Cautious optimism, confidence surround UT football
If one program and its fanbase are ready to explode, its Texas.
The Longhorns opens their season Saturday at FedExField against Maryland with a renewed sense of cautious, confident optimism.
"Do I feel confident in the fact that we've improved and developed, our kids, our players, our coaches? Do the people in that building feel confident that we have developed? Absolutely.
The difference one year - and some extremely humbling moments later, Herman's confidence is suppressed.
"Because of how happy the team is right now, how excited they are to be here, how they've embraced and bought in to the culture and have gone so, so hard in training camp, and everything's great right now," explained Herman.
"But what are we going to do when we get down ten points in Washington, D.C., if we do?"
The reality of the 51-41 beating Maryland handed Texas last year is reminder enough that Texas isn't anything other than just above average.
"You are what your record says you are, right?," asked Herman. "And we went 7 and 6 last year ... this is a team in Maryland that they don't think they can beat you. They know they can beat you, because they have. There's a lot of guys on that team at Maryland that know that they've beaten Texas."
The Texas depth chart is chalk-full of upperclassmen. 19 of the Longhorns 22 starters are juniors and seniors - including eight on defense. Plenty of freshmen will play too - UT lists 12 freshmen on its 2-deep.
"These guys have been through a lot, these upperclassmen," said Herman.
"They've seen what not to do. They've seen what gets you beat. They've also seen how to win against some very good football teams too."