One piece of advice - don't bother defending Nebraska's offense to anyone. You don't need to - people aren't expecting us to win so that pressure is on Texas. In fact, just consider our offense a zero, and then make the case for why we won't need an offensive touchdown to beat them.
Next question is - can you make that case? Answer = you can if you're delusional and that describes my relationship with Nebraska football. Most of the predictions I see from Texas people (reasonable Texas people, is that an oxymoron? Just asking...) are in the 20-point range.
Let's figure that Texas scores 21 points. Obviously we'll need 21 to match or better. If you give us a big play on special teams, blocked punt or kick, there's one-third. Our defense should be capable of a big play, say a Ndamukong Suh interception return (or Matt O'Hanlon, I'm not picky) for a touchdown (where he runs over Colt McCoy like a rag doll), there's another third.
Can our offense score seven points against Texas?
Statistics include national and conference rankings in parentheses.
|Rush YPG||147.42 (64/6)||163.92 (47/5)|
|Rush YPC||4.12 (69/6)||4.40 (50/3)|
|Rush TDS||18 (61/7)||27 (8/1)|
|Pass YPG||187.3 (93/9)||287.7 (13/3)|
|Pass YPA||7.0 (67/8)||7.5 (43/2)|
|Pass TDS||15 (75/10)||27 (10/3)|
|Pass Efficiency||128.95 (62/8)||148.5 (15/1)|
|Total Offense||334.8 (93/11)||451.6 (11/3)|
|Scoring Offense||25.6 (72/8)||43.0 (3/1)|
- Move along, there's nothing to see on the left side here.
- On the right side, it's interesting to note that Texas is eighth in the nation with rushing TDs. In fact, it's somewhat shocking with all the negativity about their run game. 14 of their 27 rushing TDs came against their non-conference opponents, leaving 13 for eight Big 12 games. That sounds better, doesn't it?
- 10 of Texas 27 passing TDs came against non-conference opponents.
- Texas longest rush of the season was that 65-yard run last week against the Aggies. McCoy had another long rush of 43 against the Aggies as well. Against Big 12 opponents, they've had only six rushing plays over 20 yards.
- Texas looks like they've gotten their running game together, largely because they've found a productive back. Running out of time, I'll expound on this later, hopefully this afternoon.
- The Longhorns longest pass of the season was an 88-yard pass against Central Florida from McCoy to Jordan Shipley (surprise, surprise). The pair hooked up for a 78-yarder against UL-Monroe. The longest against a Big 12 opponent was McCoy-Malcolm Wiliams for 68 yards. Against conference opponents, they've had 12 passes longer than 20 yards. Of those, only two were to Shipley. Four went to Williams, two to James Kirkendoll, and one to John Chiles.
|Rush YPG||101.08 (14/5)||61.75 (1/1)|
|Rush YPC||2.98 (12/5)||1.99 (1/1)|
|Rush TDS||6 (5/2)||5 (2/1)|
|Pass YPG||189.5 (17/2)||201.4 (39/3)|
|Pass YPA||5.4 (7/2)||5.6 (9/3)|
|Pass TDS||7 (3/1)||14 (34/4)|
|Total Defense||290.6 (11/3)||263.2 (5/1)|
|Scoring Defense||11.1 (3/1)||15.4 (9/3)|
- Oklahoma's defense is comparable to the Longhorns, so we've played a defense of this caliber before.
- We gave up three touchdown passes to Colorado, yet remain first in the nation in defending touchdown passes. It'd have been nice to have kept that number lower and remain in the "that's incredible" category (maybe we're still there, I'll look at that stuff after the season is over), but this is one key area between both these teams.
- The longest pass and run plays by our opponents both came in the Virginia Tech game, with a 46-yard by Ryan Williams and the disappointing 81-yard pass by Tyrod Taylor that helped them when the game.
- The 1.99 yard per carry given up by Texas defense is astounding. They've given up only six plays of over 20 yards all season. If that sounds awesome, the Blackshirts aren't far behind with eight. In passing plays of over 25 yards, Texas has given up 13, while Nebraska has given up 18.
|3rd Down Conversions (Pctg)||39.52 (59/6)||47.70 (13/2)|
|Red Zone Conversions (Score %)||80 (71/8)||92.86 (9/1)|
|Turnover Margin||+4 (39/5)||+12 (8/1)|
|Sacks||33 (12/5)||36 (5/3)|
|Tackles for Loss||74 (38/7)||103 (2/1)|
|Sacks Allowed||18 (40/5)||22 (61/6)|
|Punting (Avg)||41.98 (38/4)||38.94 (87/9)|
|Punt Returns||10.95 (37/5)||13.45 (14/2)|
|Kickoffs (Avg)||68.32 (1/1)||63.47 (34/5)|
|Kickoff Returns||23 (38/5)||28.31 (3/1)|
|Penalties (Yds/G)||64.6 (100/7)||57.9 (81/3)|
- I hate to say this, but it continues to bug me. Remove the eight turnovers from the Iowa State game (as if you could) and Nebraska's turnover margin would be one of the best in the nation. There. Done with that.
- Texas kickoff return man D.J. Monroe is ranked third nationally with a 35.79 yard average. He's scored two touchdowns, both against non-conference opponents, where his kickoff return average is 52 yard per return. Against Big 12 opponents, it's 26.78. Niles Paul is ranked 43rd, with a 25.36 average. Good news, though as Paul has gotten better. Against the Big 12, his average is slightly higher at 26.83 yards per return.
- We will need to pick up some third downs (Captain Obvious). We were 1-for-14 against Oklahoma, but kept them out of the end zone because they had a freshman quarterback. Colt McCoy - no freshman. Against Kansas and Kansas State, we were 7-for-16, and then digressed at Colorado where we went 3-for-10 (and played like crap). I don't know what you're thinking of as a solution, but I'm thinking of Rex Burkhead and Brandon Kinnie.
- I double-checked the penalty stat on Texas. Hey, perhaps we will pick up some holding calls this weekend.
|Total Offense Rank||Nebraska Opponent||Total Defense Rank||Total Offense Rank||Texas||Total Defense Rank|
|56||@Virginia Tech||13||7||Texas Tech||48|
- Both sides averages are nearly equal, which is expected when you play a lot of common opponents. I wasn't going to include this chart this time, but I really wanted to know about how their non-conference opponents, mostly because I could then do a little more smack talking.
- Funny that Texas A&M's defense is so horrible.