Texas is looking to Strong to carry the program back to national prominence. In four years at his previous school, Louisville, Strong led the Cardinals to a 37-15 record, including two Big East championships. Prior to Louisville, Strong served as defensive coordinator at South Carolina and Florida. He helped the Gators win a pair of national titles not too long ago.
Strong said earlier this year that this Texas team is not a national championship contender this year. But expectations at Texas are always sky-high and there’s big-time pressure to win. Now.
Since arriving in Austin, a number of players have left the program or have been suspended as part of Strong’s rebuilding process. The team announced Wednesday that two offensive tackles, Desmond Harrison and Kennedy Estelle, will miss the BYU game due to a suspension.
Texas would love nothing more than to exorcize the demons from that BYU game as it begins a new era under Strong.
“I wouldn't necessarily say we circled (this game) but we definitely have been waiting for this one,” said wide receiver John Harris. “It was a hard-fought loss for us last year. We went out there and we didn't perform the way we wanted to perform. So we are really looking forward to this one and we know we can't wait for the guys to get here this weekend. I wouldn't say it was necessarily revenge. We just want to go back out there and redeem ourselves from that game. That wasn't us and that's not who we are now.”
Cornerback Duke Thomas said last year’s loss “definitely leaves a sour taste in my mouth knowing how that game went. I definitely understand how it looks to everybody else, but I feel like everyone on the team knows what we have got to do and understands that we have got to step it up and take care of our jobs and stop the quarterback. We don't want to have that happen again.”
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