Texas returned to the win column following its conference-opening victory over Iowa State on Thursday night. The Longhorn defense put on another show in the contest, this time by holding an Iowa State team averaging over 40 points to one touchdown in Texas’ 17-7 victory in Ames.
A fresh set of questions has stemmed from another week of football. Here’s what head coach Tom Herman had to say during his press conference Monday afternoon.
Buechele recovers from sprained ankle
Sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele sustained a sprained ankle during Texas’ win over the Cyclones on Thursday night, Texas Athletics confirmed. And the Longhorns announced in an email Saturday afternoon that Buechele was in a walking boot. However, he is not expected to miss practice time heading into the Kansas State game.
“The boot is protective, so he went out yesterday in practice with a pretty big brace on,” Herman said. “We didn’t put him in any situations where there was a defense, because he still wasn’t moving really well.”
Buechele has not been 100 percent since Texas’ season opener, a game in which the sophomore suffered a bruised throwing shoulder. But Herman did not appear to express too much concern Monday afternoon.
“He’ll wear the boot unless he’s training or practicing,” Herman said. “We’re gonna get a PRP shot in that ankle to try and increase the healing time. We think that he won’t be 100 percent, but a quarterback with an ankle (injury) doesn’t need to be 100 percent to be serviceable.”
Williams goes non-surgical route
All-American junior left tackle Connor Williams sustained a sprain of the medial and posterior collateral ligaments in his left knee as well as a meniscus tear two weeks ago during the first half of Texas’ loss to then-No. 4 USC. Williams was expected to undergo surgery, but Herman announced Monday afternoon that Williams has decided otherwise.
“Connor Williams, after meeting with numerous different medical teams, is going to proceed with a non-surgical treatment of his medial collateral ligament,” Herman said. “And we’ll evaluate it again in two, three weeks.”
It is still unclear whether Williams will make an appearance on the field this season, but Herman said hopefully this approach will heal him up best for the long term.
Offense continues to struggle with ball security
The Longhorn defense has taken over as the dominant unit on the 40 Acres with eight takeaways through four games. Texas has even returned three of its seven interceptions for touchdowns.
However, Texas’ offense has committed just as many turnovers, leading to one of the Longhorns’ biggest offensive concerns: ball security.
“That’s one of the things that we’ve addressed offensively,” Herman said. “We’ve got eight turnovers in four games. That’s way too many. Thank God our defense is getting the ball.”
The question of who will lead the Longhorn offense has continued through the week. Both Buechele and freshman Sam Ehlinger have seen playing time. Both have showed they can win — but both have also thrown two interceptions.
“In regard to the quarterbacks, we’ve got to get better,” Herman said. “Shane’s gotta get better. Sam’s gotta get better. We’ve gotta get better everywhere, especially on offense. But we feel like you can win with either one of those guys at quarterback.”