- 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 Texas Tech, Texas’ offense getting back on track and plugging the holes in the Longhorn defense.
It’s a well know stat now that Texas has lost nine straight to teams ranked in the AP top 25. Texas Tech is No. 20. But what makes this stat more glaring and points even more toward the downfall of Texas is what the Longhorns had done prior to the start of the losing streak.
From 2005 through the end of the regular season in 2009, Texas was 10-2 in road/neutral games against top 25 teams. Since the BCS title game at the end of the ’09 season, Texas is 1-5 on the road against top 25 teams. The lone win came at Nebraska in 2010.
Aside from turnovers -- Texas is -16 in those aforementioned nine losses -- the biggest difference has been defense. When winning top 25 games over the four-year stretch Texas allowed 24 points per game. In the nine game losing streak Texas has allowed 40 points per game. The Longhorns are also scoring eight less points per game now than they did when they were beating top 25 teams.
Texas Tech is allowing 25,75 points per game. Much of that is due to Tech allowing 108 in the last two games. One was a triple overtime win against TCU. The other was a loss at Kansas State, the No. 2 team in the BCS.
2. 91 or 15
Take your pick. The first is the number of missed tackles Texas has had this year. The second is the number of missed tackles the Longhorns had at Kansas. That total represents the second most missed tackles of the year for the Longhorns. The highest was 16 against Oklahoma.
The issue for Texas in facing tech is that while Kansas is a one-dimensional team, the Red Raiders do have the option to throw or run the ball. Plus the screen game basically serves as an extension to the run game. Texas has allowed 218 yards per game on the ground.
What Tech likes to do is spread a defense out so that it can get one-on-one matchups in space. Texas is miserable at bringing down a tackler in a one-on-one or even two on one -- Trey Millard play anyone? -- situations.
Tech also has a potent runner in Kenny Williams. He had 81 yards against KSU. His career-high is 105. If he eclipses that mark against Texas he will be the sixth straight running back to do so.
3. 80 percent
If Texas does get in trouble late, Case McCoy might be the go-to-guy. In two game-winning drives, McCoy has completed eight of 10 passes for 81 yards, rushed for another 25 yards, converted two third downs and a fourth down and led the team to 10 points.