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Inside the Numbers: Texas can’t avoid offensive struggles against Baylor

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The Longhorns needed to right the ship against the Bears, but struggled once again.

Texas v Baylor Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

At least on the offensive side of the ball, it’s safe to say that the performance of the Texas Longhorns against the Baylor Bears was nothing short of embarrassing. Texas looked unable to put together a coherent plan, resulting in seven punts — five of which came on the first five drives of the game. The second half featured fewer punts, simply by virtue of two turnovers on downs and an interception.

Total offense: 391 yards, 5.75 yards per play, 10 points

It was one of the worst performances of the year from the Longhorns offensively, just the third time they managed less than 400 yards, with all three happening in losses which happens to be an indication of whether or not Texas will win the game. In their five losses this year, Texas is averaging 401 yards offensively — a number buoyed by the 530-yard performance against the LSU Tigers. In the four other losses, Texas is averaging 368.75 yards offensively.

In spite of the lack of yardage in some other losses, Texas has found a way to get into the end zone, but that was not the case against a Baylor defense coming off of a 31-point second-half disaster against the Oklahoma Sooners. Texas managed to score with just one second left on the clock, giving them just their third game under Tom Herman where they scored just one touchdown — the other two came in 2017. If Daniel Young hadn’t punched it in right before time expired, it would have been the first time under Herman that the Texas offense went without a touchdown.

Sam Ehlinger: 22-37 200 yards (5.4 yards per completion), INT

Sam Ehlinger and the Texas passing game overall seem to have regressed as the season has gone on and the Baylor game was one of the worst of his career. Ehlinger turned in his lowest yards per completion total since taking over as the full-time starter in 2018 and this was just the second time since 2018 that Ehlinger was held without a touchdown. The only other time Ehlinger came away emptyh anded was against Baylor a year ago when he left the game in the first quarter due to injury.

Baylor was also one of the highest-usage games of the year for the junior quarterback. Against the Bears, Ehlinger was asked to make 56 plays, 37 passing attempts and 19 carries, the sixth time this season Ehlinger had more than 50 touches in a game. In those contests Texas is just 1-5, the only win coming against the Kansas Jayhawks.

Devin Duvernay: 10 receptions, 78 yards

In spite of the offensive struggles against Baylor, wide receiver Devin Duvernay continued his march toward one of the best receiving seasons in school history. He now has 11-consecutive games with six or more catches, one shy of the school record set by Kwame Cavil’s record set in 1999, and becomes the first player in school history to have eight or more receptions nine times in a season.

On the year, Duvernay has 97 receptions and 1,095 yards making him just the third player in the last 10 seasons with 1,000 yards or more. His season gives Texas its first back-to-back seasons with a 1,000-yard receiver since Jordan Shipley did it in consecutive seasons in 2008 and 2009. If Duvernay can haul in just three more passes, he will be the first player since Shipley in 2009 to pass 100 receptions and 1,000 yards.

The Longhorns head into a short week with a lot to prove against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Friday. If Texas can put together a good game and come away with a win, they will have a guaranteed winning season, marking the first time the Longhorns have had three-consecutive winning seasons since Mack Brown’s final three years on the Forty Acres.