until Texas vs Kansas

Tuesday, November 1


Gameday Breakdown: Jekyll and Hyde Edition

Lost in all the discussion about the Rose Bowl and Heisman trophy is the marginally important little fact that Texas is still playing games. Or, in last Saturday’s case, half-games. Last week’s game deserves lots of discussion—starting now. We’ll break it down, numbers style, with help from Mack’s Monday press conference.

0—Texas’ turnover margin this year. As good as this defense has been overall this year, the turnover margin is even? The offense isn’t giving the ball away at an alarming clip; we’re just not getting as many takeaways as you’d expect from an undefeated team. Mack said, “It’s a real concern for us. We had our hands on four interceptions and we dropped them. It’s amazing this time of the year that only five teams are still undefeated, and for us to be one of them, and even in the turnover margin, is nearly unheard of.” Very true. Texas needs more takeaways.

250—Oklahoma state rushing yards. Are you freakin’ serious? This was clearly the most troubling aspect of Saturday’s game, as the Pokes rushed at will in the first half. Granted, Chizik made the requisite adjustments, but there’s simply no way that Texas can even sniff a national championship allowing that kind of rushing to occur. I don’t even want to think about what Reggie Bush would do if we tackled as poorly as we did on Saturday. Think 200 yards and four scores and you’d be in the right ball park.

79-26—Oklahoma State first half points versus Texas points in the first half over the past three years. This is pretty inexplicable, considering the next stat:

118-0—Texas second half points versus Oklahoma State second half points over the past three years. I just don’t get it. The key for Texas is to not have that happen again for the remainder of the season, as they did last year once more against Kansas.

25-2—Vince Young’s record as a starter. If he’s not the Heisman winner, he’s definitely the MVP. The guy is just unbelievable, and his leadership abilities have developed as much as all the other aspects of his game. A great stat for Travis’s argument is:

506—Vince Young’s total yards on Saturday. That’s just off the charts. 267 rushing? From your quarterback? It’s pretty hard to argue against those numbers. The problem, though, is that Vince contributed to the team’s first half struggles. The interception and fumble were instrumental in helping the Cowboys build the early lead. Still, when the situation got dire, Vince turned everything around and was other-worldly. He’s very, very Heisman worthy, whether or not he wins it.

3-for-15—Oklahoma State on third down. The defense deserves some criticism for the weak rushing defense in the first half, but overall, the numbers are a little deceiving. The defense was pretty stout on Saturday. The Cowboys put a lot of nice plays together in the first half that culminated in that big lead, but take away some of their field position and that lucky deflected touchdown catch, and Texas could have easily won the game 47-14. It’s a moot point, but the defense wasn’t quite as bad as we initially thought. It’s still one of the nation’s best units.

5, 71—Ramonce Taylor carries and yards rushing on Saturday. Here’s where the Texas’ depth comes in to play. With Selvin Young and Jamaal Charles ailing, Taylor filled in ably, and will probably do so more over the rest of the season. Fine by us. He’s lightning quick, has a good nose for the holes, and breakaway speed. In fact, if Charles can get healthy, a Charles-Taylor duel threat is flat out scary. Second to none… well, that White-Bush combo ain’t too bad, either. God I hope we play them. Forget the fact that I’m totally partisan—a USC versus Virginia Tech game just sounds boring.

79-12 is incorrect, in the last two years we had 26 points combined.

Thy sky isn't falling yet, just had a bad first half. I'm still very impressed with how the team responded once again. I think it was a much more quality win than just blowing them out; not to mention it was much more exciting.
Wasn't Taylor's YPC average something like 11 last year? He's a freak breakaway threat and it's a shame that Texas hasn't used him that much. Considering what Pittman and Carter have been able to do at wideout, I think he's wasted just as a receiver.
Ramonce isn't big enough or hard hitting enough to be a go to running back. He just cant run between the tackles all game. He needs to develope as a reciever/gimic back because that is his strength. That being said, he will do increadablly well in that roll, and can fill in as a RB when needed.
Personally, I think the 267 rushing yards is the number people should be paying more attention to. Unless I'm reading my media guide wrong, that's the most rushing yards by any Longhorn not named Ricky, Roosevelt or Cedric. That's the fifth most in UT history. Even without the 80 yard Heisman Moment, that performance is still in the top 50.

A quick/dirty review of ESPN's stats makes it look like it was the best rushing day for anyone, RB's included, this season. Better than Maroney, DeAngelo Williams or Calhoun. And especially Bush.

Sure, Vince throws an interception here and there, maybe fumbles (though I can't remember the last time this year) but he's handling the ball virtually every play of the game. Bush touches the ball maybe 14 or 15 times a game, of course he's not going to screw up as much. The difference is that Vince can win games all by himself starting from zero, much like Bush (though I should debate Bush's ability to win games by himself as well), but can also win games in which he's already put Texas in a hole. That's the greatest player in college football, that's the guy who will take Texas to the Promised Land and should walk away with the Heisman.
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