52 - 196 (3.8) - 0: Texas offensive plays - total yards (yards per play) - points
4 - 13: Texas offense third down conversions - attempts
This week's Inside the Numbers begins and ends with the big ol' 0 sitting in the score column. The failure was across the board: the run game mustered 90 yards on 27 carries (3.3 a carry) and the passing game went for 106 on 25 attempts (4.2 a pass attempt). It doesn't get much worse than that. There's really not much to add to that: nobody produced and there was nothing for the offense to hang their hat on. They were thoroughly outclassed by Bill Snyder's Wildcats.
Continuing a very frustrating trend in 2014, the Texas offense was particularly inept on third down once again. On the season, the Horns are converting 33.6% of third downs, good for 112th out of 128th in the country. Teams that consistently run the ball well (for example, Georgia Tech is 1st nationally on third down and 7th in yards per carry, Auburn is 2nd nationally on third down and 11th nationally at yards per carry) or feature quality QB play (for example, Alabama is 3rd on third down and QB Blake Sims is 3rd nationally at yards per attempt, Oregon is 5th on third down and QB Marcus Mariota is 1st nationally at yards per attempt) tend to do well on third down. At this point, Texas neither runs consistently nor is Tyrone Swoopes at a point he can elevate his team to success on third down, a la Colt McCoy in his final two years.
While the offensive regression was incredibly frustrating, it wasn't (at least, it shouldn't be) unexpected. Bill Snyder coached teams are notorious for scouting an opponent's weaknesses and picking those scabs until you bleed out. The Kansas State defensive front got consistent pressure with just four and was able to completely confuse the Texas OL (which featured another new combination with RG Kent Perkins' injury), eliminating any run game and bothering Tyrone Swoopes as he tried to decipher KSU's zone coverages. Successes against Oklahoma and Iowa State weren't indication that talent deficiencies across the front and inexperience at QB were suddenly and miraculously mitigated, nor proof that growth happens steadily and without setbacks.
Fortunately for the offense, they get a chance to get back on track against Texas Tech's "defense" this week in Lubbock.
73 - 367 (5.0) - 23: Kansas State offensive plays - total yards (yards per attempt) - points
9 - 17: Kansas State third down conversions - attempts
Most weeks (most seasons, for that matter), the defense allowing 23 points and 5.0 yards per attempt would be good enough for a winning effort. Unfortunately, the defense is a part of a team with the offense and the effort was a waste. The defense was particularly tough against the KSU run game, holding the Wildcats to 143 yards on 43 carries.
But the defense seemed to only carry success on first and second down. K-State, the 8th best third down offense in the country, converted 9 of 17 third down opportunities. The conversions weren't even of the easy variety: 3rd and 13 as well as 3rd and 14 were converted on K-State's first TD drive, 3rd and 9 plus a 3rd and 8 (on a penalty) were converted on a drive that led to no KSU points, and a 3rd and 10 was converted later on Kansas State's second scoring drive.That's 5 conversions of 3rd and longer than 8 that led to 14 of KSU's 23 points. Get off the field and the Texas offense has a fighting chance. But KSU QB Jake Waters showed just how capable he is, mixing the ball around to WRs Tyler Lockett, Curry Sexton, and Kody Cook.
3 - 14: Texas RB D'Onta Foreman rushes - rushing yards
About the only development in the Manhattan disaster I felt good about was the reappearance of the lesser-known Foreman brother, D'Onta. While Armanti is the more explosive of the two, and the one that has the greater potential to kickstart the Texas offense, D'Onta was a guy I was very high on through the recruiting process. With Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray continuing to struggle, the larger Foreman could get a chance to crack the running back rotation and kickstart the run game. He's a bigger back than Gray and a quicker back than Brown, and might have enough to change the run game's production. Foreman is a hard running back, and while Gray and Brown haven't proven able to consistently beat free defenders, D'Onta will have his chances.