clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Perspective on the Texas defense's performance against Baylor

New, 27 comments

The Horns D turned in an impressive effort on Saturday.

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't good enough for the Texas Longhorns to come out with a victory against the Baylor Bears on Saturday, but the defense performed exceptionally well in limiting the explosive Bears offense.

Baylor entered the game ranked No. 1 nationally in scoring (56.8 points per game), first in total offense (641.0 ypg) and fourth in passing offense (401.3 ypg). On Saturday, the Texas defense held the Bears well below those averages -- 389 yards of total offense and 111 passing yards.

The total yardage was 40% lower than the average coming into the game and the passing yardage less than 30% of the average over the first four games.

It marked just the second time in the last 45 games that Baylor posted less than 400 yards of total offense (370 vs. TCU in 2013) and it was the lowest passing yards output by the Bears since the final game of the 2008 season (91 vs. Texas Tech).

Getting off the field against the Bears is a major struggle for most defense -- Baylor entered the game ranked eighth nationally after converting 53 percent of its third-down opportunities through the first four games. The Texas defense held the Bears to a season low 33.3 percent (6 of 18).

Unfortunately for the Horns, the Bears were able to convert four of six fourth-down attempts, though one of those stops came on the goal-line stand in the second quarter and one of the conversions was on the punt return unit for giving up the fake punt.

Texas was also able to limit the big plays for the Baylor offense, as the Bears only managed two plays that went for 30 yards, though both went for touchdowns. It was the first time that Baylor had failed to produce a play of more than 30 yards since the Texas game last season, when the longest play went for 25 yards.

The pass rush has been a major strength for Texas this season, as the defense collected 17 during the first four games. Against the Bears, it wasn't quite as dominant as it has been at times, but three sacks of quarterback Bryce Petty was no small accomplishment. After all, Baylor entered the game as one of only two teams in the country that had not allowed a sack of any of the three quarterbacks who have played.

Individually, senior linebacker Steve Edmond turned in one of his best games as a Longhorn. He was credited with a career-high 17 tackles and career-best two sacks.

There were plenty of negatives in the loss, but the defense wasn't one of them and senior cornerback Quandre Diggs said that while it was frustrating to lose again, he wasn't willing to point the finger at the offense for underperforming -- this unit looks like it will continue to play hard and for the most part play well even though the other side of the ball isn't pulling its weight.

In a season that basically looks lost already, that's not a small or insignificant feat.