Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian watches from the sideline during the game against Rice at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sep. 2, 2023 in Austin. Photo: Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK
The week that Texas fans have had marked off on their calendars for almost a year has now arrived. No, not opening week…. I am talking about Alabama week. Steve Sarkisian met the media this morning to talk about everything from Nick Saban’s mentorship to how his team looked in Week 1 against Rice. Here’s some quick notes on everything that was said:
-Recapping last week’s game vs Rice, Sarkisian said that the “Defense kind of held true…” and found ways to pressure the QB, “special teams was a little hit and miss…” and that the offense was very inconsistent
-Regarding the running game and RB room, Sark stated that freshman RB CJ Baxter was “back at practice today” and that he “thought some of the errors that occurred” were due to the group not trusting their training
-Sarkisian’s thoughts on Alabama QB Jalen Milroe: “Tremendous runner, elite runner… he’s highly competitive…” and stated that he can make every throw around the field. His main point of emphasis was Milroe’s legs and questioned “how do we [Texas] control and contain the QB with his legs?”. Milroe had 7 rushes for 48 yards and 2 touchdowns in Saturday’s win versus Middle Tennessee.
-Throughout the presser, Sarkisian made it VERY clear that the team needs to focus on themselves rather than what everyone else is doing: “People always want to talk about the opponent… for us [Texas] to be at our best, we need to focus on what we need to do…”
-Regarding the offensive line, Sark felt that Christian Jones was the “cleanest” on Saturday and wants the unit as a whole to “be more physical” and “go cut it loose”
-Sarkisian on Nick Saban: “He’s not going to change for you. You’re going to change for him”
-Sarkisian on WR Xavier Worthy’s maturity: “He’s had an awesome off-season… I think the guy’s having more fun now than he ever has here playing football… the personality of him is really back out… feels like there is a weight lifted off his shoulders”. It seems as if Worthy has become much happier and more comfortable in his 3rd season.
Sark also touched on AD Mitchell’s impact, Quinn Ewer’s improvement since last season’s Alabama game and how in years past, one of the biggest challenges has been the team’s ability to finish games. Get your popcorn ready… it’s almost time.