Oklahoma State Preview, Part 3: Rush Defense

In the wake of Texas' good-not-great win over UTEP six weeks ago, I took a look at Texas' rushing production and wondered who would step up to assist Colt McCoy. In Part 3 of our OSU preview we take a look both at the Texas running game and the Oklahoma State rush defense.

After the jump you'll fine a full charting of Texas performance rushing the ball in every game since UTEP as well as updated season totals. The preview concludes with a look at OSU's rush defense performance to date.

TEXAS RUSH OFFENSE IN 2008

TEXAS RUSHING GAME-BY-GAME SINCE UTEP

Note: Sacks are excluded from the rushing plays charted below.

RICE

Attempts Yards Average TDs
Colt McCoy
7 87 12.4 1
Vondrell McGee 8 28 3.5 0
Fozzy Whittaker
0 0 0 0
Cody Johnson
15 67 4.5 1
Chris Ogbonnaya
2 5 2.5 0
John Chiles
9 84 9.3 1
TEAM TOTAL
42 275 6.6 3

ARKANSAS

Attempts Yards Average TDs
Colt McCoy
9 84 9.3 2
Vondrell McGee 16 48 3.0 0
Fozzy Whittaker
0 0 0 0
Cody Johnson
9 43 4.8 1
Chris Ogbonnaya
0 0 0 0
John Chiles
10 13 1.3 0
TEAM TOTAL
50 208 4.2 3

COLORADO

Attempts Yards Average TDs
Colt McCoy
8 59 7.4 0
Vondrell McGee 8 30 3.8 0
Fozzy Whittaker
0 0 0 0
Cody Johnson
11 27 2.5 2
Chris Ogbonnaya
9 71 7.9 1
John Chiles
2 8 4.0 0
TEAM TOTAL
42 205 4.9 3

OKLAHOMA

Attempts Yards Average TDs
Colt McCoy
10 56 5.6 0
Vondrell McGee 1 -2 -2.0 0
Fozzy Whittaker
0 0 0 0
Cody Johnson
3 4 1.3 3
Chris Ogbonnaya
15 127 8.5 0
John Chiles
2 1 0.5 0
TEAM TOTAL
31 186 6.0 3

MISSOURI

Attempts Yards Average TDs
Colt McCoy
10 33 3.3 2
Vondrell McGee 6 58 9.7 0
Fozzy Whittaker
2 20 10.0 0
Cody Johnson
5 17 3.4 1
Chris Ogbonnaya
13 65 5.0 2
John Chiles
2 24 12.0 0
TEAM TOTAL
39 213 5.5 5

TEXAS RUSHING TOTALS, SEASON

Note: Stats are again sack-adjusted.

2008 TOTALS

Attempts Yards Average TDs
Colt McCoy
60 435 7.3 6
Vondrell McGee 57 243 4.3 1
Fozzy Whittaker
14 92 6.6 0
Cody Johnson
58 214 3.7 10
Chris Ogbonnaya
44 285 6.5 3
John Chiles
31 144 4.7 1
TEAM TOTAL
280 1445 5.2 21

Bullets? Bullets.

  • The Longhorns' 5.2 yards per rush average is down almost a full yard per game from last season, but if I had time right now to work through the play-by-play in more detail, I suspect I'd find that our averages skew downwards due to banal series of predictable rushes with the team comfortably in command of the game.
  • Even if Texas' rushing game is merely "good" at this point, it's nonetheless improved from six weeks ago.
  • Chris Ogbonnaya in Big 12 play: 37 rushes, 263 yards, 7.1 ypc, 3 TDs.
  • Colt McCoy: Silly. Removing sack data helps illuminate his effectiveness as a rusher. Would you trade him for any quarterback in the country at this point? Hard to imagine anyone saying 'yes.'
  • Like almost everything else about this team, the following two points loom as exciting positives: (1) The rushing game has improved as the year has progressed and (2) The team has plenty of capacity to improve still more.

OKLAHOMA STATE RUSH DEFENSE IN 2008

In looking at the OSU rush defense to date, I wanted to look beyond the easy-to-find numbers and do a more probing analysis that:

(A) Removed the noise of sack data from the picture, and 
(B) Charted how well OSU's opponents rushed the ball vs the Cowboys against how well they have rushed the ball vs the other teams they've played, and
(C) Eliminated any and all non-Division 1 teams from the mix. Thus, we won't consider OSU's performance against SW Missouri State, nor do the charts below include WSU's performance against Portland State, Houston's against Southern, Troy's against Alcorn State, Missouri's against SE Missouri State, or Baylor's against Northwestern State.

OSU OPPONENT RUSH TRENDS V. OSU PERFORMANCE

NON- OSU AVGs Vs Okie State
Att/Gm Yds/Gm Yds/Att TDs/Gm ATT YDS AVG TDs
Wash St 31.5 87.5 2.3 0.5 32 119 3.7 1
Houston 34.0 167.4 4.9 1.8 22 96 4.4 1
Troy 38.5 201.8 5.2 1.8 23 144 6.3 0
A&M 25.7 119.5 4.1 0.8 28 203 7.3 2
Mizzou 31.2 149.2 4.8 2.6 16 81 5.1 2
Baylor 40.4 217.6 5.4 2.4 29 50 1.7 1

More bullets? More bullets.

  • Gary Pinkel is an idiot.
  • Though the A&M game stands out for its ugly numbers, keep in mind Mike Goodson brok an 80-yard TD run in that one. Take away that rush and the numbers were fine.
  • OSU's performance against Baylor stands out as exceptional. Question: Is OSU improving? I've seen enough from Mike Gundy to respect what he's doing--certainly on offense. Did the Baylor game represent a turning point for the rush defense? Maddeningly, it wasn't on TV, so I was left to watch the thing unfold on Gamecast.
  • Looking at Texas' winning offensive formula so far in 2008, I don't see anything in the above to lead me to believe the rushing component will be out of play on Saturday. The 'Horns should be able to pick up the 5-6 yards a pop to complement Colt's aerial attack.
  • On the scouting side: I've been more impressed with Oklahoma State's starting defensive ends (and Jeremiah Price) than their tackles, but on the whole it's not an intimidating D-Line. The back seven are the strength of the defense.
  • Good news for OSU? Though a team with a killer D-Line would give its defensive coordinator the most flexibility to deal with Texas, at heart a team needs an athletic back seven that makes plays to disrupt the passing game. Texas' rushing game is merely good; the passing game is great.
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