The bye week comes at a relatively good time for the Longhorns from an injury standpoint. After a fall camp of little to no injuries, Texas will use this week to rest and re-evaluate three key players in linebacker Jordan Hicks, running back Joe Bergeron and kicker Anthony Fera.
Hicks was knocked from the Ole Miss game in the second quarter with what was called a hip injury. Bergeron was banged up and had to come out in the second half. Fera, a transfer from Penn State, pulled his hamstring prior to arriving in Austin.
“The health of Anthony Fera, Jordan Hicks and Joe Bergeron will be limited this week and we will know more on Sunday. They will be limited this week,” head coach Mack Brown said.
All three players are vastly important to Texas’ success. Hicks, for one, is the foremost-experienced linebacker and one of the leaders of the defense. When he went out against Ole Miss the defense admittedly “panicked.”
“That’s what the next three days will be for,” Brown said. “We will look at some different guys there this week and see who has improved the most. Santos has a banged up calf too so he will be limited a little bit even though he will be out there some. We have to find some guys there.”
Brown did say that Texas would be in more nickel coverage over the next few weeks because of the pass-heavy Big 12, so the Longhorns could mask his absence with another defensive back.
Fera is a player that Texas would really like to have back in time to play in the type of hostile environment that Stillwater will be. The Longhorns have been woefully inconsistent in field goals this season, having to rely on freshman Nick Jordan.
“We haven’t done anything with Anthony since he pulled his groin three or four weeks ago,” Brown said. “We haven’t even seen him kick. So we will reevaluate those guys on Monday.”