Beyond The Boxscore: Colt McCoy, Texas, and Big Play Scoring, 2008

At about this time last summer, I decided to look closely at Texas' scoring drives during the 2007 conference season. I was motivated by the loss of Jamaal Charles, Limas Sweed, and Jermichael Finley to the NFL -- concerned that without its top three big playmakers, Colt McCoy and the 'Horns might have trouble putting six on the board.

With Charles, Finley, and a half-season of Sweed in 2007, a Texas touchdown drive in Big 12 play averaged 7.2 plays, covered 67.2 yards (at 9.3 yards per play), and tallied six points on a scoring play averaging 20.0 yards. Drives that ended in field goals averaged 9 plays and covered 54 yards (6.0 yards per play), with an average field goal distance of 38.9.

How would Colt McCoy fare a season later, without any proven playmakers? Find out after the jump.

First, a few notes on the data below: Garbage time drives are ignored; the drives charted below represent only those when Texas left McCoy in the game, and appeared to be attempting to move the football. All McCoy rushes are treated as rushes, whether a scramble or designed run. Sacks are charted as pass plays. The non-conference games are not included. Totals and notes follow the charts. Charts? Oh, yes: charts.

 

@ COLORADO

Quarter Score Plays Rush Pass Yards Result Score (Yards) Player Yds/Play (Drive) Longest Play
1 Tie 3 0 3 69 TD PASS (65) OGBONNAYA 23.0 PASS, 65
1 +7 10 5 5 80 TD PASS (16) SHIPLEY 8.0 PASS, 23
2 +14 8 2 6 66 TD RUSH (13) OGBONNAYA 8.3 PASS, 16
3 +21 4 2 2 18 TD RUSH (1) JOHNSON 4.5 PASS, 10
3 +21 4 4 0 71 TD RUSH (4) JOHNSON 17.8 RUSH, 51
AVG
5.8 2.6
3.2
60.8 2 Pass (40.5) 10.5



3 Rush (6.0)




4
8 4 4 16 FG FG (46)
LAWRENCE 2.0 RUSH, 6
AVG
8 4
4
16 46.0 2.0




1 +14 7 2 5 42 INT
6.0 PASS, 15
2 +14 3 3 0 9 PUNT
3.0 RUSH, 5
2 +14
5 2 3 9 PUNT
1.8 PASS, 9
3 +21 12 5 7 38 PUNT
3.2 PASS, 11
3 +28 1 0 1 0 INT
0.0 N / A
AVG
5.6 2.4
3.2
19.6
3.5

 

OKLAHOMA (DALLAS)

Quarter Score Plays Rush Pass Yards Result Score (Yards) Player Yds/Play (Drive) Longest Play
2 -11 12 4 8 80 TD RUSH (1) JOHNSON 23.0 PASS,19
3 -8 12 6 6 89 TD PASS (2) SHIPLEY 7.4 RUSH, 30
4 -5 8 4 4 74 TD RUSH (1) JOHNSON 9.3 PASS, 37
4 +3 6 3 3 80 TD RUSH (2) JOHNSON 13.3 RUSH, 62
AVG
9.5 4.3
5.2
80.1 1 Pass (2.0) 8.5



3 Rush (1.3)




1 -7
10 4 6 57 FG FG (26)
LAWRENCE 5.7 PASS, 25
2 -4
5 1 4 51 FG FG (33)
LAWRENCE 10.2 PASS, 36
3 -1
4 3 1 42 FG FG (28)
LAWRENCE 10.5 RUSH, 18
AVG
6.3 2.7
3.6
50.0 29.0 7.9




1 -4 5 1 4 13 PUNT
2.6 PASS, 15
1 -4 3 0 3 -3 PUNT
-1.0 PASS,10
3 -1
3 0 3 0 PUNT
0.0 PASS,6
AVG 3.7 0.3 3.3 3.3

0.9

 

vs MISSOURI

Quarter Score Plays Rush Pass Yards Result Score (Yards) Player Yds/Play (Drive) Longest Play
1 Tie 12 7 5 94 TD RUSH (6) MCCOY 7.8 RUSH, 20
1 +7 9 3 6 82 TD RUSH (9) OGBONNAYA 9.1 PASS, 38
2 +14 6 2 4 43 TD PASS (32) WILLIAMS 7.2 PASS, 32
2 +21 3 3 0 41 TD RUSH (10) OGBONNAYA 13.7 RUSH, 26
2 +28 9 3 6 92 TD PASS (13) SHIPLEY 10.2 PASS, 23
3 +25 10 3 7 77 TD RUSH (2) MCCOY 7.7 PASS, 17
AVG 9.8 3.5 6.3 71.5 2 Pass (22.5) 7.3
4 Rush (6.8)
3 +32 3 1 2 3 PUNT 1.0 PASS, 10
3 +25 3 1 2 9 PUNT 3.0 PASS, 16
AVG 3 1.0 2.0 6.0 2.0

 

vs OKLAHOMA STATE

Quarter Score Plays Rush Pass Yards Result Score (Yards) Player Yds/Play (Drive) Longest Play
1 Tie 11 3 8 93 TD PASS (14) SHIPLEY 8.5 PASS, 18
2 +7 9 6 3 91 TD RUSH (14) MCGEE 10.1 PASS, 16
2 +7 9 3 6 80 TD PASS (17) COSBY 8.9 PASS, 20
3 +7 10 5 5 84 TD RUSH (3) MCCOY 8.4 PASS, 29
AVG
9.8 4.3 5.5 87.0 2 Pass (15.5) 8.9



2 Rush (8.5)




1 Tie 9 2 7 34 PUNT 3.7 PASS, 22
2 +7 5 0 5 43 HALF 8.6 PASS, 34
3 +7 2 0 2 5 INT 2.5 PASS, 5
4 +4 15 6 9 68 FUMBLE 4.5 PASS, 16
4 +4 7 5 2 26 DOWNS 3.7 PASS, 20
AVG
7.6 2.6
5.0
35.2
4.6

 

@ TEXAS TECH

Quarter Score Plays Rush Pass Yards Result Score (Yards) Player Yds/Play (Drive) Longest Play
3 -16 6 3 3 58 TD PASS (37) WILLIAMS 9.7 PASS, 37
4 -9 1 0 1 91 TD PASS (91) WILLIAMS 91.0 PASS, 91
4 -6 11 6 5 80 TD RUSH (4) MCGEE 7.3 RUSH, 21
AVG
6.0 2.0
2.0
76.3 2 Pass (64.0) 12.7



1 Rush (4.0)




2 -19 5 3 2 3 FG LAWRENCE (43) 0.6 RUSH, 9
2 -19 10 1 9 72 FG LAWRENCE (25) 7.2 PASS, 44
AVG
7.5 2.0
5.5
37.5 34.0 5.0




1 Tie 1 1 0 -2 SAFETY -2.0 RUSH, -2
1 -5 7 2 5 5 PUNT 0.7 PASS, 7
2 -12 3 2 1 8 PUNT 2.7 PASS, 6
2 -19 3 1 2 7 PUNT 2.3 PENALTY, 5
3 -16 5 2 3 14 PUNT 2.8 PASS, 10
3 -9 2 0 2 -12 PICK-6 -6.0 N / A
3 -16 9 3 6 38 PUNT 4.2 PASS, 11
AVG
4.3 1.6
2.7
8.3
1.9

 

vs BAYLOR

Quarter Score Plays Rush Pass Yards Result Score (Yards) Player Yds/Play (Drive) Longest Play
1 Tie 9 2 7 65 TD PASS (35) COSBY 7.2 PASS, 35
1 +7 11 4 7 70 TD PASS (1) SMITH 6.4 PASS, 15
2 +7 5 1 4 73 TD PASS (26) COSBY 14.6 PASS, 26
3 +14 8 6 2 75 TD PASS (40) COLLINS 9.4 PASS, 40
3 +21 13 10 3 65 TD PASS (15) SHIPLEY 5.0 PASS, 15
AVG
9.2 4.6
4.6
69.6 5 Pass (23.4) 7.6




2 Tie
8 3 5 33 FGA Miss FG (44)
LAWRENCE 4.1 RUSH,18
4 +28
8 2 6 64 FGA Miss FG (20)
LAWRENCE 8.0 RUSH, 28
AVG
8.0 2.5
5.5
48.5 32.0 6.0




1 +14 3 0 3 1 INT 0.3 PASS, 1
2 +7 3 1 2 1 PUNT 0.3 RUSH, 1
2 +14 2 0 2 3 INT 1.5 PASS, 3
AVG
2.6 0.3
2.3
1.7
0.6

 

@ KANSAS

Quarter Score Plays Rush Pass Yards Result Score (Yards) Player Yds/Play (Drive) Longest Play
1 Tie 9 4 5 71 TD RUSH (14) MCGEE 7.9 PASS, 16
2 +7 7 5 2 67 TD RUSH (4) MCCOY 9.6 PASS, 19
3 +14 10 6 4 60 TD RUSH (10) OGBONNAYA 6.0 PASS, 22
3 +14 8 3 5 73 TD PASS (9) COSBY 9.1 RUSH, 25
3 +21 2 1 1 37 TD PASS (36) COLLINS 18.5 PASS, 36
AVG
7.2 3.8
3.4
61.6 2 Pass (22.5) 8.6



3 Rush (9.3)




1 +7 5 3 2 23 FUMBLE 4.6 PASS, 9
1 +7 6 1 5 10 PUNT 1.7 PASS, 7
2 +7 6 3 3 17 PUNT 2.8 PASS, 8
2 +7 4 1 3 4 DOWNS 1.0 PASS, 4
3 +14 3 1 2 4 PUNT 1.3 RUSH, 4
4 +28 7 5 2 30 PUNT 4.3 PASS,16
AVG
5.2 2.3
2.9
14.7
2.8

 

vs TEXAS A&M

Quarter Score Plays Rush Pass Yards Result Score (Yards) Player Yds/Play (Drive) Longest Play
1 Tie 12 9 3 80 TD RUSH (14) MCCOY 6.7 PASS, 20
2 +7 9 6 3 48 TD PASS (20) COLLINS 5.3 PASS, 20
2 +11 9 1 8 78 TD PASS (9) COSBY 8.7 PASS, 18
3 +18 5 2 3 80 TD RUSH (16) MCCOY 16.0 PASS, 36
3 +25 6 3 3 68 TD RUSH (1) JOHNSON 11.3 PASS, 68
AVG
8.2 4.2
4.0
70.8 2 Pass (14.5) 8.6



3 Rush (10.3)
1 +7 12 5 7 43 FGA Miss FG (36) LAWRENCE 3.6 PASS, 13
AVG 12.0 5.0 7.0 43.0 36.0 3.6

1 +7
5 1
4
6 PUNT
1.2 PASS, 8
AVG
5.0 1.0
4.0
6.0
1.2

 

OHIO STATE (FIESTA BOWL)

Quarter Score Plays Rush Pass Yards Result Score (Yards) Player Yds/Play (Drive) Longest Play
3 -3 15 9 6 80 TD RUSH (14) MCCOY 5.3 RUSH, 14
3 +4 9 5 4 85 TD PASS (7) COSBY 9.4 PASS, 20
4 -4 11 1 10 78 TD PASS (26) COSBY 7.1 PASS, 26
AVG
11.7 5.0
6.7
81.0 2 Pass (16.5) 6.9



1 Rush (14.0)
2 -3 11 2 9 57 FG FG (27) LAWRENCE 5.2 PASS, 20
AVG 11.0 2.0 9.0 57.0 27.0 5.2

1 Tie 3 1 2 7 PUNT 2.3 RUSH, 7
1 -3 7 2 5 32 PUNT 4.6 PASS, 13
2 -3 8 0 8 27 DOWNS 3.4 PASS, 22
2 -3 6 0 6 76 INT 12.7 PASS, 37
3 +4 6 1 5 13 PUNT 2.2 PASS, 17
4 +8 9 4 5 37 PUNT 4.1 PASS, 13
4 +2 3 0 3 3 PUNT 1.0 PASS,3
AVG
6.0 1.1
4.9
27.9
4.6

 

TOTALS

Type Plays Rush Pass Yards Yards/Play
TD 331 155 176 2885 8.7
FGA 81 28 53 438 5.4
FAIL 199 63 136 648 3.2

DRIVE AVERAGES

Type Plays Yards Yards/Play Average Score Distance
TD 2008 8.3 72.1 8.7 16.4 yd TD
TD 2007 7.2 67.2 9.3 20.0 yd TD
FG 2008 8.1 43.8 5.4 32.8 yd FGA
FG 2007 9.0 54.0 6.0 38.9 yd FGA

 

DISCUSSION

  • The downside to seeking quantitative answers to important questions? You have to chart the damn numbers. Not so fun.
  • On the bright side, the above presents a really interesting look at the role of big plays in scoring drives.
  • What's the same? Like two years ago, as the yards per play go up, the chances of the drive ending in six points shoot up with it. This is intuitive, of course, but it's helpful to see the dramatic jump in average yards per play from a failed drive, to a drive that results in a field goal attempt, to a drive that ends in the end zone. It's just incredibly difficult to sustain drives long enough to score without the aid of a big play or two.
  • Interestingly, Texas touchdown drives last year averaged 1.1 more plays than 2007 (8.3, up from 7.2). In 2007, Texas' scoring drives averaged fewer plays, covered fewer yards, and featured a touchdown scoring play that was, on average, 20% longer. Losing their three big play talents, we might have hypothesized that for Colt McCoy to thrive in 2008, he'd need to sustain longer drives, featuring more plays, and better red zone scoring. He (and Texas) did just that.
  • If you're interested in the numbers: Texas had 8 touchdown drives of 1-5 plays (15 in 2007); 21 touchdown drives of 6-10 plays (16 in '07); and 11 touchdown drives of 11-15 plays (6 in '07).
  • What might we hypothesize about the upcoming season from the above? From my vantage point, the Texas offense is poised to explode. We already know what McCoy can do; this season he need only find a possession machine to replace Cosby, while his big play possibilities should improve with a talented and experienced receiving corps from which to choose. If the running game merely improves from 'barely adequate' to 'kinda good,' Texas will decimate most Big 12 defenses.
  • There's more to be said about the data above, but I'll hand this over to you for now, as I need to publish this thing and get on with my day. Your thoughts?
  • UPDATE: One other interesting note I forgot to mention: note how Texas' TD drives featured a much better run-pass balance than did their other drives. Even when UT didn't run it especially well, that they ran it at all seemed to help McCoy and the offense. Something to keep in mind for 2009.
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