Hugs, y'all. The football is good. - Cooper Neill
Momentum, we have it. The 33-7 victory over Iowa State doesn’t really do justice to just how much Texas dominated on the day we celebrated Darrell K. Royal and our veterans. The defense has continued its impressive turnaround since the second half of Kansas, and Bryan Harsin orchestrated a second consecutive performance of offensive wizardry.
47: yards gained on Texas's first offensive play out of the Wishbone
Hours after the idea of Texas running the Wishbone floated around Twitter, Mack Brown took to Twitter to announce that the team would open the game lining up in the formation. The question would become whether the team actually ran a play, or simply motioned out of it. But Bryan Harsin put on his mad wizard hat, and mated vintage Harsin trickeration with 53 Veer Pass. Pitch to Shipley, throwback to Ash, deep pass to a TE not known as a pass catcher. Credit goes to the staff for its implementation, Ash for making the throw, and Greg Daniels for hauling in the pass (not bad for a guy that was a defensive lineman last year). I won't lie, I got a little choked up on that one. My favorite moment on a day filled with honor to Coach Royal.
77 - 609 - 7.9: Texas offensive plays - yards - yards per play
It was an excellent all around performance for the Texas offense. The running game went for 45 carries, 232 yards and 2 TDs (4.9 yards per carry), and the passing game blew up for 32 attempts, 387 yards (12.1 yards per attempt) and 2 TDs. Only 1 of the 11 Texas drives failed to reach the Iowa State side of the field. A few red zone miscues (blocked FG, missed XP, failed 4th and 3 conversion) kept the score from blowing up.
38:12, 8 - 14: Texas offense time of possession, Texas offense third down conversions - attempts
The offense dominated the possession metrics. When you're gaining nearly 8 yards per play, its easy to maintain possessions. 5 of the 11 Texas possessions went for 9 or more plays. The second half was basically played in fast forward, with Texas possessing the ball for 23:49 (of the possible 30:00, in case you just needed to see that ratio) and converting 5 of 9 third downs. Good numbers for the nation's 5th rated 3rd down offense. That's how you close out a game.
60 - 277 - 4.6: Iowa State offensive plays - yards - yards per play
I don't think anyone can describe the Iowa State offense as explosive and dynamic, but the Texas defense continued its growth since the second half of the Kansas game with its performance against Iowa State. The rush defense held Iowa State's zone-read game in check, allowing 31 attempts to go for 144 yards (4.6 yards per carry). Considering where this run defense was a month ago, that's not bad. The passing defense was rough on Steele Jantz, holding him to 133 yards on 29 attempts (4.9 yards per attempt) and forcing 2 interceptions when applying pressure. The defense did its part in closing out the game, holding Iowa State to 64 yards on 18 plays (3.56 yards per play), 0 - 4 on 3rd down, and only 6 minutes of possession in the second half. The longest plays from scrimmage for Iowa State were a 14 yard run and 23 yard pass. Would this growth have been nice in October? Definitely. But better late than never.
15 - 250 - 1: Jaxon Shipley and Mike Davis receptions - receiving yards - receiving TDs
Mike Davis chipped in his customary one play TD drive, taking a 61 yard Ash bomb on first down to the house, and finishing with 7 catches for 113 yards and that TD. Jaxon Shipley joined the party this week too, grabbing 8 catches for 137 yards, including a few jaw droppers. The post pass where he leaped over a safety and deep ball over triple coverage were impressive displays of Shipley-sure-hands. David Ash's job gets much easier when these guys contribute the way they do. This represented the 13th time in school history (second this season) that two players had 100+ yards receiving each.
25 - 31, 364, 2 - 0: David Ash completions - attempts, passing yards, passing TDs - INTs
Remember that week where the national media tried to brew up a QB controversy? Yeah, glad we got that out of the way. Since his benching against Kansas, Ash is 36 - 50 (72%), 628 yards (12.56 yards per attempt, 314 yards per game), 5 TDs and 0 turnovers. The 364 yards against ISU is a career high. He also chipped in 3 carries for 21 yards. Coincidentally (not really), he hasn't been sacked during that stretch. I can only recall two poor throws, one being a miss to a wide open Daje Johnson and another to Marquise Goodwin, both good for likely TDs. Not much to say about him that hasn't already been said. I'm just glad we have solid QB play in Austin once again.
9 - 2 - .5: Alex Okafor tackles - tackles for loss - sacks
Okafor once again led the Longhorn defense in tackles, as well as leading the team's 7 TFLs with 2, and combined with Josh Turner for half a sack. More senior leadership from the big defensive end.
6 - 1: Peter Jinkens tackles - tackle for loss
I want to give a quick shout out to Peter Jinkens, who earned his first career start filling in for an injured Kendall Thompson by notching 6 tackles (second on the team) and adding a tackle for loss. He was joking about starting on Twitter, but came out and got the start. When writing the preseason linebacker preview, I thought Jinkens athleticism and our LB injury history would lead to Peter getting an opportunity this season to play, and he didn't disappoint.
5 - 7 (3, 2): Texas offensive red zone conversions - possessions (TDs, FGs)
If there was one sore spot on the performance of the Texas offense, it was subpar red zone play. Only 3 of the team's 7 trips ended in TDs, for a team that was 2nd nationally in scoring TDs at 88.64% of red zone trips. Add in a failed 4th down conversion (I like the play action call on 4th down there, considering Iowa State just stopped Bergeron in the Wildcat for a loss on the play before), and a blocked FG, and it wasn't a banner day for the offense in the red zone. Credit a well coached Iowa State team with a stout front seven.
A few career and season notes:
1: Alex King had his first punt touchback of the season in the first quarter. Headed into the game, Texas was one of three teams in the country without a punt touchback.
364: David Ash's 364 passing yards are 10th all time in Texas single game history
3,433: David Ash's career passing yards now are good for 9th in UT history, passing Bobby Layne and Garrett Gilbert
1,031: Joe Bergeron became the 47th player in school history to rush for 1,000 career yards
1,924: Mike Davis's career receiving yards are now good for 7th in school history, passing Tony Jones and Limas Sweed
76 - 2: Mack Brown era record when rushing for 200+ yards
17: Entering the game, the Texas offense was 6th nationally with 17 plays of 40 or more yards. Greg Daniels 47 yard catch and Mike Davis's 61 yard catch added 2 to that total.