Tom Herman prepares for his first Orange-White Spring Game this week at Texas and it marks the first time fans will see him at Royal-Memorial Stadium coaching football on the sidelines.
But it’s not his first rodeo. Herman has been a head coach for two seasons at Houston and as part of our 50 facts in 50 days, let’s take a look at five facts you need to know about his teams.
Points per game
In 2016, Houston averaged 35.8 points per game, about five points fewer than the 40.4 points per game in 2015. Herman’s teams have scored a total of 1,032 points in two seasons, but Houston scored exactly 100 points less in 2016 than 2015. And it’s not just the offense scoring. Houston scored 87 points off turnovers in 2016 and 128 in 2015.
Houston averaged 147.1 yards per game in 2016 and 235.8 yards in 2015. It doesn’t take a Mensa member to figure out that Houston’s offense was better in year one under Herman than year two. A big part is that Houston ran the ball better in 2015. the difference is that Houston had better passing numbers in 2016 (296.3 yards per game) than 2015 (248.4).
Defense: opponents points per game
Houston’s defense allowed 20.7 points in 2015, making it nearly a 20-point average margin of victory in year one. Year two was a little tougher with an average margin of victory at about 12 points. Houston allowed 23.5 points, while scoring 35.8.
Rushing the passer
A lot has been made this spring about improving the Texas defensive line and getting the unit more aggressive. At Houston, Herman’s defense tallied 39 sacks in 2016 and 36 in 2017.
Red zone performance
Texas hasn’t been great in the red zone lately, and is one of the top areas the team needs to improve. Herman’s teams scored 86 percent of the time in the red zone last season, while allowing teams to score 88 percent of the time. But only 56 percent of those opponent scores resulted in touchdowns, while Houston scored touchdowns on 67 percent of their red zone opportunists.
In his first year, Houston scored touchdowns on 73 percent of its opportunities and scored 88 percent of the time. The red zone defense, however, was not as good. Teams scored 91 percent of the time on Houston in the red zone and 71 percent ended in touchdowns.
Translation: Herman’s first season saw a really good performance by his offense, while the defense outplayed the offense in year two.
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