Cowboy Football: Numbers and Trends

We were asked back in August if we were going to include our projections on stats for this season in Go Pokes Magazine. For about five years running we did that in our August issue, but after last season we have discontinued that feature.

Everything runs it's course and that really did. Besides the last three seasons the Cowboys had become more consistent in their season numbers. We thought this weekly slice of numbers and trends would be more fun. We are now into our fifth week and we've been doing pretty good. We even have some season long numbers/trends that we will continue to follow each week.

Do not confuse this with Top Matchups and Predictions which will come out every Thursday. However, with some Cowboys fans calling my radio show on Triple Play Sports Radio and asking about some breakdowns, I decided that this new segment might be fun and interesting as we will take it week by week. We'll take some game specific and season long statistical breakdowns and look at them. Some will be more predictions and guesses, but some will become more trends as we progress through the season.

Okay, this week it is more numbers and trends. Oklahoma State goes into the game at Texas ranked No. 6 in all of the major polls and they are one of the most powerful offensive teams in the nation. The Cowboys are coming off a 70-28 win over Kansas in which many starters were pulled in the second quarter after OSU staked a 56-7 lead at intermission. Texas, meanwhile, lost their first game in being blasted by Oklahoma 55-17.

One of the most used stats or trends this week by those of the burnt orange persuasion will be that Mack Brown teams have never lost in the week after the Oklahoma game. They have not lost the week after regardless of whether they defeated or lost to the Sooners. I would love to tell you it is because they have always had a cake-walk team scheduled in that Saturday on the schedule, but that is not the case. Texas has earned that mark, just like they will have to earn it again this Saturday.

Texas Results the Week After OU Game Under Mack Brown

2010 - OU Loss - @#5-Nebraska 20-13

2009 - Beat OU - @Missouri 41-7

2008 - Beat OU - #11-Missouri 56-31

2007 - OU Loss - @Iowa State 56-3

2006 - Beat OU - Baylor 63-31

2005 - Beat OU - #24-Colorado 42-17

2004 - OU Loss - #24 Missouri 28-20

2003 - OU Loss - @Iowa State 40-19

2002 - OU Loss - @#17-Kansas State 17-14

2001 - OU Loss - @Oklahoma State 45-17

2000 - OU Loss - @Colorado 28-14

1999 - Beat OU - @#3-Nebraska 24-20

1998 - Beat OU - Baylor 30-20

That really is a sobering, but for Texas, a very impressive trend during the Mack Brown era. Oklahoma State fans have to hope that it fails for the first time under Brown this season. Last year the Cowboys broke through with a 33-16 win in Austin. Brown and Texas have a tremendous amount of respect for Oklahoma State, but the Longhorns believe they will prevail against long odds and a very potent offense.

Just for grins we decided to look back at the last three games in the series and what the two sides are averaging this year in several statistical categories in order to project what Oklahoma State and Texas will have this Saturday in the game.

2010 - OSU 33, Texas 16

Category - OSU - Texas

First Downs 25 18

Rushing 123 142

Passing 409 216

Total Off. 532 358

Turnovers 2 2

3rd Downs 10-16 7-16

Sacks 2 1

2009 - Texas 41, OSU 14

Category - OSU - Texas

First Downs 15 17

Rushing 134 99

Passing 148 176

Total Off. 277 275

Turnovers 1 5

3rd Downs 5-15 5-12

Sacks 2 0

2008 - Texas 28, OSU 24

Category - OSU - Texas

First Downs 22 32

Rushing 217 113

Passing 199 391

Total Off. 416 504

Turnovers 1 2

3rd Downs 5-12 11-14

Sacks 1 5

2011 Averages

Category - OSU - Texas

First Downs 29.6 20

Rushing 146.2 172

Passing 431.2 216.4

Total Off. 577.4 388.4

Turnovers 1.4 2

3rd Downs 8.5-16 6-15

Sacks 2.8 1.2

So what does OSU need to do offensively and defensively to win the game. Here is our projection.

2011 Projection OSU vs. Texas

First Downs 27 18

Rushing 128 166

Passing 441 198

Total Off. 569 364

Turnovers 1 2

3rd Downs 8-15 7-14

Sacks 3 1

Now to the review portion of our "Numbers and Trends." Last week this was our prediction for Oklahoma State offensive numbers against Kansas.

Prediction: 2011 vs. KU - 579-yds of total offense with 193-yds rushing and 386-yds passing

Actual: 2011 vs, Kansas - 600-yds of total offense with 106-yds rushing and 478-yds passing

We were off just a bit, but that is OK. I don't think anybody is arguing with the results or the final score.

We are still following our trends and predictions from a couple of weeks ago on tempo and how many plays the Oklahoma State offense runs under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. They have run more plays at a higher tempo thus far than Dana Holgorsen last season, and, in fact, almost reversed their numbers from the Texas A&M game a year ago. Monken's offense has used tempo to wear down several opponents and they are capable of going very fast. The number came down some against Kansas, but that was because the Cowboys were embarrassing the Jayhawks. Late in the game they also went almost exclusively to the run.

Last Season Opponent - # Plays by OSU - # Plays by Opp. This Season Predictions - # Plays by OSU - # Plays by Opponent followed by Actual

Washington State - 81 - 71 ULL - 87 - 71

Troy - 76 - 76 Arizona - 84 - 72

Tulsa - 77 - 79 @Tulsa - 88 - 79 Actual - OSU 88, Tulsa 85

Texas A&M - 68 - 106 @Texas A&M - 78 - 81 Actual - OSU 95, A&M 74

@ULL - 87 - 83 Kansas - 91 - 62 Actual - OSU 76, Kansas 81

@Texas Tech - 81 - 83 @Texas - 80 - 72

Nebraska - 71 - 79 @Missouri - 88 - 84

@Kansas State - 75 - 75 Baylor - 85 - 84

@Texas - 75 - 70 Kansas State - 77 - 69

@Kansas - 86 - 66 @Texas Tech - 84 - 80

Oklahoma - 66 - 107 Oklahoma - 78 - 78

Alamo Bowl/Arizona - 88 - 61 2011 Bowl Game - ?

After week two Joseph Randle has virtually doubled up Jeremy Smith in yards per carry and touchdowns. The question begs, why wouldn't you just keep Randle in more and give him more carries?

Head coach Mike Gundy answered that question, in part, when he talked about Smith coming in to run on fresh legs. The other part of that answer is that Smith is given different circumstances to run the football. Smith gets the ball on a lot of the short yardage and goal line situations when defenses are stacked to stop the run. You can call those the tough yards if you like.

Our question is, at the end of the year will the disparity of yards per carry and touchdowns be the same, almost two-to-one that it is after two games?

I will say that it won't and here are my projections for the stat line of both players at the end of the regular season, not counting the bowl game.

Here goes:

Joseph Randle: 217 carries - 1,257-yards - 5.79-ypc - 17 TDs

Jeremy Smith: 111 carries - 584-yards - 5.26-ypc - 11 TDs

The current numbers are:

Randle: 90 carries - 484-yards - 5.4-ypc - 8 TDs

Smith: 44 carries - 214-yards - 4.9-ypc - 5 TDs

You can see that we have Smith catching up in both yards per carry and in touchdowns. Randle will still have a sizable advantage in both, but he will not have Smith doubled up. The prevailing influence on these number will continue to be the situations that the two backs are dealing with when they collect their carries.


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