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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Well…At Least it’s a Win

Well…At Least it’s a Win
by B.R. Battle
Photo by: Tim Warner - Getty Images

This week, I’m going to keep this article short since the opposing team was a 1-8 Kansas that is routinely known for being practice game for the following week.  Texas did not look good in this win against the Jayhawks.  This should not be the case for a tradition-rich team going into their 9th game of the season against a Kansas squad that has tallied a 9 - 60 record over the last 5 years.  

After reviewing the game a second time and analyzing the plays, this Texas offense was just horrible.  Honestly, it was hard to watch the execution of this team.  As stated in previous weeks, this team has no identity and Offensive Coordinator, Tim Beck, has no plans on establishing one.  For instance, on the 3rd Texas scoring drive of the first quarter, the Longhorns ran the ball 5 times in a row, resulting in 60 yards and a touchdown.  For the remainder of the half, Texas refused to establish the run anymore.  This was mind boggling due to the fact that Coach Tom Herman was stated numerous times that he wants to establish a power run game early and utilize it often.  Well, the Longhorns established it nicely on that drive…and Texas ran away from it the rest of the night.  

When the Longhorns utilized the run game heavily in the 1st quarter, they posted an outstanding 53% success rate (SR).  For the remainder of the game, their SR was below the 40% NCAA average, totaling a 29% average SR for the remaining 3 quarters.  Let’s be honest, this Kansas defense is bad, ranking 111 of 130 FBS 1-A football teams.  However, Texas found a way to let the Jayhawks make this a competitive game.  Texas’ only saving grace was that the Kansas offense was worse, mainly due to the play of the Longhorn defense.
Speaking of the Texas defense, the unit posted a 60% SR…15% higher than the NCAA average.  Although the defense did not play their best game, they did force 3 interceptions, 4 sacks, and 1 defensive touchdown.  Kansas was able to score on the Longhorns; however, the game was over when Texas was up 42 - 20 late in the 4th quarter.  The last touchdown from Kansas was essentially a stat stuffer with 11 seconds left in the game.  
Per down, the Longhorn defense SR remained above the NCAA average each quarter for the majority of the game (see the chart below).  What does this suggest?  Well, this shows that the defense continually placed the Kansas offense in unfavorable circumstances throughout the game, making it harder for the Jayhawks to gain the necessary yardage for first downs and scoring opportunities.  
Battle Quick Thoughts:
- Malik is out of here after this year…we’re going to miss him when he’s gone.

- This offense  looks completely stagnant when Sam Ehlinger is not behind the center.  Texas needs his legs for extending plays in the next 2 games to attempt to become bowl eligible.  

- Kris Boyd…you have to limit the penalties.

- Antwaun Davis is looking as if he needed to be the starter at nickel back from the start of the season.  

- More Dime package please…especially if Jason Hall is going to play like he did Saturday night.  

- Speaking of Jason Hall, what a way to enter a game ready to play.  He’s had very limited action all season but came to play on Saturday when his number was called.  

- Daniel Young and Toneil Carter played really well.  

- Chris Warren at H-back was a really good move.  He’s too good to be on the sideline.  

The next game is at West Virginia.  I’ll personally be at that game in the UT section sending out in-game tweets and posts. 

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