before last Saturday’s game, Quinn Ewers was seen on the field throwing passes to receivers. He didn’t see any game time against UTSA but was dressed in full uniform on the sides.

Original reports indicated that Ewers might not be able to return until the Oklahoma game, but he is showing signs of rapid progression.

On Saturday, Sarkisian also said that Ewers was unable to lift his arms over his shoulders right after the Sept. 10 game against Alabama. It looks like Ewers is making great progress and may come back sooner than originally expected.

finishing work

Sarkisian reiterated how much progress the team had made, saying last year’s team could have collapsed in the second half had it been put in the same situation as last Saturday.

At one point, UTSA led Texas 17-7. But Texas ended up winning, 41-20.

“To be down 17-7, nobody blinked. Nobody said here we go again. And I think a year ago, maybe we have. I don’t want to say for sure, but we can have it.”

Junior running back Bijan Robinson echoed a similar sentiment in his post-game interview last Saturday.

“I think we would have won,” Robinson said.

As Texas enters the conference game, it seems coaches and players believe this year’s roster is better equipped to face unexpected situations. And as the season continues, they will need that mental strength to get to the Big 12 title game in December.

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