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First Look: Texas Longhorns

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The 4-0 Baylor Bears travel to Austin on Saturday for a 2:30 matchup with the Texas Longhorns on ABC. If we wanted a time to shine, we've got it.

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John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
at
7/6 BAYLOR (4-0, 1-0) at NR/RV TEXAS (2-2, 1-0)
Oct. 4, 2014 | 2:30 p.m. CT
Austin, Texas | DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium (100,119)

TV: ABC
Listen | Gametracker Gametracker | Game Notes Notes | Tickets Gameday Central

OPPONENT: Texas Longhorns
ODB GAME HUB:
Baylor Bears vs. Texas Longhorns 2014
ODB PREDICTS:
Baylor vs. Texas
MEET THE PRESS: Baylor vs. Texas
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: TexasSports.com
LONGHORNS MEDIA GUIDE Click for .pdfs
LONGHORNS DEPTH CHART: vs. Baylor
LAST MEETING: 30-10 Baylor win in 2013 | ODB Game Hub
LAST GAME (for UT): 23-0 W @ Kansas
SB NATION BLOG: Two, at right
SPREAD: Baylor -16.5 (Open: Baylor -12.5)
TV COVERAGE: ABC
WEATHER FORECAST: High Saturday of 85F
BAYLOR UNIFORMS: Unknown

SB Nation Texas Preview
BaylorBears.com Preview
Bears vs Longhorns coverage

The Texas Blogs

As I mentioned above, Texas has two different blogs on the SB Nation network.  Both are worth visiting, should you choose to leave the friendly confines.  Throughout this week, I will port various things from their coverage into the hub linked above.

Texas Longhorns' 2014 Schedule

August
North Texas Mean Green Saturday, August 30 2014 win 38-7 coverage
September
BYU Cougars Saturday, September 06 2014 loss 7-41 coverage Tickets
UCLA Bruins Saturday, September 13 2014 loss 17-20 coverage Tickets
@ Kansas Jayhawks Saturday, September 27 2014 win 23-0 coverage Tickets
October
Baylor Bears Saturday, October 04 2014 3:30 PM EDT coverage Tickets
@ Oklahoma Sooners Saturday, October 11 2014 12:00 PM EDT coverage
Iowa St. Cyclones Saturday, October 18 2014 8:00 PM EDT coverage Tickets
@ Kansas State Wildcats Saturday, October 25 2014 12:00 PM EDT coverage Tickets
November
@ Texas Tech Red Raiders Saturday, November 01 2014 12:00 PM EDT coverage Tickets
West Virginia Mountaineers Saturday, November 08 2014 12:00 PM EST coverage
@ Oklahoma State Cowboys Saturday, November 15 2014 12:00 PM EST coverage
TCU Horned Frogs Thursday, November 27 2014 7:30 PM EST coverage

Injuries/Dismissals/Suspensions:

Probably the biggest story of the Texas offseason/season thus far is not what has happened on the field but who hasn't been there in the first place.  Over the last few months, new Head Coach Charlie Strong has cleaned house in Austin, dismissing or suspending nearly a dozen players.  To make matters worse, starting QB David Ash suffered yet another injury forcing him to retire from the sport altogether.  As nearly as I can tell, UT is missing the following players to various things:

QB David Ash -- retired
RB Joe Bergeron -- dismissed
RB Jalen Overstreet -- dismissed
RB Chet Moss -- dismissed
WR Montrel Meander -- dismissed
WR Miles Onyegbule -- injury (knee)
OL Kennedy Estelle -- dismissed
OL Dominic Espinosa -- injury (ankle)
DT Desmond Jackson -- injury (foot)
DB Chevoski Collins -- dismissed
DB Leroy Scott -- dismissed
LB Kendall Thompson -- injured
DB Erik Huhn -- injury (knee)

Each of those players will miss the entire season.  In addition, three others have been suspended for all or part of the year thus far: RB/WR Daje Johnson, OT Desmond Harrison, and S Josh Turner.  Rumor has it that Johnson and Harrison could return for our game.

On the other side, today's news that WR Levi Norwood has been cleared means that Baylor is finally fully healthy once again.  RB Devin Chafin will also be ready to play Saturday after sitting out against Iowa State.  The coaches said today that he could have played, if necessary.  This past week, WRs Antwan Goodley, Corey Coleman, and Clay Fuller returned to action, though Goodley didn't exactly look 100%.

Texas' Individual Statistics:

For some reason, Texas' Sports-Reference page does not include Tyrone Swoopes at all, so their stats are almost entirely useless.  My apologies for the substitute stats below courtesy of Texas' official AD website.

Quarterbacks
PASSING GP Effic Cmp-Att-Int Pct Yards TD Long Avg/G
Swoopes, Tyrone 4 128.3 63-99-1 63.6 590 5 48 147.5
Ash, David 1 112.5 19-34-0 55.9 190 1 28 190.0
Total.......... 4 124.3 82-133-1 61.7 780 6 48 195.0
Opponents...... 4 87.1 60-110-9 54.5 562 2 35 140.5

When Ash went down again this season, true sophomore Tyrone Swoopes took the reins as QB with true freshman Jerrod Heard as his only backup.  UT would love to redshirt Heard the rest of the way, but should something happen to Swoopes, he's the one we'd see.

Running Backs
RUSHING GP Att Gain Loss Net Avg TD Long Avg/G
Gray, Johnathan 4 50 225 3 222 4.4 0 42 55.5
Brown, Malcolm 4 53 207 16 191 3.6 2 26 47.8
Foreman, D'Onta 1 2 37 0 37 18.5 0 34 37.0
Foreman, Armant 3 1 30 0 30 30.0 0 29 10.0
Swoopes, Tyrone 4 24 67 42 25 1.0 1 14 6.2
TEAM 4 4 1 7 -6 -1.5 0 0 -1.5
Ash, David 1 7 2 19 -17 -2.4 1 1 -17.0

With Joe Bergeron, UT's 2012 hero against Baylor, gone from the team, UT turns to its pair of former-5* recruits, Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray.  Neither has really gotten going so far this season due to severe issues with UT's offensive line, which is extremely inexperienced, particularly at the tackles.

Receivers
RECEIVING GP No. Yards Avg TD Long Avg/G
Shipley, Jaxon 4 26 225 8.7 0 48 56.2
Harris, John 4 25 336 13.4 4 33 84.0
Johnson, Marcus 4 8 76 9.5 0 16 19.0
Brown, Malcolm 4 7 9 1.3 0 10 2.2
McFarland, M.J. 4 4 10 2.5 2 7 2.5
Warrick, Jacore 4 3 45 15.0 0 15 11.2
Swaim, Geoff 4 3 32 10.7 0 18 8.0
Gray, Johnathan 4 3 11 3.7 0 5 2.8
Joe, Lorenzo 4 1 22 22.0 0 22 5.5
Templin, Ty 4 1 7 7.0 0 7 1.8
Foreman, Armant 3 1 7 7.0 0 7 2.3

Like at RB, UT basically has just a pair of wideouts, Jaxon Shipley and everyone's favorite John Harris, leading the way.  Those two have combined for 51 receptions.  The rest of the team has 31.  My guess is that Xavien Howard will draw the taller Harris while Ryan Reid takes Shipley, who is also a weapon on punt returns.

Texas' Team Stats and Rankings

Statistic National
Rank
Conference
Rank
Value National Leader Value Conference
Leader
Value
3rd Down Conv. Pct 115 10 0.311 Alabama 0.630 Baylor 0.530
3rd Down Defense 48 5 0.353 Tennessee 0.208 TCU 0.241
4th Down Conv. Pct 53 5 0.571 7 teams tied 1.000 Baylor 0.909
4th Down Defense 29 5 0.375 5 teams tied 0.000 West Virginia 0.000
Blocked Kicks Northwestern
Rutgers
4
4
Oklahoma St. 3
Blocked Kicks Allowed 80 4 1 79 teams tied 0 Iowa St.
Oklahoma St.
Texas Tech
0
0
0
Blocked Punts Rutgers
Maryland
North Texas
2
2
2
Oklahoma St.
Kansas St.
West Virginia
1
1
1
Blocked Punts Allowed 1 1 0 110 teams tied 0 9 teams tied 0
Completion Percentage 47 6 0.617 Oregon 0.759 West Virginia 0.282
Fewest Penalties 49 6 26 Clemson 11 TCU 17
Penalties Per Game 67 6 6.50 Clemson 2.75 West Virginia 4.50
Penalty Yards 53 6 225 Clemson 94 Kansas St. 147
Penalty Yards Per Game 69 6 56.25 Clemson 23.50 Kansas St. 36.75
First Downs Defense 43 6 79 TCU 40 TCU 40
First Downs Offense 116 10 66 Texas A&M 141 Baylor 122
Fumbles Lost 112 10 6 9 teams tied 0 Kansas 0
Fumbles Recovered 71 5 2 FIU
Virginia
10
10
TCU 5
Kickoff Return Defense 68 6 20.33 Tulsa 12.60 Kansas St. 14.50
Kickoff Returns 90 8 19.00 Oregon St. 32.50 Oklahoma 29.00
Net Punting 60 6 38.08 BYU 46.33 Iowa St. 42.42
Passes Had Intercepted 7 1 1 6 teams tied 0 Texas 1
Passes Intercepted 2 1 9 Louisville 10 Texas 9
Passing Offense 99 9 195.0 Washington St. 480.8 West Virginia 401.8
Passing Yards Allowed 8 2 140.5 Stanford 74.0 TCU 127.0
Passing Yards / Comp 120 10 9.51 Georgia Tech 19.06 Oklahoma St. 16.84
Punt Return Defense 77 7 8.91 Purdue -3.50 TCU -1.00
Punt Returns 47 4 10.57 Auburn 30.71 Iowa St. 29.25
Red Zone Defense 51 5 0.800 Mississippi St.
Temple
0.444
0.444
TCU 0.500
Red Zone Offense 76 8 0.800 7 teams tied 1.000 Oklahoma 0.947
Rushing Defense 87 7 179.3 Louisville 58.2 Baylor 80.0
Rushing Offense 102 9 120.5 Navy 358.4 Baylor 239.8
Sacks Allowed 80 6 2.25 New Mexico St.
Baylor
0.00
0.00
Baylor 0.00
Scoring Defense 20 4 17.0 Stanford 6.5 TCU 7.0
Scoring Offense 104 9 21.3 Baylor 56.8 Baylor 56.8
Tackles for Loss Allowed 63 7 5.75 Baylor 2.25 Baylor 2.25
Team Passing Efficiency 82 8 124.30 Oregon 211.28 Baylor 172.85
Passing Effic. Defense 8 2 87.10 Ole Miss 74.19 TCU 79.64
Team Sacks 8 3 4.00 North Texas 4.75 Baylor 4.50
Team Tackles for Loss 11 3 8.0 TCU 10.7 TCU 10.7
Time of Possession 77 5 29:13 Michigan St. 37:29 Kansas St. 31:20
Total Defense 24 4 319.8 Stanford 198.0 TCU 218.7
Total Offense 110 9 315.5 Baylor 641.0 Baylor 641.0
Turnover Margin 16 3 1.00 Florida 2.67 TCU 2.00
Turnovers Gained 14 1 11 Virginia 18 Oklahoma
Texas
11
11
Turnovers Lost 58 7 7 Washington
Oregon
UTEP
1
1
1
TCU
Oklahoma St.
4
4
Winning Percentage 66 6 0.500 17 teams tied 1.000 Baylor
Oklahoma
TCU
1.000
1.000
1.000

The story told above is pretty clear and well-supported by advanced stats: Texas, a strictly average team at #54 in F/+, is relatively good on defense (37th by S&P+, 6th by FEI) and terrible on offense (73rd by S&P+, 104th by FEI).  They are 110th in Total Offense above, 104th in Scoring Offense, 102nd in Rushing Offense, and 99th in Passing Offense.  When they throw, it's almost always short and poorly: they are 120th in passing yards per completion and 82nd in team passing efficiency.  As Swoopes continues to develop and gain experience, I expect a lot of those numbers to go up, but until they protect him better (despite their slow pace, they are allowing 2.25 sacks per game), he won't have much of a chance.

QUESTION TIME!

  • FIRST -- Do you have any specific questions about Texas that we can have answered? 
  • SECOND --Give me your best reaction gif to John Harris' "They're still Baylor" quote today.
  • THIRD -- What is our biggest concern coming out of the Iowa State game?
  • FOURTH --Give me a turnt rating from 1-10 coming off Iowa State.  1 = You just got dismissed from your job by Charlie Strong.  Define 10 yourself.  Use gifs, if you like.
  • FIFTH -- Levi Norwood is back.  Does he score a special teams TD this week or just catch a pass for a TD?
  • SIXTH -- We've already seen stormtrooper this season and white-white-green.  Yes/No: Chrometrooper for Texas?