The Texas Longhorns had to be better than they were under Charlie Strong, right?
That was the thinking. Saturday in Austin, in the much-heralded debut for head coach Tom Herman, the Longhorns football program put on a display that looked like a carbon copy of the bewildering games in the Strong era.
The Longhorns lost 51-41, at least rallying from an embarrassing first half to make it a three-point game. Texas scored a late touchdown to make the final look a little more respectable.
Now social media weighs in.
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Tom Herman’s new-wave coaching will be sure to take major grief.
You can’t go wrong with usual fare of despair.
The No. 23 ranking for a Texas team that hasn’t won much lately wasn’t a wise move for the media voters in The Associated Press poll.
Herman left the University of Houston to coach the Longhorns.
Great to see the Longhorns doing their part to raise spirits on UH campus. Touching gesture.— Richard Justice (@richardjustice) September 2, 2017
The University of Texas main rival will take the Longhorns’ loss in the true spirit of togetherness. At least until their team plays.
But JAClark tweets: “I don't care how petty it is, but seeing ut lose this game will probably make me happier than a win over UCLA.”
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Here’s The Associated Press recap of the game in Austin: (Aside: And the Longhorns game next week against San Jose State has become a “must-win: game.)
Tyrrell Pigrome passed for two touchdowns and ran for another before leaving with an injury and Maryland stunned No. 23 Texas 51-41 Saturday, spoiling new Longhorns coach Tom Herman’s debut.
Pigrome had to be helped off late in the third quarter after twisting his knee, but freshman Kasim Hill came in and led two crucial fourth-quarter touchdown drives. Maryland led 27-7 in the second quarter, then had to hold off a furious Texas rally to snap a 17-game losing streak to ranked opponents.
Maryland (1-0) led 27-7 in the second quarter, and then held off a Texas rally to snap a 17-game losing streak to ranked opponents, the third-longest streak among Power Five conference teams.
The Longhorns scored three non-offensive touchdowns: an interception return and blocked kick return by Holton Hill and a 91-yard punt return by Reggie Hemphill-Mapps.
But those highlights couldn’t deliver a win for Herman, who was brought from Houston to replace Charlie Strong after three straight losing seasons. Texas had its same old problems, giving up a special teams touchdown, missed field goals and a defense that was physically battered all game and give up big plays.
Shane Buechele passed for 375 yards for Texas (0-1).
What Tom Herman said, and this sounds about right
“I told our guys to 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.”
Texas fans immediately began scouring Austin for fairy dust.
Maryland: The Terps pounded Texas on the line of scrimmage with an impressive running game and rolled up 263 yards rushing in a huge road for second-year coach D.J. Durkin. The Terps were about a three-touchdown underdog. But the injury to Pigrome, who had the offense humming when he was in, could be troublesome. Pigrome kept the Longhorns off balance with his runs and confident throws. Hill delivered on the touchdown driver in the fourth, but how he fills the role as a starter if needed could be tested.
Texas: What a letdown for a team that offered so much promise in the preseason, but looked more like a redux of 2016 on the field. Texas produced a 2,000-yard rusher last season, but couldn’t run against Maryland, couldn’t stop the run and Buechele was often on the run. The Longhorns also had 11 penalties for 117 yards, several wiping out big offensive plays.
“Why can’t we get out of our own way?” Herman said.
Maryland: The Terrapins host Towson on Sept. 9.
Texas: The Longhorns will try to get Herman’s first victory against San Jose State next week.
This report includes material from The Associated Press.