Game Recap: Texas vs Louisiana Tech 2019 - NinosCorner Sports | Efficient Sports Analytics...Successful, Relevant Data

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Game Recap: Texas vs Louisiana Tech 2019

Game Recap:  Texas vs Louisiana Tech 2019
by:  Nicholas "NinosCorner" Battle
Episode Podcast Link:  HERE
The Longhorns opened up the 2019 season against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.  As we have seen throughout this first week of games, the key to week 1 games is just simply winning, by any means necessary.  If you are lucky enough, maybe you can allow your back-up players the opportunity to play extended minutes, just in case of a possible "blow out."

Texas was able to do both.  The Longhorns won the game fairly easily on Saturday night.  Starting quarterback, Sam Ehlinger, registered 4 passing touchdowns.  Keaontay Ingram averaged 7 yards per carry and 14 yards per reception.  Brennan Eagles scored the first 2 touchdowns of his career, and Devin Duvernay caught a career high 9 balls.  By time the game reached to 4th quarter, Texas was able to get back-up quarterback, Casey Thompson, as well as multiple other players on both the sides of the ball, multiple live-game reps.

Texas did what they were supposed to do; beat a team they're expected to beat without any problems. This shows the maturation process of this team to not "let their foot off the gas" on any opponent and suffer an unexpected loss, like the last two season opening games against Maryland.

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.  OSR and DSR are calculated by accomplishing successful plays.  Successful plays occur when a play gains enough yardage to keep an offense progressing towards a 1st down (50% of yardage on 1st down, 70% on 2nd down, or 100% on 3rd/4th down).  A higher number equates to a better overall score.


BSN-OFF
Texas posted an amazing 73 point BSN-OFF score.  They were well above the 40 point NCAA average.  The Longhorns delivered the ball to 10 different receivers in the game, with 8 of the wide-outs having 2 or more receptions.  The Texas offense was far more efficient than Louisiana Tech's.  With a 73 point BSN-OFF, the Longhorns posted a composite score that was more than 31 points above that of Louisiana Tech.  

The Texas offense was well above the NCAA BSN average for all four quarters; posting a 62.4 point total in the 1st quarter, an 81.7 point total in the 2nd quarter, an 85.9 point total in the 3rd quarter, and a 56.1 point total in the 4th quarter.  Louisiana Tech, on the other hand, only posted BSN totals above the NCAA average in the 3rd and 4th quarters, tallying scores of 75.1 points and 62.6 points respectively.

The Longhorns ran the ball 37% of the time against LA Tech, and was successful on nearly 62% of those plays.  On the other hand, the Bulldogs ran the ball 29% of the time, with a success rate of only 32%.  Texas passed the ball 63% of their total plays, posting a success rate of 55%.  Louisiana Tech passed the ball 71%, with a success rate of 45%, a tad over the NCAA average of 40%.  

The Texas offense truly dominated this game.  Of the 70 total offensive plays the Longhorn offense had, 7 were explosive in nature, meaning 10% of their plays resulted in yardage gained of 15 or more yards.  All 7 of those plays were passing plays, which brings me to my next point.  The one area of concern I have for the team is their inability to create explosive running plays against the Louisiana Tech defense.  In order to continue to win at an elite level, Texas has to manufacture a running game that will yield explosive plays at least at an average NCAA explosive play rate of 7%.

BSN-DEF


The Texas defense posted an overall 61.1 point BSN-DEF.  Honestly, this number should be a bit higher.  The refs clearly misidentified a roughing the passer call on safety Brandon Jones, that took away a 4th quarter "Pick-6" interception, turned touchdown by sophomore linebacker, Joesph Ossai. 

The mark of a good defense is its ability to stop their opponent on the coveted 3rd down.  With the Bulldogs passing the ball the majority of the game, the Texas defense was able to limit them to a success rate of just 33% on 3rd down, far below the NCAA average of 40%.  Additionally, the Longhorns limited Louisiana Tech's best offensive weapon, Adrian Hardy, to just 3 receptions for 38 yards.  This was key to not allowing the Bulldog offense to establish a rhythm between their experienced quarterback and best offensive skill player.  

The Texas defense was very fast...I mean really fast.  At times, the Longhorns lined up in a package in which there was only one defensive lineman, coupled with two linebackers, and eight defensive backs.  This formation resulted in a 4th quarter interception by sophomore safety, DeMarvion Overshown.  This defense is young, fast, and motivated.  It is going to be a true game of chess played when they face LSU next week.  

In regards to the Louisiana Tech defense, their play throughout the game was abysmal.  The Bulldogs posted a 34.8 point BSN-DEF.  Texas did exactly what they wanted the entire game.  One standout player; however, was Tech cornerback Amik Robertson.  Standing at just 5'9", he more than held his own against the Texas wide receivers.  I was really impressed with his play.  He has some definite "fight" in him. 

Quarterback Comparision
Texas quarterback, Sam Ehlinger, bested Louisiana Tech's quarterback, J'Mar Smith, in nearly every category relating to efficiency and success throughout the game.  Ehlinger posted a 50% and 56% rushing and passing OSR, respectively.  Smith, tallied a 0% rushing OSR and a 45% passing OSR.  Additionally, Ehlinger posted higher OSRs per down than Smith, with the exception of 2nd down.  The key stat showcased in the chart above is the 3rd down OSR.  To be successful on 3rd down, our metric assumes you gain the necessary yards for a 1st down.  Ehlinger posted a 63% 3rd down OSR, compared to a 33% OSR for Smith.  Ehlinger was, without a doubt, the more efficient and effective quarterback throughout the game, and the final scoreboard showed that.  

Next week's game against LSU is going to be a good one.  The key matchups to view will be how the Longhorn's young cornerbacks can stack up against LSU's tall and rangy wide receivers.  Also, with the lack of depth at running back, can Texas manufacture a running game against the Tigers?  One thing I know for sure is that Coach Tom Herman always has his teams extremely prepared for the "big" games, and besides a week 6 matchup with Oklahoma, this is possibly the Longhorn's biggest game of the season.  

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