HornsCorner - Game Recap: Texas vs Oklahoma St (2019) - NinosCorner™ Sports | Efficient Sports Analytics...Successful, Relevant Data

Sunday, September 22, 2019

HornsCorner - Game Recap: Texas vs Oklahoma St (2019)

HornsCorner - Game Recap: Texas vs Oklahoma St (2019)
by Nicholas "NinosCorner" Battle

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Texas opened up Big XII play with a much needed win against Oklahoma State.  To say that I am surprised the Longhorns won would be a lie; however, I am very pleased with the play of their defense, especially with top defensive back performers such as BJ Foster and DeMarvion Overshown out for the game.  Not only was Texas minus two of their top defensive backs, two additional defensive backs; starting cornerback Jalen Green and starting safety Caden Sterns, left the game in the second half with apparent injuries.  The bye-week could not have come at a better time for the Longhorns, after this win.

Oklahoma St entered this game with the nation's leading rusher, Chuba Hubbard (66 car, 521 yds, 7.9 yds/car, 7 TD) and leading receiver, Tylan Wallace (15 rec, 390 yds, 26 yds/rec, 6 TD).  Throughout the season, the weakness of this Texas team has been their defense, primarily in the defensive backfield.  The Longhorns were able to limit Wallace to just 83 yards on 5 receptions, resulting in no touchdowns.  

With Texas limiting the Oklahoma State passing attack, I thought that running back Chuba Hubbard would have a monster game.  Although he had 121 yards, it took Hubbard 37 carries to reach this number.  The Longhorns limited him to just 3.3 yards/carry; a significant 4.6 yards/carry less than his average for the season.  Cowboy quarterback, Spencer Sanders, was more effective as a rusher against Texas, than a passer.  He flashed some explosiveness throughout the game with 109 yards rushing and a touchdown, on just 18 carries.  He is going to be a game-changer for this team in the future; however, his play was not enough to carry his team to a win against Texas.   

The Texas offense posted another near 500-yard total game (498 yards).  Quarterback, Sam Ehlinger, had another really good game, albeit his first interception of the season. Even without the presence of senior wider receiver, Collin Johnson (injury - hamstring), the Longhorns were able to move the ball at will.  Devin Duvernay is on pace for 120+ receptions this season, and is looking like Ehlinger's go-to receiver.  Sophomore receiver, Brennan Eagles, is playing at an elite and explosive level, averaging a touchdown on 40% of his receptions.  Freshman receiver, Jake Smith, is showing his value in the slot receiver position, catching a touchdown in as many games as he's played in this year.  

As well as the Texas passing game performed, much respect needs to go to the Longhorn rushing attack.  Sophomore running back, Keaontay Ingram, had a great game, rushing for 114 yards on 21 carries.  True freshman running back (and former 3rd-string QB), Roschon Johnson, is proving his worth as this team's 2nd-string running back.  It was very interesting and "telling" how this staff views Johnson moving forward.  With junior running back, Daniel Young, suited up last night, Young did not register any carries in the contest.  Johnson received all the reps not handled by Ingram.  

All-in-all, Texas played a really good game, minus the two special team's fumbles by receiver, Jake Smith and safety, Brandon Jones.  Even with these two turnovers, the Longhorns handled business and came out with the win.  

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.

Entering the game, if you would have told me Texas would have completed 19 less offensives plays than Oklahoma State, and Cowboy running back, Chuba Hubbard would have 37 carries, I would have told you Texas would be in for a long night.  Actually, this game was quite the opposite.  Although the Longhorns did not complete as many plays on offense as Oklahoma State, Texas was by far the more efficient team on Saturday night.  The Longhorns finished the game with a 74.5 BSN-OFF, compared to 26.1 points for the Cowboys.  Texas averaged 10 yards/pass, compared to 8.1 yards/pass for Oklahoma State.  Additionally, the Longhorns averaged 5 yards/rush compared to 4 yards/rush for the Cowboys.  Texas also completed 10 explosive plays (XPs) to just 7 plays for Oklahoma State, resulting in 14% and 8% XP rates, respectively.  

The Texas offensive line was magnificent again, not allowing a single sack in their conference opener.  The Longhorns only committed one offensive penalty in the game; a hold on graduate transfer left guard Parker Braun that still resulted in a 1st down just 3 plays later .  Texas posted a 50.7% OSR, nearly 11% higher than the NCAA average of 40%, while featuring a run-heavy offense (59.4% rushing plays to 40.6% passing plays).  Of the near 60% Texas rushing plays and 40% passing plays, the Longhorns were successful on 46% of their rushing and 57% of their passing attempts, respectively.  With their limited amount of offensive plays, Texas has highly efficient and effective. 
Oklahoma State's offensive play selection was nearly similar to that of Texas, posting a 61% rushing play rate, compared t a 39% passing play rate; however, the Cowboys were not near as successful as the Longhorns, posting a 41% rushing OSR and a 50% passing OSR.  The Oklahoma State offense posted 4 turnovers (2 interceptions and 2 turnover on downs).  Initially, I thought the Cowboy offensive line was a strength of their team; only allowing two sacks in the first three games.  After Saturday's contest, I realized their offensive line unit over performed against lesser opponents.  The unit allowed nine tackles-for-loss and an additional one sack.  
The Texas defense posted a 51.2 BSN-DEF, more than 6 points higher than the NCAA average of 45 points.  They also posted a near 49% DSR, almost 4% higher than the NCAA average, as well.  The Longhorns forced Cowboy quarterback, Spencer Sanders, to throw two interceptions, doubling his interception total over the last 3 games combined.  The Texas defense also spent much of their day behind the Oklahoma State line of scrimmage, tallying 10 combined sacks and tackles-for-loss.  
The Oklahoma State defense posted a 24.8 point BSN-DEF, more than 20 points less than the NCAA average.  They only forced 1 turnover in the form of an interception, had no sacks, and allowed 5 touchdowns.  I knew their defense was bad; however, I thought they would put up a little fight.  The Longhorn offense could score a touchdown on every drive, if they pleased.  The only reason the score was as close as it turned out to be was due to the special team fumbles the Longhorns posted throughout the game.  Even with the "gift-wrapped" fumbles by the Longhorn special team's unit, the Cowboys could not take advantage and create a "stop" on defense to assist their offense to potentially win the game. 
The difference between this game was the quarterback play.  Ehlinger bested Sanders in total efficiency, as well as passing efficiency.  Ehlinger posted a 53% overall OSR and a 57% passing OSR, compared to Sanders' 49% overall and 52% passing OSR, respectively.  Although both had higher OSRs than the NCAA average of 40%, Ehlinger's was slightly better, resulting in the better performance and eventual Texas win.  

Ehlinger was also more successful on 1st and 3rd down (73% OSR and 60% OSR, respectively) than Sanders as well (46% and 38%, respectively).  Ehlinger's ability to put his team in  favorable positions after 1st down, as well as convert on 3rd down at a high rate, was the absolute difference in the game.  
The Longhorn's began Big XII play with a win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys.  The resilience of the Texas defense was something I was not expecting, especially with the absence of two key defenders, in BJ Foster and DeMarvion Overshown, and an injured linebacker, Joesph Ossai.  This is potentially the third most lethal opponent Texas will face this season, behind LSU and Oklahoma. Next up is West Virginia.  This should be another good one.

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