HornsCorner - Game Recap: Texas vs TCU (2020) - NinosCorner™ Sports | Efficient Sports Analytics...Successful, Relevant Data

Monday, October 5, 2020

HornsCorner - Game Recap: Texas vs TCU (2020)

HornsCorner - Game Recap: Texas vs TCU (2020)

by Nicholas "NinosCorner" Battle

I would say that I'm surprised by this game, but I'm not.  As a Longhorn fan, it is quite sad that this is the level of performance I have expected from Texas over the last 10 years.  What is the root cause to this decade long stretch of average play from the Longhorns?  The answer to that question is player development.  If you asked TCU head coach Gary Patterson, which roster he would rather have, from a talent standpoint alone, 10 times out of 10, he would pick the Longhorn's roster.  This is not a jab at the Hornfrog players, it just "is what it is."  

Since 2010, according to Rivals.com, Texas had an average team recruiting ranking of 11.  On the contrary, TCU's average team recruiting ranking was 33 over that same time period.  This is quite shocking since the separation in talent level is greatly in favor for Texas; however, TCU has won 7 of the last 9 contests.  As stated earlier, this is not a talent problem.  It is a definite lack of talent development.  

How does a school like Texas continue an eleven year stretch of underdeveloped talent?  This answer is easy.  The Head Coach is making the wrong hires.  Just from the previous seven years, Texas had coordinators who were not up to snuff for a job like Texas.  The Longhorns previously had a head coach in Charlie Strong who hired Vance Bedford and Shawn Watson as his coordinators.  Neither are even in Division I college football as a coach/coordinator at this moment.  Hell, neither is Charlie Strong.  

The Longhorn's current Head Coach, Tom Herman, also brought over a few coordinators that were lackluster in player development.  His initial coordinator hires were Todd Orlando on defense and Tim Beck on offense.  Both hires were so bad that Herman was forced to take play calling duties away from Beck, as well as demote Todd Orlando from his play calling duties as well in the Bowl Game of 2019.  I say all this to highlight the fact that if your coordinators are not good enough to call plays for their respective hire, then 9 times out of 10, they are not developing players to succeed as a college football player.  Herman did make two perceived good hires this offseason, bringing in Mike Yurcich as his Offensive Coordinator, and Chris Ash as his Defensive Coordinator.  We will see how well this plays out...only time will tell. 

Now that we've dug into what I believe are Texas' reasons for continuing to have underwhelming games and seasons, let's finally dig into the stats.  Texas had every opportunity to win this game.  They had a higher NCN-OFF, compiling a 53.1 point total, compared to a 39.5 point total for TCU.  Let's be real, if Keaontay Ingram does not fumble the ball at the end of the 4th quarter, we'd be mad at the way Texas won, just like last week, as opposed to dissecting why they lost.  One metric that TCU did dominate was the explosive play count. TCU tallied 9, compared to the Longhorns recording 7. The great Bill Walsh stated that the team with more explosive plays wins the game more than 87% of the time.  Well, TCU's last explosive play was a 26-yard touchdown pass that put the Hornfrogs in front with a lead they would never relinquish.  

As far as the defenses in the game, both units were equally unimpressive, posting scores less than the NCAA average of 45 points.  Texas posted a 44.5 point score, compared to TCU's slightly lower 43.8 point score.  The defenses were equally average; however, TCU separated themselves in their defense of the Longhorn passing game.  TCU was successful on nearly 66% of the passes they defended, compared to the Texas defense's 485 success rate.  In the pass-happy Big XII conference, being successful on nearly two-thirds of the passes you defend will generate you success in nearly every game.  

Take a look at the statistics below and judge for yourself.  The Longhorns face Oklahoma next week.  The Sooners are coming off 2-straight losses, so they will be hungry for a win.  Let's hope Texas can match the intensity I believe Oklahoma will bring.  We shall see. 

NinosCorner Number Definition

The NinosCorner Number (NCN) 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 (NCN-OFF) and Defense (NCN-DEF). To calculate the NCN-OFF and NCN-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. 




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