It’s obvious now that Texas is in spring football practice, and it’s obvious that there’s a lot of defensive statistics that Texas fans ought to hate from 2016.
After all, Texas did fire its defensive coordinator mid-season, allow point after point to teams like Notre Dame, Cal, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and so on. So yeah, captain obvious here, but there are some bad defensive stats.
In our 50 facts for 50 days series leading up to the spring football game, here some defensive stats to hate from the 2016 season.
Texas gained 3,148 yards on the ground last season. Most coming from D’Onta Foreman, the Doak Walker Award Winner. They lost 277 of those yards to shrink down its net gained. But the defense didn’t take advantage of the rushing game. Texas defense surrendered 2,708 rushing yards, and netted about 2,277 yards. Texas averaged 4.8 yards per carry, Texas opponents 4.1 yards. Texas allowed 189.8 yards rushing per game and 23 touchdowns on the season.
Texas allowed 3,102 passing yards in 2016. They allowed 7.66 yards per passing play and 258 yards per game and allowed 22 touchdowns.
Overall, Texas allowed an average of 448.3 yards per game. In contrast, when Texas won the BCS National Championship in 2005, Texas allowed 302.9 yards per game. Charlie Strong’s first team allowed almost exactly 100 yards less than his last team at 348.5 yards.
Yards per play
Forget points for a second. Texas allowed 31.5 points per game, but averaged 31.92 points. Texas outscored teams 383-378. These aren’t good numbers, but scoring doesn’t tell the story.
Texas allowed 5.6 yards per play. Do the math. It took teams, on average, less than two plays to pick up a first down. This contributed in Texas losing the time of possession (often a stat that lies, but here a telling one) 6 hours and 20.48 minutes to 5:39:12. Opponents had the ball an hour longer because the Texas defense couldn’t get off the field. When Texas did hold offenses to a third down, opponents converted 38.10 percent of the time. The Texas offense converted just 36.08 percent of the time.
When teams ran the ball, they got 4.1 yards against Texas. When teams passed the ball, they got 7.66 yards. When teams caught the ball, Texas allowed 12.61 yards after a catch.
These. Are. Not. Good.
Red zone defense
The final stat to hate is the red zone defense. Texas allowed teams to score 40 times in 47 tries in the red zone, including 27 touchdowns. So 85 percent of the red zone opportunities opponents had, they scored on Texas. The Longhorns in contrast scored 44 times in 55 chances, about 80 percent of the time.
National Champion Clemson scored 87 percent of their red zone opportunities, while allowing teams to score just 74 percent of their opportunities. Furthermore, Oklahoma, who won the Big 12, scored 88 percent of the time in the red zone and allowed teams to score 78 percent of the time.
Texas allowed red zone touchdowns 57 percent of the time, while Oklahoma allowed red zone touchdowns 48 percent of the time.
So here’s the deal: Texas allowed teams to move down the field easily, taking less than two plays on average to pick up first downs, then once those teams got in the red zone, they scored 85 percent of the time, and most of the time they were touchdowns.
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