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

Sunday, October 6, 2019

HornsCorner - Game Recap: Texas vs West Virginia (2019)

HornsCorner - Game Recap: Texas vs West Virginia (2019)
by Nicholas "NinosCorner" Battle
For the Longhorn's Big XII road opener, the team marched into Morgantown and got a win to the final score of 42-31.  Texas did not play its best offensive game; however, they got this win by any means necessary.  If I had to personally grade the Texas offense for this game, I would probably give them a C+ or B-.  Texas quarterback, Sam Ehlinger, was able to will his team to a win, but he'll probably admit that this was not his most complete game.  The Texas offensive line took a slight step back in pass coverage this week, resulting in Ehlinger being sacked a total of 3 times this game.  The bright spot for this offense; however, was freshman running back, Roschon Johnson.  It is very hard to tell that he was a quarterback up until five weeks ago. He is looking more and more like the Longhorn's number one running back. 

Since we're speaking on running backs, I must admit that it was very good to see senior running back, Kirk Johnson get some carries.  I'm glad to see him battle through injuries to make an impact in this game.  

In a game where the Texas offense was not on their 'A' game, the Longhorn defense showed up and made multiple plays to keep the team competitive throughout the game.  Sophomore cornerback, D'Shawn Jamison looked the 'part' during the game and seems to have locked the second cornerback position down when injured cornerback Jalen Green returns.  Ossai, Foster, Coburn, and Adeoye also had really good game to shore up the Longhorn defense.  

Let's talk about the 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 has seen better days overall; however, they still posted a 58.5 BSN-OFF, a near 19 points higher than the NCAA average of 40 points. The Longhorns had a pedestrian 1st and 3rd quarter, posting a 28.1 and 20.6 BSN-OFF, respectively.  In the 1st quarter, the Texas offensive line gave up 2 sacks, directly resulting in a 31.8% OSR, which is over 8% less than the NCAA average.  The 3rd quarter was no better than the 1st quarter for the Texas offense.  Ehlinger threw an ill-advised interception, the offense only posted 25 yards, and the offense did score any points throughout this quarter.  

The 2nd and 4th quarter are where the Longhorns shined on offense during the game.  Texas posted nearly 40% of their total offensive yards during the 2nd quarter.  They allowed no sacks, committed no penalties, and scored 2 touchdowns.  Additionally, the Longhorn offense posted an above average 57.95% OSR and an amazing 99.8 point BSN-OFF.  In the 4h quarter, Texas was nearly as efficient as in the 2nd quarter. The Longhorns allowed no tackles-for-loss, scored 3 touchdowns, recorded an above average 44.4% OSR, and posted another amazing BSN-OFF score of 88 points. These two quarters are what separated Texas from West Virginia throughout the game and led the Longhorns to the win.  
West Virginia's offense was fairly efficient by the numbers; however, once Texas went up 18 points in the 4th quarter and gave some 3rd string defensive backs some reps, West Virginia was able to record a couple touchdowns that boosted their efficiency scores higher than they "actually" were.  WVU's overall BSN-OFF for the game was 54.6.  Without the last touchdown and yardage to go along with that drive, the WVU offense would have posted a 46.9 point BSN-OFF.  It's still above the NCAA average, but far less than what the numbers suggest.  

WVU's top two quarters were the 2nd and 4th quarter.  The bad thing about this for WVU is that these were also the same 2 quarters in which Texas had their best quarters, respective of a BSN score.    In the 2nd quarter, WVU posted an 88.9 score, compared to 99.8 for Texas.  In the 4th quarter, WVU posted a 64 point BSN score, compared to 88 points for the Longhorns.  The Mountaineers could not run the ball at all, compiling just 96 rushing yards and forcing Austin Kendall to pass the ball more than expected.  His increased passing rates resulted in him having 4 interceptions throughout the game.  This was the difference in the game overall from the offensive side of the ball.
Texas posted a 50.2 BSN-DEF for the game, just 5 points higher than the NCAA average.  The highlight of the game for the defense was their 4 interceptions recorded by Adeoye, Foster, and Jamison.  Although the defensive line got surges upfront and created some disruptions, they have to do a better job of creating more disfunction along the offensive line.  The team accounted for no sacks yesterday and did not collapse the pocket enough to truly hinder Austin Kendall from passing the ball at a fairly efficient rate, totaling 367 yards passing for the game.  The Texas defense finished the game with an above average 52.2% DSR, just north of 7% better than the NCAA average. 
West Virginia posted a 35.9 BSN-DEF, a tad more than 9 points less than the NCAA average.  They also posted an NCAA average 45% DSR.  The WVU defense was abysmal during the 2nd and 4th quarter, posting a 7.1 point and -3.6 point BSN-DEF, respectively.  The mountaineers also posted a 21% DSR and 33.3% DSR in these respective quarters.  The WVU defense corralled the Longhorn passing game for much of the game; however, their inability to slow down the running game dampened any chance of West Virginia from winning the game.  The Mountaineers gave up 216 yards of rushing, and 4 touchdowns on the ground.  This was not the defensive performance they were hoping for to have a chance to win this game.  
Did Longhorn quarterback, Sam Ehlinger, have his best game of the season? I think we all know the clear answer is 'no.' Did Ehlinger more than opposing quarterback, Austin Kendall, to win the game? The answer to this question is 'yes.' 

Surprisingly, Kendall had a better rushing OSR than Ehlinger, besting Ehlinger 75% to 67%.  Ehlinger did outpace Kendall passing the ball, posting a 43% OSR compared to 41%, ultimately resulting in an overall QB-OSR of 45% and 44% for Ehlinger and Kendall, respectively.  
Ehlinger continuously amazes on his 3rd down success rating.  His 46% 3rd down OSR was 6% above the NCAA average and bested Kendall by 19%.  It was the true difference in the game.  On 3rd down, the Ehlinger led Longhorns were able to score 2 touchdowns in the second half of the game.  
For Texas to win the Red River Rivalry next week, their offense has to play at a much better level than they did in Morgantown.  Hopefully, senior wide receiver, Collin Johnson, will be ready for the game next weekend.  The Longhorn offense will need all-hands-on-deck to compete with the high-powered Oklahoma offense.  Texas managed to beat West Virginia, while putting a very vanilla offense on the field this past Saturday.  I expect for the Longhorns to have a completely open playbook this upcoming Saturday against the Sooners.  

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