Inside the Numbers: Texas vs. TCU

Tom Pennington

Does Fort Worth ever cross your mind?

TCU's run defense and weather voodoo weren't enough to spring an upset win as the favored team on a rainy Fort Worth night. Believe it or not, the Texas offense has found an identity: pound the hell out of the opposing defensive front, and ride the Moxie Train on a few deep shots when opportunities present themselves. And also in the believe-it-or-not department, the Texas defense has come out and played some damn competent football: they've forced opposing offenses to get away from what they do best and look uncomfortable doing it.

Are you having fun yet?

24 - 45 (1.9) - 0: TCU rush attempts - rushing yards (yards per carry) - rushing TDs

17 - 39 (43.6%), 201 (5.2), 1-1: TCU completions - pass attempts (completion%), pass yards (yards per attempt), TDs-INTs

The biggest question concerning the TCU offense heading into the game was the late breaking availability of QB Casey Pachall. Trevone Boykin started the game, as he had the last month and a half, and started a solid 3-4 for 24 yards, but his 2 sacks for -22 yards and fumble lost inside his own five ushered in the return of Pachall. But a month and a half of rust and poor OL line play left nothing available. Even taking out sack yardage, the TCU ground game managed only 21 carries for 68 yards, good for just more than 3 yards a carry. Pachall managed less than 40% completion (with no help to numerous drops from open receivers) and just over 4 yards per pass with an INT.

In all, the TCU offense put up 246 yards on 63 plays (3.9 yards per play), scored a single TD on a double pass, and had three turnovers on the night. The talented defensive line for Texas led the charge, with Jackson Jeffcoat, Chris Whaley, and Malcom Brown combining for 5 tackles for loss for 27 yards lost. With Kansas coming up, the Texas defense continues to develop into something resembling a strength...how bout that?

22 - 94 (4.3) - 0: Johnathan Gray rush attempts - rushing yards (yards per carry) - rushing TDs

17 - 51 (3.0) - 2: Malcolm Brown rush attempts - rushing yards (yards per carry) - rushing TDs

5 - 28 (5.6) - 0: Daje Johnson rush attempts - rushing yards (yards per carry) - rushing TDs

The Earth Tone Bros Brown and Gray Sleigh mean tandem of Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray continue to march up and down the Big 12. The offensive line is showing further growth as a unit, but I am most impressed with how Brown and Gray take each carry and run pissed off. They're setting the tone for the offense, and it's clear the load for this team is on their shoulders.

Daje Johnson didn't pop off any long runs against a fast TCU secondary, but 5.6 per carry with no negative rushes is solid production for the Offensive Weapon.

3 - 120 (40.0) - 1: Marcus Johnson receptions - receiving yards (yards per catch) - receiving TDs

2 - 56 (28.0) - 0: Mike Davis receptions - receiving yards (yards per catch) - receiving TDs

1 - 33 - 0: Kendall Sanders receptions - receiving yards - receiving TDs

1 - 21 - 0: Jaxon Shipley receptions - reveiving yards - receiving TDs

Is it clear yet that there's a 4 deep receiving core for the 2013 Longhorns? The veterans Davis and Shipley continue to draw the bulk of defensive attention, and when you pair the rise of the running game with the production of the upper class WRs, you get opportunities for Johnson and Sanders to do work against a team's third corner in single coverage. This week's beneficiary was Marcus Johnson, who popped off 3 receptions for a career high 120 yards, bringing his season production to 10 catches for 257 yards (25.7 yards per catch ain't half bad), with Sanders chipping in a 33 yard grab of his own.

Davis drew the assignment of Big 12 cover stud Jason Verrett and was held mostly in check, but was able to shake loose late in the first half to set up a last second Anthony Fera FG. Davis now moves to 4th in career receptions and 5th in career receiving yards at Texas. Shipley's lone catch for 21 yards brought up the rear for the group, but now has caught a pass in 30 straight games, 4th longest in school history.

9 - 19 (47.4%), 228 (12.0), 1-2: Case McCoy completions - attempts (completion%), passing yards (YPA), TDs-INTs

Yup, he's grown on me. Not sure if it's maturity following his embarrassing misadventure in San Antonio, the timely self-deprecating humor in weekly press availability, or his presence on the field now, but Case has moved from huge liability to solid game manager. He's getting the team in the right plays, taking advantage of opportunities at a better rate, avoiding big mistakes at bad times, and generally being a solid conductor of a team that can lean on the run game and defense. He does enough to remind you of old Case, with a few awful misses and the occasional throw that earns a, "Noooooo," but it's mostly been a Cinderella story for the senior.

3 - 3: Anthony Fera FGs - FG attempts

After a forgettable 2012, Anthony Fera has turned out a rock solid 2013, connecting on 11 of 12 attempts on the season. Add in his success as a punter, and Fera has been a huge part of an improving special teams group.

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