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

Monday, November 5, 2018

Game Recap: Texas vs West Virginia 2018

Game Recap:  Texas vs West Virginia 2018
By B.R. Battle

BattleStat Number Definition
The BattleStat Number (BSN) for the analysis of a team showcases how efficient a team is by calculating the offensive and defensive productivity of a team. These numbers are categorized into two sections…Offense (BSN-OFF) and Defense (BSN-DEF). To calculate the BSN-OFF and BSN-DEF, Offense and Defense Success Rates (OSR and DSR) will be analyzed to illustrate how successful and effective a team is. A higher number equates to a better overall score.

This was your typical knock down, drag out, Big XII shootout game.  Both offenses were highly efficient, with West Virginia holding a slight OSR edge to the tune of 55% to the Longhorn's 53%.  The respective OSRs translated to nearly identical BSN-OFF's for each team, with Texas posting a 69 point score, compared to West Virginia's 70 point total. 

The one category where West Virginia had a clear advantage was their ability to be successful within the running game.  They were successful on 57% of their 30 rushing plays; with 4 of those plays being explosive (plays gaining 15 yards or more).  In fact, West Virginia averaged 26.5 yards per carry on those 4 explosive plays...totaling 106 yards.  This total was just 60 yards shy of the Longhorn's total game rushing total.  On the contrary, the Texas running game was successful only 46% of the time over a 39 play sample.  Additionally, none of their 11 total explosive plays came from the running game.  In a game this close, West Virginia's ability to rush for 232 yards at 7 yards/carry was the true difference in the outcome.

This may have been the worst defensive output from the Texas defense under Tom Herman's regime.  Statistically, the Longhorn's posted a 18 point BSN-DEF...their worst point total since the inception of this metric.  Texas generated absolutely no pass rush against the Mountaineer offense.  The finished the game with no sacks and only 3 tackles for loss.  For as well as the Longhorns were earlier this season in forcing turnovers, the Texas defense has stalled a bit...creating zero turnovers over the last 2 game losing streak.  In order to turn this defense around, Defensive Coordinator, Todd Orlando, must scheme better in order to bring more pressure. The Longhorn's 3 down lineman sets have been a failure for the majority of the season; and with injuries to Chris Nelson, Breckyn Hager, and Marquez Bimage, turning this defensive line performance around soon will be a hard feat. 

West Virginia's defensive performance was not that great either; however, they did manage to limit the Longhorn run game during necessary moments.  The Mountaineer defense did not allow any explosive running plays and shut down the Longhorn's most explosive running back, Keaontay Ingram.  Although their near 37 point BSN-DEF was 8 points lower than the NCAA average, it was still 19 points higher than Texas. 

QB Comparison  
The quarterback play was fairly even throughout this game.  In fact, Sam Ehlinger outplayed Will Grier on Saturday.  Although the numbers were very similar, Ehlinger was able complete 11 explosive pass plays, meaning 44% of his pass completions were over 15 yards.  This is an astounding explosive play rate for any quarterback in college football.  Ehlinger was able to best Grier in essentially every category except the most important passing metric, in my opinion.  Grier was able to connect at a higher OSR on 3rd down, compared to Ehlinger.  His 57% 3rd down OSR helped keep multiple drives alive to rally West Virginia to 5 total touchdowns.  All in all, this was one hell of a quarterback battle. 

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