- Carter Strickland, Reporter, HornsNation
Numbers, it's said, rarely lie. With that thought in mind, HornsNation -- with a healthy assist from the ESPN Stats and Info crew -- will dig into the numbers each week and pull three stats that could play a significant role in the outcome of Texas' game. This week the focus is on Baylor, its explosive offense and wet-firecracker defense.
Baylor is dead last in total defense allowing 559 yards per game. Seriously, West Virginia is better. Only six spots, but better.
Now surely there are some who might be pointing out at this point the Texas offense only scored 38 against WVU and failed to score on a first-and-10 at the 12 in the fourth quarter. OK, true. But still, the odds and the stats are in favor of the Texas offense this week.
The Bears just gave up 49 to a team, TCU, that replaced its best player, Casey Pachall, the fourth-rated passer in the FBS this year, with freshman Trevone Boykin. Boykin, who threw three interceptions in his first-ever collegiate start against Iowa State, came back and was 22-of-30 with four touchdowns and no picks against Baylor.
So the safe assumption is that Texas with David Ash back in the pocket, despite an injury to his non-throwing wrist, should be able to move the ball at will.
That’s Texas’ statistical ranking on defense. That’s right just 21 spots better than Baylor. Now the positive for Texas is that it does defend the pass better than the run. And Baylor is significantly better in the pass than it is the run. The Bears have the top pass offense in the country with 398 yards per game. Texas has allowed just 240 passing yards per game. playing New Mexico, an option team, has skewed that stat slight, but still, Texas is better on pass defense than run defense.
When it comes to defending the run, Texas has allowed 203 yards per game and in the past four games allowed runs of 95, 30, 69, 50 and 48. Baylor only has one rush for more than 34 yards and that was by the quarterback, Nick Florence. So the Bears do not appear to have an explosive run attack.
But what Baylor can do with its passing game is spread a team out and get runners like Lache Seastrunk into space. Texas is not good at tackling in space as Oklahoma, West Virginia and Oklahoma State have all pointed out.
While Florence has been prolific, he has also been prone to throwing interceptions. He has nine on the year with four coming in the 49-21 loss to TCU. Texas is without Jackson Jeffcoat, who is gone for the year with a pectoral injury, but should have Brandon Moore back in the middle. Moore injured his neck against OU but was evaluated and has been at practice. Texas will also possibly be picking up more speed from the rush end with freshman Shiro Davis. A faster and leaner athlete than Jeffcoat, Texas has decided to pull his redshirt and try and use him to force Florence from the pocket and into Alex Okafor’s arms at the other end position.
At the very least, the hope for Texas is that Davis can put some pressure on Florence and make him throw the ball earlier than he would like. Therefore resulting in an interception for the Texas secondary.