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

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Game Recap: Texas vs Rice 2019

Game Recap:  Texas vs Rice 2019
by Nicholas "NinosCorner" Battle

Apple Podcast Episode:  HERE
All Other Podcast Platforms:  HERE
Let's be honest.  Rice was a warm-up team for Texas prior to the Longhorns beginning conference play next week against Oklahoma State.  Texas was the far superior team on Saturday, nearly doubling the offensive output of Rice at the tune of 509 yards of offense for the Longhorns, compared to 266 yards of offense for the Owls.

Texas had their way with Rice in every single metric of the game.  The Longhorns took care of business, the way that a ranked Power 5 team should do to an unranked Group of 5 component.  Quarterback, Sam Ehlinger, was extremely efficient, and the Texas defense rebounded quite nicely from a lackluster performance against LSU in the previous week.

Let's talk numbers...
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.

The Texas offense was highly efficient when the first-team offense was on the field for the first 2 and a half quarters.  The Longhorns moved the ball with ease, tallying 461 yards of total offense during the first 3 quarters.  Texas posted an 81.4 1st-quarter, a 76.0 2nd-quarter, and a 68.3 3rd-quarter BSN-OFF score.  Texas finished the game with a 58.0 BSN-OFF composite score, a total that is 18 points higher than the NCAA average.

The Longhorns were a truly balanced team on Saturday, in regards to play selection, with 51% and 49% of their plays being runs and pass attempts, respectively.  Texas was slightly more successful passing the ball against Rice than running the ball, posting a 47% successful run rate, compared to a 55% successful pass rate.  The Longhorns were also able to compile 9 explosive plays (XP), resulting in an XP rate of 13.4% throughout the game.  All of the XPs came at the hands of the 1st-team offense in the first 3 quarters of play.
The Rice offense posted a composite BSN-OFF score of 50.4, more than 10 points above the NCAA average.  This is the one thing I hate about blowout games.  The composite scores become skewed due to lesser teams keeping their 1st-team offenses and defenses against the more powerful opponent's 2nd and 3rd string players.  Against the Texas 1st-team defense, Rice posted an OSR of 12.5% and a 39 point BSN-OFF, both of which are below the 40% OSR and 40 point BSN-OFF NCAA averages.  For the remaining 4th quarter, Rice posted an 89.6 BSN-OFF, scoring 2 touchdowns, and totaling 149 yards (56%) of the Owl's total offense.  Half of Rice's XPs also came in the 4th quarter against Longhorn backup players.
The Texas defense posted an NCAA average 45 point BSN score.  Although the final BSN-DEF is not reflective of how the Longhorns thoroughly dominated the Rice Owls, it is mainly due to Texas backup players competing in half of the 3rd quarter and the entire 4th quarter.  When the Texas 1st-team defense was on the field, the Longhorns posted a 59.8 point BSN-DEF, nearly 15 points higher than the NCAA average.  With the backup players in the game, Texas posted a 19.7 BSN-DEF in the 4th-quarter alone, bringing down the composite game total to the NCAA average.
The Rice defense posted a 37.5 BSN-DEF, nearly 8 points below the NCAA average of 45 points.  The Owl's DSR was 43.3%, also below the NCAA average of 45%.  There is nothing I can really say about this Rice team.  The Owl defense was, essentially, a tune-up for the Texas offense prior to the Oklahoma State game.

Ehlinger is posting weekly efficiency numbers Longhorn fans haven't seen since Colt McCoy's last season on the 40 acres.  He posted a 62% passing OSR, as well as a 40% rushing OSR, totaling to a 58% composite OSR.  What's more impressive is that Ehlinger's per down OSR is extremely high; 64% on 1st and 2nd down, as well as 50% on 3rd down.  All three totals are extensively higher than the NCAA average of 40%.  He will definitely need to keep these numbers up for Texas to continue to win at an elite level throughout the season.
My only concern with the Texas defense is their inability to create turnovers against a much lesser talented Rice team.  Cornerback, Kobe Bryce, missed a definite interception for a touchdown earlier in the game.  Additionally, the Longhorn secondary allowed two passing plays of more than 40 yards.  This cannot happen against better competition, especially beginning next week against an explosive offense in Oklahoma State with their talented wide receiver, Tylan Wallace.

The Longhorn's next game has the potential to be another Big XII shoot-out type of game that could come down to which team can make a difference on special teams.  For this case, it was extremely encouraging to see Dicker the Kicker make a 57-yard Field Goal, as well as see D'Shawn Jamison return a kickoff for a touchdown.  Next week's game should be a good one.

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