Texas football is officially not “back.” But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of season left.
The Longhorns began the year just outside of the Top 25 and began with a blowout win over an abysmal ULM Warhawks program. Phenom quarterback Quinn Ewers played out of his mind in the Week 1 victory and put the college football world on notice.
However, Ewers got injured during Texas’ Week 2 game against Alabama and the Longhorns lost. After a bounce-back win over UTSA, Texas lost to Texas Texas on the road for the first time since 2008 and it resulted in absolutely wild scenes.
The 2-2 record is not what head coach Steve Sarkisian or his players wanted to begin the year. They thought that they had a legitimate chance to beat the Tide, and almost did.
But they never expected to lose to the Red Raiders. That’s football.
As the team looks to get back on track, its players are holding each other accountable. While speaking with the media prior to Saturday’s game against West Virginia, Sarkisian shared what his players were up to in the week leading up.
He said that a leadership group began the week by meeting together on Monday.
Texas football held a players-only meeting Tuesday.
“What I was proud of with those guys was coming out of the ballgame last week,” he said. “Monday they had a leadership council meeting. Then Tuesday morning, they had a player-only meeting where the leadership committee addressed some of the things that I talked about where we can improve. I thought that was a great sign they were willing to take that initiative and do that.”
In addition Sarkisian told everyone to back off the ripcord.
“I think the noise around our team is the sky is falling and ‘what happened to Texas’ and ‘we’re not very good,'” the second-year head coach said. “We’re still a pretty good team, things just didn’t quite go the way we wanted them to go.”
Historically, a players-only meeting is not a good sign. They are typically choosing not to include the coaches for a reason. It is usually a sign that things are going very wrong within a program.
That does not seem to be the case here. Or at least that’s how Sarkisian is choosing to see it.
It sound like Texas players met without the coaching staff so that they could pick each other up and get their heads right. However, should things continue to go poorly, the tone of that Tuesday meeting could change as the season goes on. Don’t hit the panic button yet, but keep it within arm’s length.