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

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Game Recap: Texas vs Oklahoma 2018

Game Recap:  Texas vs Oklahoma 2018
by B.R. Battle
First off...What a Game!  This was a tale of two quarterbacks.  Both Sam Ehlinger and Kyler Murray were exceptional; posting nearly identical numbers.  Ehlinger passed for 314 yards and 2 TDs, while also rushing for 72 yards with an additional 3 TDs.  Murray passed for 304 yards and 4 TDs, while rushing for 92 yards and an additional TD.  Although very similar, the one key stat that separated these two quarterbacks during the Red River Shootout was turnovers.  Murray had two turnovers, resulting into 10 Texas points while Ehlinger committed none.

Continuing on the successfulness of the two quarterbacks, both players posted excellent Offense Success Rates (OSRs).  With the NCAA average OSR being 40%, Ehlinger posted an outstanding overall 52% OSR.  His passing and rushing OSRs were 52% and 53% respectively.  Murray posted an overall 58% OSR with a 64% and 45% passing and rushing OSR respectively.  Both players quarterbacked the game at a championship level and possibly produced the greatest Red River Shootout in the history of this storied rivalry.
Breaking the quarterback play down further, Murray was 1.5 times more efficient than Ehlinger on 1st down plays.  Ehlinger, on the other hand, was more successful on 2nd down and, more importantly, 3rd down.  He continued to keep drives alive, leading the Longhorns to 5 drives of 8 plays or more, including the Longhorn's final drive that lasted 9 plays and resulted in the game winning field goal.
Expanding on the offenses, both teams produced exceptional BattleStat Numbers (BSNs).  As a reminder, the BSN showcases how efficient a team is, taking into account the OSRs and other analytic metrics.  BSNs are based on a 100 point composite score with a higher BSN equating to a better overall score.  The average NCAA BSN-OFF is 40 points.

Texas posted a 71 point BSN offense (BSN-OFF), which is absolutely exceptional.  Texas scored on 8 of its 13 drives. For the first 3 quarters, the Longhorns were above the NCAA average, with the 2nd and 3rd quarter being the periods of the game where Texas truly excelled.  The Longhorns posted a near perfect 98 point 2nd quarter BSN-OFF and a "not too shabby" 83 point BSN-OFF in the 3rd quarter.  The Texas offense stalled in the 4th quarter, posting a 36 point BSN-OFF.  The Longhorns posted a really good explosive play rate (XR) of 15% overall, meaning 1 of every 7 plays resulted in 15 yards gained or more. 
Oklahoma recorded a 56 point BSN-OFF throughout the game, which is well above the NCAA average; however, critical turnovers in the 1st and 3rd quarters hampered their overall BSN composite score and ultimately cost them the game. The Sooner offense was near perfect in the 4th quarter when the Texas offense went to a halt.  During this stretch, Oklahoma posted an 86 point BSN-OFF and rallied to score 21 straight points to tie the game before the Longhorn's final drive to win the game.  As with the Longhorn offense, the Sooners posted an outstanding 22% XR, translating to a play of 15 yards or more on every 1 of 5 plays.  This number was especially showcased in the 3rd and 4th quarter during the Sooner comeback with every 1 of 3 plays being explosive.  As I said before, Kyler Murray is one bad dude.
As explosive as these offenses were, it's hard to imagine how either defense would score well in an efficiency rating.  Well, the Texas defense actually posted a very respectable 52 point BSN defense (BSN-DEF), which is 7 points above the NCAA average.  This was mainly due to their 2 forced turnovers and outstanding defense against the Sooners over the first 3 quarters of the game.  Where this defense was horrible was in the 4th quarter.  The Longhorns posted an abysmal 12 point BSN-DEF during this quarter, allowing Oklahoma, specifically Kyler Murray, the opportunity to run and throw like a mad-man against them. 
The Oklahoma defense recorded one of the worst BSN-DEFs we've tracked so far with our analysis.  With a 21 point BSN-DEF, the Sooners posted a score that is 55% less than the NCAA average.  When the Longhorn offense picked up in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, the Oklahoma defense recorded a 7 point BSN-DEF in both quarters.  Their best quarter was by far the 4th quarter, where they were able to amass a 37 point BSN-DEF.
Overall, the Longhorn and Sooner offenses showed up to play.  The difference in this game was Texas' ability to create turnovers and capitalize on them with scoring points.  Oklahoma must attempt to field a defense that can create a few stops for their offense.  With a bye next week, it will be interesting to see whether they can fix some of their issues before meeting TCU in Forth Worth.  On the other hand, Texas must maintain this level of offensive play against all its opponents...good and bad.  Can they keep this up against Baylor next week?  I guess we'll find out sooner (no pun intended) or later.

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