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First Look: Texas Longhorns

Baylor takes to the field for the final time at Floyd Casey Stadium looking to cap off an 11-1, Big 12 Championship season. Hex Tex!

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Tom Pennington

9/7/9 BAYLOR (10-1, 7-1) vs. 23/24/25 TEXAS (8-3, 7-1)
Dec. 7, 2013 | 2:30 p.m. CT
Waco, Texas | Floyd Casey Stadium (50,000)

Listen | GametrackerGametracker | Game Notes Notes | In-Game BlogSportStream | Gameday Central

OPPONENT: Texas Longhorns
Baylor Bears vs. Texas Longhorns 2013
: | Baylor vs. UT Game Preview
2013 ROSTER, DEPTH CHART (no idea how up-to-date this is)
LAST MEETING: 56-50 Texas win in 2012 | ODB Game Hub
LAST GAME (for UT): 41-16 win over Texas Tech (Thanksgiving)
SB NATION BLOG: Barking Carnival | Burnt Orange Nation
SPREAD: Baylor -14
WEATHER FORECAST: A wintry mix in the morning will become lighter in the afternoon. High near 35F. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precip 50%.



I want to draw particular attention to the two SB Nation blogs dedicated to covering Texas.  They are both outstanding.  There will be several points this week, I imagine, where I will be porting over content from their sites into the Game Hub linked above.  Be sure to check that out as we go through the week.  The hub itself will be on our front page.

The winner of this week's game, Texas or Baylor, gets a share of the Big 12 Conference title for this season.  Because both teams lost to Oklahoma State, both need a bit of help to get to the Fiesta Bowl.  That means there should be a lot of eyes on TVs and phones in the tailgate area for the final of the Bedlam game starting at 11:00 on Saturday.  Should OU pull off the victory there, this game will be for all the Fiesta chips.

Longhorns Football Schedule

New Mexico St. Sat 08/31 W 56 - 7
@ BYU Sat 09/07 L 21 - 40
Mississippi Sat 09/14 L 23 - 44
Kansas St. Sat 09/21 W 31 - 21
@ Iowa St. Thu 10/03 W 31 - 30
Oklahoma Sat 10/12 W 36 - 20
@ TCU Sat 10/26 W 30 - 7
Kansas Sat 11/02 W 35 - 13
@ West Virginia Sat 11/09 W 47 - 40
Oklahoma St. Sat 11/16 L 13 - 38
Texas Tech Thu 11/28 W 41 - 16
@ Baylor Sat 12/07 2:30 PM CST

Texas has had an interesting season thus far, to say the least.  After consecutive blowout losses to non-conference opponents BYU and Ole Miss, Mack Brown decided to fire his wunderkind DC Manny Diaz, handing the reins of the defense over to old stalwart Greg Robinson.  Texas then won 6 games in a row, including a huge upset over arch-rival Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout.  Predictably, confidence was riding high for the Longhorns heading into their game against the Oklahoma St. Cowboys, who would eventually crush them at home.  Texas rebounded twelve days later against the reeling Red Raiders on Thanksgiving night, setting the stage for a winner-take-all matchup with Baylor, who also knows the pain of destruction at the hands of the Cowboys.

One thing we have to recognize right away about Texas is that if we think injuries have killed us, we have basically zero room to talk with respect to the Longhorns.  By my reckoning, they are missing the following players, nearly all of whom are starters:

QB David Ash
RB Johnathan Gray
OT Josh Cochran
LB Steve Edmond
LB Tevin Jackson
LB Jordan Hicks
DT Chris Whaley
CB Sheroid Evans

In addition, starting CB Carrington Byndom will be in a cast.  That's 7 definite starters (Ash, Gray, Cochran, Edmond, Hicks, Whaley, and Evans) who are all out for the season for one reason or another.  There might actually be more.  I wouldn't be at all surprised.

Statistic National
Value National Leader Value Conference
3rd Down Pct 40 4 0.441 LSU 0.586 Baylor 0.479
3rd Down Defense 48 6 0.373 Louisville 0.264 Oklahoma St. 0.327
4th Down 92 6 0.421 Wake Forest 0.833 Iowa St. 0.684
4th Down Defense 30 5 0.417 Alabama 0.222 Baylor 0.231
Blocked Kicks 41 5 2 San Jose St.
Air Force
North Texas
Kansas St. 5
Blocked Kicks Allowed 61 2 2 24 teams tied 0 TCU 1
Blocked Punts North Texas 4 Kansas 2
Blocked Punts Allowed 74 4 1 73 teams tied 0 Iowa St.
Kansas St.
West Virginia
Comp. Percentage 57 4 0.602 Louisville 0.709 Texas Tech 0.632
Few. Penalties 54 2 5.18 Navy 2.82 Kansas St. 5.00
Few. Penalty Yds 63 2 46.64 Navy 23.09 Kansas St. 43.42
First Downs Defense 26 3 222 Louisville 147 Oklahoma 194
First Downs Offense 66 3 248 Texas Tech 335 Texas Tech 335
Fumbles Lost 31 3 7 5 teams tied 3 Oklahoma St. 3
Fumbles Recovered 3 1 16 Ball St. 18 West Virginia
Kickoff Return Defense 119 10 25.74 Miami (OH) 14.24 Oklahoma St. 18.29
Kickoff Returns 74 9 20.90 Stanford 28.47 TCU 26.28
Net Punting 51 5 37.33 Alabama 42.47 West Virginia 40.70
Pass Sacks Allowed 20 2 1.18 Toledo 0.50 Oklahoma St. 0.91
Interceptions Thrown 56 4 11 Louisville
Baylor 5
Passes Intercepted 77 8 10 Florida St.
Oklahoma St.
Pass Offense 56 5 241.1 Fresno St. 410.3 Texas Tech 392.0
Pass Yards Allowed 37 2 215.8 Florida St. 153.0 Oklahoma 197.8
Pass Yards/Completion 72 5 11.79 Baylor 17.81 Baylor 17.81
Punt Return Defense 107 7 12.09 Utah St. -1.33 Kansas 4.91
Punt Returns 36 6 10.52 North Carolina 17.07 Kansas St. 15.31
Red Zone Defense 100 8 0.878 Bowling Green 0.577 Oklahoma St. 0.658
Red Zone Offense 14 1 0.897 Florida St. 0.969 Texas
Iowa St.
Rushing Defense 77 6 176.6 Michigan St. 64.8 Oklahoma St. 130.0
Rushing Offense 36 3 200.7 Army 323.6 Baylor 269.2
Scoring Defense 53 5 25.1 Florida St. 11.0 Oklahoma St. 18.8
Scoring Offense 42 5 33.1 Baylor 55.4 Baylor 55.4
TFL Allowed 78 5 6.27 Toledo
TCU 5.08
Pass Sacks 4 1 3.18 Louisville 3.45 Texas 3.18
Passing Eff. 66 5 128.84 Baylor 180.83 Baylor 180.83
Passing Eff. Defense 24 5 115.89 Michigan St. 91.79 Oklahoma St. 106.30
Tackles for Loss 24 4 7.0 Clemson 9.4 TCU 8.2
Time of Possession 53 5 30:19 Bowling Green 34:15 Oklahoma 32:14
Total Defense 54 6 392.5 Michigan St. 237.7 Oklahoma 330.5
Total Offense 43 4 441.8 Baylor 635.1 Baylor 635.1
Turnover Margin 19 3 0.7 Houston 2.1 Oklahoma St. 1.5
Turnovers Gained 18 4 26 Houston 40 Oklahoma St. 29
Turnovers Lost 48 4 18 Navy 8 Oklahoma St. 13

Just like every week, I'm not going to get into too much of a discussion of their stats today.  That will happen tonight (Big 12 post) and tomorrow (Stats Preview).  I will say that there is one major area of concern for me on this chart: Texas' pass sacks.  They are the fourth-best team in the country in sacking the QB, and our offensive line has had a few problems in that regard as of late.

Overall, Texas' offensive profile resembles that of a team that has defined itself as relatively run heavy.  They take a decent amount of time off the clock by virtue of the 36th-ranked run offense.  They score on a remarkable percentage of their red zone opportunities (that includes field goals).  They don't turn the ball over much through interceptions or fumbles.  All that, except maybe the lack of interceptions, is what you'd expect to see from an offense run for most of the season by Case McCoy.  Texas doesn't give him many chances to screw up, and so far he's managed not to do so.

On defense, it seems like Texas has rebounded significantly from their early-season troubles, though that side of the ball is by no means what I would call a strength.  They're just not the disaster they appeared to be earlier in the year.

F/+ from FootballOutsiders bills this as a matchup of the #8 team in the country (Baylor) against #38 (Texas), with the #2 offense squaring off against the #51 defense and the #24 defense against the #38 offense, respectively.  If you don't think those stats adequately measure where either team is right now due to recent injuries (Baylor, Texas) or massive improvement (possibly Texas), that may not mean much to you.  It does to me.

Question Time!

  • First, do you have any questions you want answered about Texas?  I've been talking to Ian Boyd, author of the fantastic series this summer on Baylor's offense and the post this fall on Art Briles, in particular, about answering a few things for us.  If there is something you want to know, put it in the comments and we'll go from there.
  • Second, what effect do you think the weather will have on this game for either team?  My inclination is to believe that cold temperatures with possible ice would skew things more toward the running game, but Oklahoma State was able to throw on us two weeks ago in the cold.  What do you think?
  • Third, would you rather know the outcome of the OU-OSU game going into this one or be ignorant until it is over?
  • Fourth, what concerns you most about this Texas team? Do you anticipate them attempting to run the ball down our throats or will they give Case the chance to shred us as he did in 2011 (Yeah, it happened)?
  • Fifth, how excited are you that this game is at home?