Almost Doesn’t Count…but the Future is Bright - NinosCorner™ Sports | Efficient Sports Analytics...Successful, Relevant Data

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Almost Doesn’t Count…but the Future is Bright

Almost Doesn’t Count…but the Future is Bright
by B.R. Battle
Photo:  Bleacher Report

As I watched the game at the official Washington D.C. Texas Exes bar, Duffy’s Irish Pub, I think I lost another 2 years off of my life.  First off, let’s start off with saying that Sam Ehlinger is the starter…hands down…no more questions asked.  Fresh off last week’s 487 yard performance against Kansas St, I was unsure of how Sam would perform in his first Red River Showdown.  I thought he would do well, but would also experience some freshman mistakes that we have not yet seen from him.  Well, I was wrong.  Ehlinger compiled 399 total yards and 2 touchdowns…and I honestly believe that if he did not have to come off the field for those 5 plays in the 4th quarter after sustaining a minor injury, the score might have Texas as the winner.  

So, what did we learn from this game?  

- The offense, in terms of efficiency, took a significant decrease in overall effectiveness from the previous week.  The Longhorn’s offensive Success Rate (SR) was 37%, which is more than 18% less than that of last week and 3% less than the NCAA average.  The Texas rush offense had a below average SR of 37%.  Outside of Sam’s running ability, the Longhorn rushing attack was abysmal.  Runners, not named Sam Ehlinger, accounted for 13 rushes, totaling 20 yards and achieving an underwhelming SR of 23%.  On the contrary, of Ehlinger’s 20 rushing attempts, he was successful on 45% of those carries.  Without any running game, the Oklahoma defense could concentrate on neutralizing the passing game as much as possible.  The Longhorn’s passing SR was 37%; however, Sam’s passing SR was the exact same as the NCAA average of 40%.  For the one-man Texas offense, known as Sam Ehlinger, I was surprised to find out that Sam tallied at least an average SR with the defense knowing that Ehlinger was Texas’ only offense. 
- Speaking of Ehlinger, this kid is growing up right in front of us…week by week.  The amount of responsibility that he shoulders is astonishing, considering he is a true freshman.  After rewatching this game, you can tell that he truly “bleeds” orange.  I revert back to seeing the photo of Ehlinger as a child throwing up the “horns” sign.  I was a little apprehensive in thinking that’s what he wanted to do at that age because I have a 2 year old son who I’ve taught to say “Hook Em,” accompanied with the right hand gesture.  After watching Ehlinger play this season, he wasn’t just told to be a Longhorn…you can tell that he’s always wanted to be a Longhorn.  You can tell by the player’s reactions towards Sam, that they believe in his ability to put the team in a position to win the game, no matter the situation.  

- The Texas defense tallied their worst overall success rate of the season, primarily due to their inability to stop Oklahoma’s explosive plays. The Longhorn’s defense SR was slightly below the NCAA average, at 44%, while allowing 12 explosive plays of an average of 26 yards per explosive play.  All 3 of the Sooner touchdowns came as a result of explosive plays, with an average of 43 yards per touchdown.  The Longhorn defense’s SR against the run was above average, at 49%.  Their passing SR against the Sooners was 38%, which is 7% less than the NCAA average.  Speaking of the lackluster passing SR, Kris Boyd continues to allow receivers to get behind him for large gains.  After 6 games, one would guess he would have learned his lesson; however, the same mistake continues to happen.  If Texas’ defense could limit the explosive plays and produce a performance on par with their previous 4 games, the outcome of this game may have been in the Longhorn’s favor.  
- Overall, Texas lost both, the offense and defense, Success Rate battle to Oklahoma.  From analysis, teams that win the SR battle usually win the game 83% of the time.  Next week, the Longhorns will have an all out war on their hands when they face Oklahoma State at DKR.  In order to win, Texas needs to find some creative ways to establish a running game against the Cowboys.  Texas cannot afford to keep asking Sam Ehlinger to be brilliant with every start he has on the 40 acres.  Offensively, he needs help to alleviate some of the workload he is tasked to do in order for the offense to succeed.  On the defensive side of the ball, the Longhorns have to shore up their pass defense immediately.  We’ll see the results on Saturday.  Hook Em \m/

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