Stat Guy: 10 telling numbers

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Freshman tailback Malcolm Brown has been a huge part of a Texas running attack that has averged 210.42 rushing yards per game this season.
Freshman tailback Malcolm Brown has been a huge part of a Texas running attack that has averged 210.42 rushing yards per game this season.

There is no doubt the 2011 season has been a roller coaster for the Texas football team. It was equally dizzying for the Stat Guy, who began the year predicting a bounceback season for Garrett Gilbert and ended it looking at Case McCoy and David Ash, trying to determine the more efficient of the two. Without further ado, the most important statistics of Texas’ season.

10) Seven wins, five losses

Coming off the first losing season in the Mack Brown era in 2010, the Longhorns regrouped, flip-flopped their record and became bowl-eligible. The margin of victory was 22, the margin of defeat 18.

9) 1,206 kickoff return yards

Between running back Fozzy Whittaker and other return men, the Longhorns finished the regular season ranked 18th in the nation in kickoff return yards, averaging 24.12 yards per game. Whittaker took two returns back for touchdowns.

8) 17-for-20 on field goals

With senior kicker Justin Tucker most likely on his way to the NFL, the Longhorns have a big shoe to fill in the kicking department. Tucker became the latest to boot a big game-winner, hitting a 40-yarder to top Texas A&M as time expired. He also handled punting and kickoff duties.

7) 23 sacks

After a slow start to the season, the Texas defensive front came alive to pile up almost two sacks a game. Defensive ends Alex Okafor — providing he comes back for his senior year — and Jackson Jeffcoat will be major threats in 2012.

6) 103.67 rushing yards allowed per game

Texas has finished the regular season ranked No. 11 in the nation in rushing yards allowed. The defense will have to keep that up next year, despite losing front-seven stalwarts Kheeston Randall, Emmanuel Acho and Keenan Robinson.

5) 23.25 points allowed per game

The Longhorns finished 42nd in the nation in this category, a low-ranking compared to some of the defenses of the past. It probably didn’t help that so many offensive turnovers gave opposing teams a short field.

4) 28.67 points per game

A statistic that places the Longhorns No. 52 in the nation, unchartedly low water for a Bryan Harsin offense.

3) 210.42 rushing yards per game

The rushing offense came alive in 2011, with the emergence of freshman running backs Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron.

2) Six games missed

Then, of course, Bergeron and Brown combined to miss six games, dramatically affecting the Texas offense down the final stretch of the year.

1) Five starts vs. five starts

Quarterbacks David Ash and Case McCoy each started five games, with mixed results. No matter what people say, the key to success in the future is finding a capable starter at quarterback.
 

Printed on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 as: Breaking down the 10 best stats of the 2011 season