17-24, 162, 2-2: David Ash completions-attempts, passing yards, passing TDs-INTS
The 2013 football season's upside may be defined on how high David Ash can take them. After a solid, workmanlike 2012 campaign where Ash put up top 25 numbers in a less than flashy manner, he comes in as the unquestioned leader of the offense. The next step for Ash is defining that upside and becoming the driving force of the offense. A 70.8% 6.75 yards per attempt performance isn't much to write home about, but Ash looked comfortable moving the offense to the line of scrimmage, completing underneath passes, and moving up in the pocket when pressure came. The blemishes on the night: two turnovers on a poorly decided shovel pass and slight misfire late in the second half, and a couple of poor incompletions on short throws.
2-2, 11; 4-26: Tyrone Swoopes completions-attempts, passing yards; rushing attempts-rushing yards
While not quite enough to sway the opinions following a difficult senior season at Whitewright, Tyrone Swoopes was the 3rd QB in the game and led the first scoring drive against the first defense, making enough plays to move the ball and get folks excited about the 6'5' 250 lbs freshman QBs prospects. The drive: a 7 play, 59 FG drive that ended at the 2 yard line. The plays: a 21 yard scramble on 2nd and 18 highlighting Swoopes' long stride, a 12 yard strike to Marcus Johnson to set up a manageable 3rd and 6 (which Swoopes would pick up on the ground), and a 6 yard escape act on Peter Jinkens and Jordan Hicks on 3rd and Goal from the 8. Swoopes' spring was enough for head coach Mack Brown to say Swoopes is ahead of fellow freshman Connor Brewer and Jalen Overstreet. I'm excited, but they better not start thinking cute and burn that redshirt.
7-45-1: Johnathan Gray rushes-rushing yards-rushing TDs
9-42-1: Joe Bergeron rushes-rushing yards-rushing TDs
4-34-0: Malcolm Brown rushes-rushing yards-rushing TDs
The spring for the Texas running back corps wasn't about separation, but about staying healthy and picking up the offense. The RBs did look comfortable without the constant substitutions, and looked good overall. Now, we wait and see if they can stay healthy.
4-92: John Harris receptions-receiving yards
3-32: Marcus Johnson receptions-receiving yards
6-27: Bryant Jackson receptions-receiving yards
3-27: Duke Thomas receptions-receiving yards
1-24-1: Kendall Sanders receptions-receiving yards-receiving TDs
2-19: MJ McFarland receptions-receiving yards
1-9: Daje Johnson receptions-receiving yards
For those with John Harris as the leading receiver of the spring game, step up to receive your prize. With Jaxon Shipley missing their latter half of spring with a hamstring injury, Cayleb Jones' future with the program in question, and Mike Davis solid as a starter, the spring game was big for the WRs to step up and earn snaps in the fall. John Harris was the big, reliable target many (including myself) expected him to be before the foot injury in 2011 derailed his progression. Marcus Johnson and Bryant Jackson were both reliable targets, and Kendall Sanders flashed his big play ability turning a short pass into a TD. Duke Thomas gave folks plenty to talk about this summer by flashing as a receiver. Daje Johnson was limited on the day, but showcased his ridiculous speed taking a shuttle pass 9 yards. MJ McFarland showed good chemistry with David Ash working over the middle of the field, and may finally be the breakthrough TE Texas has needed since Blaine Irby blew out his knee in 2008.
406: total returning starts by Texas players, 2nd in FBS (Georgia Tech)
224: returning offensive starts by Texas players, 1st in FBS
Ready for youth to know longer be an excuse? Ready to roll a team out that's experienced? Fear no more. The 2010-2012 recruiting classes are now ready to start paying off, and the proof is in the starts.
The Texas Offense - Formations and Personnel By The Numbers
I only looked at offensive plays run in the first half, as the second half was largely a slower brand of football and featured a fair share of walk-ons. Also, I'm tired and have a flight to catch in the morning. Also, I split out the numbers for first and second teams.
1st Team Offense
4 wide, 3 WRs - 1 RB - 1 TE: 7 snaps; Davis, Sanders, Jackson at WR; McFarland at TE; Brown (2) and Gray (5) at RB.
Spread, Flex TE, 3 WRs - 1 RB - 1 TE: 7 snaps; Davis, Sanders, Jackson (6) and D. Johnson (1) at WR; McFarland (4), Geoff Swaim (2), Harris (1) at TE; Gray (4), Brown (2), Bergeron (1) at RB.
Spread, H-back, 3 WRs - 1 RB - 1 TE: 5 snaps; Davis, Sanders, Jackson (4) and D. Johnson (1) at WR; McFarland (3) and Swaim (2) at TE; Gray (2), Brown (2) and Bergeron (1) at RB.
Spread, in-line TE, 3 WRs - 1 RB - 1 TE: 4 snaps; Davis, Sanders, Jackson (1) and D. Johnson (3) at WR; McFarland (2) and Swaim (2) at TE; Gray (1), Bergeron (2), and Brown (1) at RB.
Offset Pistol, 3 WRs - 1 RB - 1 RB/H-back: 4 snaps; Davis, Sanders, and Jackson at WR; Gray (2) and Bergeron (2) at RB; Brown (2) and Swaim (2) as offset back.
Goal line, 1 WR - 2 RBs - 2 TEs: 1 snap; Davis at WR; Daniels and Swaim at TE; Alex De La Torre at FB; Gray at RB.
2nd Team Offense
4 wide, 3 WRs - 1 RB - 1 TE: 11 snaps; M. Johnson, Harris, D. Johnson (5) and Thomas (6) at WR; Swaim (2), Miles Onyegbule (5), and McFarland (4) at TE; Gray (3), Brown (2), and Bergeron (6) at RB.
Spread, Flex TE, 3 WRs - 1 RB - 1 TE: 8 snaps; M. Johnson, Harris, D. Johnson (1) and Thomas (7) at WR; Onyegbule (7) and Swaim (1) at TE; Bergeron (5) and Gray (3) at RB.
Spread, H-back, 3 WRs - 1 RB - 1 TE: 4 snaps; M. Johnson, Harris, D. Johnson (1) and Thomas (3) at WR; Onyegbule (3) and Swaim (1) at TE; Gray (1) and Brown (3) at RB.
Spread, in-line TE, 3 WRs - 1 RB - 1 TE: 1 snap; M. Johnson, Harris, and D. Johnson at WR; Swaim at TE; Brown at RB.
Offset Pistol, 3 WRs - 2 RBs: 1 snap; M. Johnson, Harris, and Thomas at WR; Brown as split back, Bergeron as deep back.
Splitbacks, 3 WRs - 2 RBs: 2 snaps; M. Johnson, Harris, Thomas at WR; Brown and Bergeron as splitbacks.
A few patterns stick out: the first team, base personel in the spring game was 3 WRs (Davis and Sanders getting all snaps, Jackson getting the bulk of the 3rd WR snaps with Daje Johnson getting the others), a TE (McFarland and Swaim getting a fair split), and the RB snaps alternating reps. The main formations were the 4 wide look and spread with a flex TE. The rest of the snaps featured the TE in-line or at the H-back, and a handful of Offset Pistol looks.
The offense is likely to change with different personnel returning for the fall, but that's where the offense is at now.
So, what are some of the numbers coming out of the spring that have you excited for the 2013 football season?