Every week this fall, we’re looking at a number related to Texas football. Today’s notable number is 12.
Twelve is the number worn by nobody on Texas’ roster because the Longhorns retired that jersey in 2010 in honor of Colt McCoy. Twelve of linebacker Malik Jefferson’s 19 tackles have been solo stops, and John Burt has turned his 12 catches into a team-high 175 yards. Ricky Williams ran for 200 yards 12 times in his career, which is impressive since Chris Gilbert sits at No. 2 in the Texas record books with four 200-yard games.
Twelve also represents the number of wins that Texas has compiled since 2008 following at least a 10-day break on its schedule.
Texas is 12-3 in those games — a sample size that excludes season openers and bowl games — over the past eight years. (That .800 winning percentage compares favorably to the .603 percentage posted in games with less than 10 days of rest). Only four of those post-bye victories came against teams that ended that season with a winning record, but those triumphs include a 2010 takedown of Nebraska and a stuffing of Texas Tech on Thanksgiving of 2013.
Texas is idle this week, and two weeks will have passed between the 50-43 loss to Cal on Sept. 17 and its next game at Oklahoma State on Oct. 1.
“I’m not going to be mad at the extra time,” senior right guard Kent Perkins said. “The more time you have, the more time you get to prepare for an opponent, so that’s just the time that we can get together as a team and focus on the little things and get those back in order.”
In addition to preparing for an Oklahoma State team that is set to meet Baylor this weekend, Texas (2-1) will attempt to cure some of its ails. Those problems, of course, begin with a much-maligned defense:
- Of the 128 FBS teams, Texas ranks in a tie for 105th in scoring defense (34.7 ppg) and a tie for 70th in yards allowed (386.3 ypg).
- No team has forced fewer turnovers than Texas, which has only had DeShon Elliott’s fumble recovery against UTEP.
- Texas has already allowed a team to top 200 rushing yards (Notre Dame) and to pass for nearly 400 yards (Cal).
Texas entered this bye week with one of the nation’s top scoring offenses (44.7 ppg) and total offenses (500.3 ypg), and D’Onta Foreman and Chris Warren III were the top two rushers in the Big 12. Not that the offense got to take this week off. The Longhorns are tied for 65th in third-down conversions, and the team had faced the nation’s 94th-, 117th- and 119th-rated scoring defenses. (Texas is responsible for the season-high score for only one of those defenses.)
“I think the bye is a good thing for us,” linebacker Timothy Cole said. “You can go back and reevaluate everything. Coming off this loss, you can go correct things that you did wrong, and it gives you an extra week to prepare for your next opponent.”
After this 13-day break, Texas will not see another bye week until after its regular-season finale against TCU on Nov. 25. Over its upcoming nine-week stretch of games against Big 12 opponents, the lack of a bye will leave Texas with little room for error in regards to adjustments and injuries.
“That’s what’s going to be tough for you; you’ve got to go nine in a row,” head coach Charlie Strong said. “That’s the way the schedule is, and that’s why we have to take it on.”
PAST NOTABLE NUMBERS
Aug. 31: 4, and Texas’ new receivers
Sept. 8: 14, and Texas’ 18 Wheeler
Sept. 15: 21, and Texas’ penalties