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Stats that matter: West Virginia vs. Texas

11/7/2014

Ready for some numbers? It's time for our weekly stat digs, in which we team with ESPN Stats & Information to find the numbers that matter most for the Texas Longhorns and their next opponent. Here are the stats to remember going into Texas' home game against No. 23 West Virginia:

1. 8-12

Defensive coordinator Vance Bedford makes Texas' pass defense sound easy. If the Longhorns are getting to the quarterback, he says defenders need to cover for only three to four seconds. His defenders have made that philosophy look awfully good nine games into this season.

Texas ranks No. 6 nationally in yards per attempt defense, No. 3 in yards per completion, No. 7 in adjusted QBR defense and No. 9 in passing yards per game allowed. They've allowed just one 300-yard performance. But here's the number that's impressive: The Longhorns have more interceptions (12) than passing touchdowns allowed (eight), a feat no Texas team has achieved since the 2009 squad that played for a national title.

All of that success will be tested this week by West Virginia, especially Kevin White. He's one of the nation's most prolific receivers, but Oklahoma State and TCU held him to a combed six catches for 55 yards in the past two weeks, snapping his seven-game streak of 100-yard performances.

2. 16

The two best offenses in the Big 12 had their season-worst performances against West Virginia's defense.

WVU held Baylor to 318 yards and 27 points. TCU put up 389 yards and 31 points. Two of the nation's most explosive offenses combined to average less than 4.7 yards per play and punted a total of 16 times.

The Mountaineers didn't give up points on seven of Baylor's final eight drives, then did the same on six of TCU's seven first-half drives. Getting all those stops is a big reason why they almost went 2-0 in those games, and a big reason why Texas should not take this foe lightly.

3. 297

You won't see it on the stat sheet, but Tyrone Swoopes's increasing production in the run game is worth noting.

Excluding sacks, Swoopes has rushed for a total of 297 yards in Texas' last five games. He actually has outrushed Johnathan Gray during that stretch.

He's becoming adept at turning bootlegs into yards when his receivers are covered up, and the use of read-option concepts have had some success too. It's an aspect of Swoopes' game that is developing nicely and can prove dangerous in these must-win games.

Three more to remember

-5874: The average attendance at Texas home games this season, through four games, is down from 98,976 last year to 93,102. Not hard to see why Strong is focused this week on getting Texas' home-field advantage back.

54-26: The run-to-pass ratio of West Virginia's offensive playcalling against TCU. According to West Virginia MetroNews, that was the most run-heavy game of Dana Holgorsen's four years as head coach and even his six previous years as a coordinator.

77.1 percent: Texas is set to lose more than three-fourths of its wide receiver production this offseason. It'd be nice to see a young wideout like Jacorey Warrick, Lorenzo Joe, Dorian Leonard or Armanti Foreman emerge over this final stretch of the season.