Football comes with a lot of uncertainties. While a fumble, blocked kick or dropped pass is controllable, there’s one thing that’s not — the weather.
As the Longhorns gear up for their the Orange-White game on Saturday night at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, they’ll have to take a look at the sky above in advance.
A high chance of rain and a possibility of thunderstorms rolling into Austin this weekend could hamper Texas’ first night spring game in almost a decade. But for Texas head coach Tom Herman, this is the last of 15 available practices — and he’d like to have it regardless.
“Everything is still on the table,” Herman said. “We’ll find a way to get that 15th practice in.”
No matter when the game is played, the TV cameras are sure to follow them. And with it, opposing teams will too, so don’t expect too much trickery for Saturday’s game apart from a play-action shot once in a while.
“Hopefully (the fans) will see a more cohesive offensive line,” Herman said. “And to the naked eye our guys look better.”
Spring football has seen the Longhorns go from running non-contact position drills to basic scrimmages to game situations. An increase in complexity has also been met with an increase in intensity, and that’s what Herman has been looking for since day one of practice.
Through it all, Herman said he has seen improvement from his players. Junior defensive end Malcolm Roach, senior defensive lineman Charles Omenihu and junior wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey are among those who have exceeded the second-year Texas coach’s expectations.
It’s also worth noting Texas’ trio of freshman defensive backs, Anthony Cook, Caden Sterns and BJ Foster, have all gelled into defensive coordinator Todd Orlando’s scheme and look to fill the void left by NFL-bound Longhorns.
Even with the improvement on the field, Herman and his staff are still looking to get more out of a stagnant running game this spring.
“I hoped we would have made a little more progress with some of the tailbacks,” Herman said. “That’s not to say they’ve regressed. I haven’t seen quite the level of improvement (I’ve wanted to).”
Expect Texas to focus heavily on the run game and nail basic plays down during Saturday’s affair.
As spring practice winds down, Texas is also presented with its first game week in almost four months. Along with it comes some excitement in the locker room.
“It’s nice to finally have a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel,” Herman said. “I do think there’s an anticipation by our guys.”
Along with all the pregame bells and whistles set up by Herman and the athletic department, the real whistle will go off when the lights shine on Saturday night. Assuming the weather holds up, Texas will be one step closer to getting back on track.