Bits and Bytes: Texas

There's extended tailgating before the Texas game, so to help pass the time we bring you a Saturday morning compendium of news and notes.

BlueGoldNews.com Game Scorecard
Sat 11/9 7:00 PM ET

Morgantown, WV

Mountaineer Field at
Milan Puskar Stadium
Record: 4-5/2-4

Last Game
TCU 30-27 W
TV: FOX
Sirius/XM: 92/196
Web: BlueGoldNews.com
Record: 6-2/5-0

Last Game
Kansas 35-13 W
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2013 Schedule

Series: WVU 2-0

First Meeting: 1956
Last Meeting: 2012
Rosters/Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2013 Schedule


HOME GROUNDS

Texas has a reputation for plucking some choice recruits from other states, but the numbers on its most recent roster don't bear that assumption out. Of the 120 players listed, how many hail from outside the Lone Star State? And for bonus points, how many come from other countries.


ON THE EDGE

A year ago, Texas had a talented defensive line, but injuries and underachievement kept it from being a dominant force. This year, the script has been flipped. The Longhorns have started the same four defensive linemen in every game, and the results have been outstanding.

Defensive end Cedric Reed and Buck Jackson Jeffcoat have been particularly impressive. Reed leads the team with 54 tackles, and has 11 TFLs and five sacks included in those stops. He's also broken up four passes and forced three fumbles – one of only three players in the nation with the five-four-three combination. Jeffcoat is right behind, having recorded 44 tackles (12 for loss) and six sacks.

West Virginia will have to figure out a way to neutralize the rampaging pair if it hopes to give quarterback Clint Trickett time to throw. He's shown a tendency to try to roll outside away from pressure, but he'll have to step up inside their rush at times to keep them from pushing him deeper into the backfield.


SHUFFLE

While West Virginia's numbers don't show massive improvement, the defense has played better at times during this season. The fact that any increase in efficiency is seen at all is something of a miracle, given the shuffling that has occurred across the unit this year due to injury and the search for performance upgrades.

A quick scan of just the starting lineups this year shows 17 different players have been on the field for the first defensive snap of at least one game. At least 29 have played at least one defensive snap from scrimmage, with only one of them having appeared in a blowout situation.


CHANGE IN MID-STREAM

Most coaching changes that occur in mid-year don't yield immediate results, but the hiring\elevation of Greg Robinson to defensive coordinator has coincided with better UT defensive play.

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Robinson was a "consultant" for the Texas program going into the season, but was hired after the loss to BYU. The results weren't immediate, as another loss to Mississippi immediately followed, but since then the Longhorns are yielding just 3.5 yards per carry. The pass rush has also improved, and UT is giving up just 13 points per game in its last three outings. The last five games have also seen Texas improve its overall defensive ranking from 77 to 38 and its pass efficiency defense rate from 51 to 21.

Even more impressively, Texas has done this without linebacker Jordan Hicks, who was lost for the season after suffering an Achilles tendon rupture against Kansas State.


FEW MILESTONES

Dana Holgorsen has had numerous players with season records of 1,000 yards rushing or receiving, or 3,000 yards passing, but only one player has a chance to join any of those groups this year. Running back Charles Sims has 754 rushing yards this year, and would need to average 82 yards per game in WVU's final three regular season games to get to 1,000. If the Mountaineers make it to a bowl game, he would need to gain only 62 per contest.


DEFICITS

Through nine games, WVU trails its opponents in nearly every major statistical category. Only in the punting game (net punting and punt return average) do the Mountaineers hold an edge.


EVERYBODY GETS A TROPHY

Texas bestows 14 awards at its annual football banquet, and many of those include multiple winners. Last year 24 such awrds were handed out, including one for rehabilitation seven for most spirited and three for tenacity.


TRIVIA ANSWER

Just 12 players on the roster come from states other than Texas. The Longhorns also feature two players with listed hometowns outside the U.S: placekicker Michael Davidson of Aberdeen, Scotland and defensive end Logan Vimont of Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia.


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