clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Inside the Numbers: Texas vs. Baylor

In a stunning twist, the Texas defense put up a strong effort only to be undermined by more special teams miscues and an offense that produced little on the night. Okay, maybe that's the only way it could have gone.

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

7-22, 111 (5.0), 2-0: Baylor QB Bryce Petty completions-attempts, passing yards (yards per attempt), passing TDs-INTs

3: Texas defense sacks on Bryce Petty

Without the Texas defense getting after Bryce Petty, there was no shot for the Horns to come away with a win over the top 10 Bears. And while they weren't able to force a turnover from Petty (who only has 3 career INTs), they were able to force the first, second, and third sacks surrendered by the Bears OL of Petty this season. The pressure may have had an impact on Petty, who was uncharacteristically inaccurate and indecisive, completing fewer than a third of his passes and barely mustering 5 yards an attempt.

Hats off to the Texas pass defense, who are doing their best to keep this team in games.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Texas Defense is holding foes to 124 yards below their season averages (#9 country). Last week Bryce Petty 7-22-111 vs them.</p>&mdash; Phil Steele (@philsteele042) <a href="">October 6, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

28 - 148 (5.3) - 1: Baylor RB Shock Linwood carries - rushing yards (yards per carry) - rushing TDs

11 - 72 (6.5): Baylor RB Johnny Jefferson carries - rushing yards (yards per carry)

The Texas defense gameplanned to take the passing game away, leaving a light box to handle the Baylor rushing attack. And for three quarters the defense managed to hold with stellar performances from linebackers Steve Edmond and Jordan Hicks (more on them later). But as the Texas offense continued to fail, the defense began to wear and show cracks. And of the final 32 plays Baylor ran, 24 were carries. Unless the offense can begin to sustain drives, or find unexpected depth up front, there will be struggles.

6 - 18: Baylor third down conversions - opportunities

4 - 6: Baylor fourth down conversions - opportunities

The Baylor passing game's struggles were best reflected in their third down performance. Entering the game, Baylor was 8th nationally in converting 53% of third down opportunities. But the Texas defense held the Bears to converting only a third of their opportunities. However, they were able to overcome the difficulties by converting four of six fourth down opportunities.

17 - 2: Steve Edmond total tackles - sacks

14: Jordan Hicks total tackles

While the "trash" Baylor Bears were able to come away with a win, Steve Edmond followed-up his talk with a career performance, notching career highs in tackles and sacks. And the tackle totals weren't merely a function of Edmond finding a pile frequently, as 14 of those 17 tackles were of the solo variety. Edmond was as good in space as he's been in career, frequently closing gaps in the open field and making sure tackles. Hats off to the frequently maligned middle linebacker for doing his best to come away with a win.

Jordan Hicks continued to perform as steadily as he has throughout his career, adding 14 tackles. More importantly for the long term, Hicks this week confirmed he's applied for a medical redshirt to get a 6th year of eligibility. He hasn't said definitively if he'll return, but noted he'd like the option.

12 - 79 (6.6) - 1: Johnathan Gray rushes - rushing yards (yards per carry) - rushing TDs

12 - 55 (4.6): Malcolm Brown rushes - rushing yards (yards per carry)

The Texas running back duo, either by function of their own performances or the Texas offensive line, have underperformed to this point in this season. But the insertion of Darius James at right tackle, and Kent Perkins returning to right guard, seemed to have sparked the Texas rushing attack. Gray and Brown led the charge to a season high 190 yards rushing on a season best 4.8 team yards per carry.

Brown found success in open rush lanes, but Gray looked as healthy as he has all year long, showcasing some old-Gray wiggle and a little pop to finish runs. It was refreshing to see Gray move as well as he did against the Bears.

It was a positive data point for a phase that needs to pick up its production.

16-34, 144 (4.2), 0-2: Tyrone Swoopes completions-attempts, passing yards (yards per attempt), passing TDs-INTs

After an average performance against Kansas, Tyrone Swoopes posted his worst performance of his young career. Three notable miscues punctuated the performance: an interception late in the first quarter on a throw behind MJ McFarland, the disastrous fumble at the goalline following Texas's second quarter 98 yard drive, and the final interception to finish the game. And the trouble went beyond the turnovers, as Swoopes was frequently behind on throws that ended up incomplete or limited yards after catch opportunities.

As the running game looks to be picking up its production, Swoopes will need to take the next step in his development. Shawn Watson has proved willing to expand what Swoopes is asked to do, and Tyrone will need to reward that trust with more consistency. Whether he's able to get more comfortable in the pocket, and begin anticipating passing windows, is anybody's guess at this point. Regardless, his production needs to pick up as the season wears on.