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Piling On

Okay, it's Friday and the Longhorns have a game tomorrow against Missouri. So I feel a little behind the times posting yet another piece on our offense's struggles against Oklahoma. I spent the last few days following our depressing win preparing for and defending a soul-crushing deposition. So I've had a shitty week. Please indulge my tardy addition to the board.

What do I have to add to the brilliant analyses posted, in a more timely fashion, by LonghornScott, Scipio and others? A pretty picture, documenting an ugly truth.

That chart above illustrates the Longhorns' offensive performance against Oklahoma over the past 11 seasons, with the Sooners' national rank in total defense for that year. The metric I used to judge Texas' output is the percentage above (or below) OU's average YPGA that season. For 2009, I've removed OU's game against I-AA (or whatever the hell ridiculous acronym it's called now) Idaho State. I think it's fair to compare Texas to other Division I teams.

The takeaway is this: over the past 11 years, Texas has exceeded OU's average YPGA in each of the three seasons where Oklahoma was not ranked in the Top 25 in overall defense. In only two seasons has Texas exceeded OU's average YPGA when Oklahoma was ranked in the Top 25 in total defense: 2003 and 2005. And we all know who was taking snaps at that time.

Before Texas kicked off its 2009 campaign, I pondered whether our amazing production in 2008 was a result of the collectively pathetic quality of the opposing defenses. I generally agree with the theory that, under Greg Davis, the Longhorn offense is well-suited to crush outmatched defenses but shows its ass against any team with talent and intelligence on the defensive side. The Oklahoma game is a striking example of that general trend.

Without Vince Young in the backfield, Greg Davis has shown absolutely no ability to generate even average numbers against top-notch Oklahoma defenses. None. Since 1999, Texas has faced an Oklahoma defense ranked 16th or better 5 times without Vince Young at QB. In all five of those games, Texas failed to gain the average number of yards allowed by Oklahoma that season. And the Horns managed to undergain the average against OU even with Vince at the helm, in 2004. Given Texas' talent level, that performance record is astounding. It's the kind of record that, absent unusual circumstances, typically gets people fired for incompetence.