Game Recap: Texas vs USC 2018 - NinosCorner Sports | Efficient Sports Analytics...Successful, Relevant Data

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Game Recap: Texas vs USC 2018

Game Recap:  Texas vs USC
by B.R. Battle
Photo by Sports Illustrated 
Texas planned and orchestrated a gameplan last night that fit the strengths of starting Quarterback, Sam Ehlinger.  Texas allowed Ehlinger the opportunity to run the ball more...to the tune of 17 rushes.  Although Ehlinger only rushed for 35 yards, his ability to take the rushing yards given allowed the Texas offense to make the USC defense stay honest.

Let's start off with the USC offense...once the game began, USC jumped to a 14-3 lead.  At that moment, I thought the Texas offense was going to be in a hole too deep to climb out of.  USC posted an astronomical 69 point BattleStat Number - Offense (BSN-OFF) in the first quarter...scoring 2 touchdowns, gaining over 150 yards, and providing a clean pocket for JT Daniels to operate out of.  If games ended after one quarter, then USC would be a clear winner.  Unfortunately for USC, college games are 4 full quarters, and their BSN-OFF points average was only 6 points for the remaining 3 quarters.  The USC offense only accumulated 153 yards, turned over the ball 3 times, and had 7 penalties over the remaining 3 quarters.  Additionally, they scored no more points during this time frame, resulting in a composite 15 point BSN-OFF.
The Texas offense did something in this game that has been lacking in the previous 15 games of Tom Herman's tenure.  The Texas offense came out after halftime with an explosiveness Longhorn fans have not seen over the past year and some change.  Texas was able to accumulate 2 offensive touchdown drives in the 3rd quarter, providing a gap too large for USC to attempt a come back. Additionally, Texas was able to run the ball effectively in the 2nd half to close the game out well.
On the defensive side of the ball, USC was not very good.  They posted a near 40 point BattleStat Number - Defense (BSN-DEF)...5 points below the NCAA average.  They forced no turnovers, allowed 7 explosive plays, and committed far too many defensive penalties.  They could not get the Texas offense off the field...resulting in Texas scoring 34 unanswered points.
The Longhorn defense started off a tad shaky; however, after the first quarter, the Texas defense shored itself up to dominance.  With the NCAA BSN-DEF average being 45 points, Texas was able to post a near 72 point score.  Their first quarter composite score was 16 points; however, over the next 3 quarters, the Longhorns averaged a 52 point BSN-DEF.  Although the team only forced 1 turnover, Texas was able to tally 3 sacks and 6 tackles for loss for the game.  The defensive front played their most complete game of the season.  They forced the Trojans to -5 yards rushing on 16 attempts.  Texas' defense made the USC offense one-dimensional; creating an environment where the USC quarterback was forced to win the game as a true-freshman.  This is the dominant defense that Texas fans have been clamoring to see this season.

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