Keeping the Pace

Texas averaged about 68.5 plays per game last year. What would the Longhorns' stats look like if they played at their projected (or wanted) 2013 tempo?

Texas has expressed a desire to get between 80-85 plays a game in 2013, up at least 11.5 plays per contest from where they were in 2012. With those plays, of course, comes added opportunities for yardage. But what kind of yardage are we talking about, exactly? has broken down last year's stats, and then factored in what they would have been with more plays per game. Note: nothing about a player's usage has changed. Texas passed the ball on approximately 44.7 percent of its attempts last year, with David Ash accounting for about 79.7 percent of Texas's passing attempts. Neither of those rates have been changed. Instead, we're now looking at those same percentages, only laid out over 80 to 85 plays.

In case of decimals, statistics have been rounded.

David Ash

Actual Stats — 2,699 passing yards, 19 passing touchdowns

80 Plays Per Game — 3,158 yards, 22 touchdowns

85 Plays Per Game — 3,374 yards, 24 touchdowns

Johnathan Gray

Actual Stats — 701 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns, 151 receiving yards, receiving one touchdown

80 Plays Per Game — 820 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns, 177 receiving yards, one receiving touchdown

85 Plays Per Game — 876 rushing yards, four touchdowns, 189 receiving yards, one receiving touchdown

Mike Davis

Actual Stats — 939 receiving yards, seven touchdowns

80 Plays Per Game — 1,099 yards, eight touchdowns

85 Plays Per Game — 1,174 yards, nine touchdowns

Jaxon Shipley

Actual Stats — 737 receiving yards, six touchdowns

80 Plays Per Game — 862 yards, seven touchdowns

85 Plays Per Game — 921 yards, eight touchdowns


Now, I want to take a brief look at what I call "speed touches." These are the plays where the Longhorns got the ball into the hands of their speedy playmakers, Marquise Goodwin, Daje Johnson and D.J. Monroe, either by rush or reception. Both Goodwin and Monroe have moved on, but the point remains valid — the job of any offense is to get the ball into the hands of the guys who can make plays. And with more plays per game, even if the rate of "speed touches" stays the same, it still gives you more times per contest that those players see the ball.

Speed Touches

Actual Stats — 110 total, 8.46 per game

80 Plays Per Game — 128.7 total, 9.9 per game

85 Plays Per Game — 137.5 total, 10.58 per game

So, even without making a more consistent effort to ensure that guys like Johnson touch the ball, Texas would see more plays allocated for its fast players per contest. Last year, those 110 total touches combined for 1,171 yards, or 10.6 yards per touch. If Texas gets 85 plays per game, and therefore gets those players 137.5 touches over the course of the season (as above), those touches would be worth 1,464 yards. And that's an increase in both touches and yardage that most people would be happy with.

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