HornsCorner: Texas Wide Receivers are Playing at an Elite Level - NinosCorner™ Sports | Efficient Sports Analytics...Successful, Relevant Data

Sunday, September 29, 2019

HornsCorner: Texas Wide Receivers are Playing at an Elite Level

Texas Wide Receivers are Playing at an Elite Level
by Nicholas "NinosCorner" Battle

Apple Podcast:  HERE
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Pictured From Left to Right (Brennan Eagles, Devin Duvernay, and Jake Smith)
The BSN, or BattleStat Number, for a player measures a player’s efficiency at their respective skill position.  The BSN gives a numerical representation, similar to a Quarterback Rating (QBR), for offensive skill positions.  This statistical metric represents the  offensive skill player’s value based upon an average player at their respective position.  A higher number equates to a better overall score for a player.

On the offensive side of the ball, the BSN measure’s Wide Receiver, Tight End, and Running Back efficiencies based on a number of data components, resulting in a composite score rated on a 100 point scale.  The NCAA average BSN for Wide Receivers is 40.0 points. 

I must admit, once the Longhorns ruled Collin Johnson out for the Oklahoma State game, I was a bit worried in the production of the X-Wide Receiver position.  Sure, Malcolm Epps had a slightly above average game against Rice; however, no offense to Rice, but...his best performance was indeed against Rice.  Without Johnson, the Texas Wide Receiver crew did not have to rely on the X-position much at all.  The Z and H receiver positions did just fine between the team's 3 leading receivers.  Devin Duvernay and Jake Smith manned the H receiver position, posting a 55.14 BSN and a 59.92 BSN score, respectively.  Brennan Eagles continues to shine, posting an 108.46 BSN score.  All three were above the NCAA average of 40 points.  The successfulness of the Longhorn's top three receivers has allowed the X-Receiver position to not have to flourish as it would normally under Collin Johnson.  
BSN SCORE PER GAMELA TECH43.90130.4416.0543.389.37
OKLA ST55.14108.4659.92DNP5.68
Even with the limited opportunities Brennan Eagles receives per game, he is truly amazing.  From our count, Eagles has only received 15 targets; however, he makes the best of each opportunity given.  He's averaging an outstanding 18.40 yards per target, as well as 26.67% touchdowns per target.  Senior receiver, Devin Duvernay, has emerged as signal caller Sam Ehlinger's number one target.  He leads all Longhorn receivers with an astounding 92.86% catch percentage and a 57.14% 1st down per target percentage.  His amazing production, coupled with last year's production from current New Orleans' saints receiver Lil'Jordan Humphrey, showcases how important the H-Receiver position is in Coach Tom Herman's offense.  In all honesty, Duvernay's play is outpacing and outperforming that of Humphrey's historic 2018 season.  With each week of added production, Duvernay continues to rise up NFL teams draft boards.  Freshman wide receiver, Jake Smith, has proved that he needs to be on the field as much as possible.  His catch and touchdown per target percentages both rank second on the team at 68.42% and 21.05%, respectively.    The odd man out on this list is Redshirt Freshman receiver, Malcolm Epps.  He just doesn't look as comfortable at wide receiver as the others.  I know he is a high school tight end converted to a college wide receiver; however, his game has not translated seamlessly at the college level yet.  Will it?  We shall see.  For some players, it takes a few years for the "light" to click on.  Hopefully this is the case for Epps, because his size and catch radius is a plus factor for any offense.  If the X-Receiver becomes as productive as the Z and H, this offense could be "scary" efficient, even though it is already a highly effective and productive unit.  
CATCH %92.86%66.67%68.42%50.00%60.00%
It will be interesting to see how much better this offense will be once Collin Johnson returns.  Texas can probably win fairly easily against West Virginia next weekend, but the team will definitely need him against Oklahoma in two weeks.  Johnson's ability to attract double coverages, as well as take away an opposing team's best cornerback, will open up the offense for all other Longhorn receivers in the game.  This should be a fun couple of weeks to assess this Longhorn offense,

Hook Em \m/

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