Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Texas by the Numbers

With Texas' 34-13 win on Saturday over #19 TCU, let's take a look back at the numbers from Saturday's come from behind win.

Texas' offense
Colt McCoy completed 66% of his passes, going 25 of 38 for 239 yards. He averaged 9.5 yards per completion, throwing for one touchdown and two interceptions, and was not sacked. Colt once again had a solid completion percentage and did a solid job of leading the offense against a very good TCU defense. However, the offense struggled in the first half, and Colt started to force the game. It led to an interception return for a touchdown and another interception that led to a field goal before the half. Texas went into the half with a 10-0 deficit, much of it because Colt tried to do too much. The offense only had 98 yards in the first half and was outplayed against a top TCU unit. However, in the second half Colt was aided by a rejuvenated running game and it allowed him to attack the TCU unit, as the Longhorns racked up over 300 yards in the second half. It is worrisome that Colt continued to make mistakes that cost his team. Later on in the season, putting his team in a hole will make it very difficult for the Horns to win.

Running Backs
Jamaal Charles had 134 yards on 22 carries, and a touchdown, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. What started off as a slow day turned into a big one for Jamaal Charles as he shreaded the TCU defense throughout the second half with big runs. This is the kind of performance that many expected out of Charles this season, and if the offense can open up holes and allow him to get to the second level, Charles is going to have the chance to make big runs. He should continue to build on this performance and should have plenty of chances to be the big time performer that he is capable of being.

Wide Receivers
Nate Jones continued to establish himself as Colt's go to receiver as he had 8 catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. He is continuing to benefit from the attention that defenses must pay to Limas Sweed (4 catches/26 yards). This week the other receivers definitely stepped up and had good days. Quan Cosby had 6 catches for 51 yards and Jermichael Finley had 4 catches for 51 yards. The wide receivers definitely stepped up and filled the void left by Pittman and Shipley who are still out with suspension and injury, respectively. As Pittman and Shipley return to the lineup, this unit can only get stronger.

Offensive Line
The offensive line might have turned a corner this week against TCU. After a first half where they couldn't get the running game on track they wore down the TCU defense with a 3rd quarter time of possession of 10:28. They also allowed Jamaal Charles to run wild in the second half, and did not allow a sack in the entire game. The offensive line took a hit with the injury to Adam Ulatoski, but if they can continue to protect Colt and give him time to throw, and establish a running game, then this unit could look at this season as a success.

Texas' defense
Defensive Line
The Texas defensive line had new faces step up and perform on the field. Defensive ends Eddie Jones (FR) and Lamarr Houston (SO) led the defensive line with 6 tackles and 6 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble, respectively. Freshman Sam Acho also had a sack. If the young defensive ends can continue to step up and play well, Texas' defensive line will be formidable with the experience of Derek Lokey (SR, 4 tackles), Frank Okam (SR, 1 tackle), and Roy Miller (JR, 3 tackles) anchoring the middle of the line.

A linebacking corps that looked atrocious against Arkansas State looked very solid as everyone came to play, and the entire unit had contributions. Scott Derry led the unit with 8 tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception. Rashad Bobino and Robert Killebrew chipped in with 7 and 6 tackles, respectively. Even the bench contributed as Roderick Muckelroy (SO) had 5 tackles and a fumble recovery and Jared Norton (SO) had 4 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. This was a great performance out of the linebacking corps. They showed how good they could be, and if they play this well, they make this defense very good.

Despite the way they played in the Arkansas State game, Texas decided to continue to field a secondary. It turned out to be a good decision as the secondary played solid throughout the game, which, at this point, we will take. Marcus Griffin once again led the team in tackles with 11 and Erick Jackson had another good game with 8 tackles. Brandon Foster and Ryan Palmer both had a better day in coverage. This unit will never be outstanding this season, but if they can put out performances like this, they will make this defense a top unit.

Coaching Staff
Texas rebounded from the Arkansas State game and came out and played much better defensively against TCU. The offense struggled in the first half, but the offense and defensive staffs should be applauded for making adjustments at half time. After totaling under 100 yards in the first half, the offense attacked TCU on the ground, taking the pressure off Colt and allowing the offense to gel to the tune of 300 yards and 34 points. The defense showed signs of what made them a great unit last season. After playing solid in the first half, holding TCU to 111 yards of offense, Texas was a dominating unit to start the second half. From the start of the 2nd half until 7 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Texas held TCU to 5, 3 and outs and 17 total yards. This allowed the Texas offense to wear out the TCU defense and put the game away. It showed that even without Gene Chizik, the defense can be the unit that looked so formidable over the past two seasons.

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