Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Stats that matter: KSU-Texas
Each week, HornsNation teams up with the ESPN Stats & Info crew to dig into the numbers that matter most and find three statistics which could make a big difference on Saturday. Let's take a look at Texas’ first Big 12 game of the season against Kansas State (7 p.m. CT, ABC).
No. 1: Five
In the first half against Ole Miss, Texas produced five consecutive scoring drives, including on all three second-quarter possessions. Mack Brown said Wednesday he needs to see Texas' second-quarter offense show up for all four quarters this Saturday.
Texas went nine plays or more on three of those five drives. For an offense that too often gets derailed by three-and-outs when struggling, that was promising. The next step: finishing with touchdowns. Texas settled for field goals on three of the five drives, including one occasion in which Texas had first and goal at Ole Miss 2.
No. 2: 3-16
If you're searching for a reason why Kansas State has won five straight against Texas, here's an easy clue: In their past five matchups, Kansas State has turned the ball over a total of three times. The Longhorns, on the other hand, have 16 turnovers. That's a significant disparity in turnover margin.
Here's what's strange about that stat, though: Texas' offense has turned the ball over only one time in its two losses. That was the bizarre play when Case McCoy and Malcolm Brown collided for a fumble against Ole Miss. Turnovers are not the reason the Longhorns have come up short in back-to-back weeks. Getting a few more from its defense wouldn't hurt, though.
No. 3: 37
Once again, Texas is back among the nation's leaders in missed tackles. The Longhorns have missed 37 through three games, which is tied for second worst in FBS behind Northwestern's 38. Texas has recorded 12 more missed tackles than any other school in the Big 12.
There could be any number of reasons for this, though if last season told us anything the culprit is probably confidence. Texas is still getting inconsistent tackling from its linebackers and safeties, and players have said all along that the defensive schemes are putting them in the right place to make plays. They just need to execute.
Three more to remember
9: The number of passing yards Kansas State had in its 34-14 win over Texas in 2010.
23: The number of rushing yards Kansas State had in its 45-42 win over Texas in 2006.
1956: The last time Texas started its season 1-3. That was one year before Darrell Royal took over the program.