Thursday, September 8, 2011

Premature Box Score - Texas

BYU @ Texas, 7 pm ET/5 pm MT, ESPN2
Here is this week's peek into the future (prepare your mind for being blown). Daniel takes a look at what most certainly WILL happen Saturday, when the BYU Cougars meet the Texas Longhorns in Austin, Texas.

BYU 27, Texas 24

Heaps 24-40; 3 TDs; 1 INT; 231 yards

Quezada 8 carries for 39 yards, 1 TD
Di Luigi 10 carries for 42 yards
Kariya 3 carries 9 yards

Apo, 6 catches for 80 yards, 2 TD
Jacobson, 3 catches for 21 yards
Hoffman, 4 catches for 58 yards
Wilson, 2 catches for 18 yards
Falsley, 1 catch for 6 yards
Di Luigi, 8 catches for 48 yards, 1 TD

130 rush yards allowed
215 pass yards allowed
1/1 Fumbles Forced/Recovered

We don’t exactly have a huge sample size from which to draw, but after week one, this is without doubt the most accurate predictive box score on the internet.

Let’s take you through how we derived these numbers. First we made some assumptions:

Assumption 1: Texas looked a little sharper than Ole Miss did on opening weekend, with more offensive weapons and a quarterback, junior Garrett Gilbert, with a full season under his belt. Don’t expect quite the same dominant defensive performance from the Cougars.

Assumption 2: The BYU offense will be facing more defensive speed in Texas, but surely won’t be playing under the weight of so much rust. Di Luigi’s high reception numbers reflect Heaps’ perhaps too frequent reliance on checking all the way down to J.J. in downfield situations. But look for the Cougs to start spreading the field vertically and hitting deep targets Apo and Hoffman with more frequency.

(Receiving corps side note: During BYU's fourth quarter touchdown drive against Mississippi, they kept the drive going by hitting McKay Jacobson over the middle. With his speed, he outran linebackers and turned it up field to move the chains. Traditionally, Jacobson has almost exclusively been a deep threat—running fly routes and getting overthrown by a shaky freshman Jake Heaps until BYU basically abandoned the play altogether. My question: Why don’t they utilize him more midfield like they did this past Saturday? Jacobson can burn linebackers over the middle and Heaps and can place the ball with enough spice to help him avoid getting get laid out. Get to work on this, BYU--this first one is free.)

BYU’s offense looked thoroughly West Coast. This isn’t necessarily good or bad. Heaps is going to have to settle in to make the scheme work—a lot depends on hitting his men in stride and being opportunistic with downfield opportunities. Here’s hoping those opportunities come more frequently. Heaps has too much talent to basically play four to six yards down the field for 70 percent of the game.

The defense still plays a solid game, forcing two turnovers by the Longhorn offense. However, the secondary was aided by the Ole Miss WRs' inability to make big plays. Might not be the case against the Longhorns. A trick play here, maybe some blown coverage there, and Texas is in this until clock gets to 0:00.

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