Texas Tech Football Offseason Theorems | Explosive Rushing Plays Relative to Field Position

AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 5: Running back Kenny Williams #34 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders is stopped from scoring on the goal line in the fourth quarter by linebacker Tevin Jackson #42 and other Texas Longhorn defenders on November 5, 2011 at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. Texas beat Texas Tech 52-20. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
Previous Texas Tech Football Offseason Theorems
* All Players Need to Contribute | Finding a Tight End and Utilizing Roster Spots
* Do Not Expect a True Freshman to Make an Immediate Impact | Reworking the Defensive Line
* Dynamic Offensive Playmakers Make a Difference, Part I
* Dynamic Offensive Playmakers Make a Difference, Part II
* Production Rate of the Texas Tech Defense
* Production Rate of the Big 12 Defenses
* Explosive Passing Plays Relative to Field Position
* What is Realistic Improvement on Defense

The offseason is filled with questions, especially this year. Rather than ask those questions and not offer any solutions, I thought it would be interesting to offer theorems, i.e. all right angles are congruent, and you tell me if you think they're true or not. Here are your previous Texas Tech Football Offseason Theorems:

Last time we discussed the idea of the explosive play in relation to the pass plays and today I wanted to take a look at the explosive plays in relation to the rushing plays.

Again, much thanks and much props to the terrific statistics website, CFBStats. Go give them a click to who your appreciation for having that site because I can't do what I do if they don't do what they do.

So the last time that we met, I tried to lay out the idea that the offense has fewer explosive plays on Texas Tech's end of the field and had additional issues scoring touchdowns in some spots in comparison to previous year. Last week I also acknowledged that I'm not a math major, that these are relatively simple equations and that's the way that I like it. If anyone has any way to improve on this, then please let me know.

I'd also say that I think if I were to do this exercise with Eric Stephens being healthy all year, then there's a good chance that these numbers are different, but the actual difference is something that we could probably debate for eternity. That's a really tough "what-if" game and I think it's impossible to guess, but I think that Stephens is a good player and if he were healthy then he would have made some difference. Now, let's get to it:

Own 1 To 20 Yd Ln

Year G Att Yards Avg. TD Long 1st 10+ 20+ EP % TD %
2011 10 46 207 4.50 0 18 5 5 0 10.87% 0.00%
2010 13 53 287 5.42 1 86 9 6 3 16.98% 1.89%
2009 11 28 145 5.18 0 35 4 5 2 25.00% 0.00%
2008 11 27 166 6.15 0 20 10 6 1 25.93% 0.00%

A decrease from 2009 to 2010 and significant decease from 2010 to 2011. Again, Stephens probably would have helped here. The most interesting thing here is the number of rushing attempts, which essentially doubled once OC Brown took charge. That's more interesting to me than anything else. Again, not as explosive and the yards/attempt average was pretty good for 2010, but fell off in 2011.

More after the jump.

Own 21 To 39 Yd Ln

Year G Att Yards Avg. TD Long 1st 10+ 20+ EP % TD %
2011 12 112 469 4.19 0 48 34 13 3 14.29% 0.00%
2010 13 117 362 3.09 0 25 23 10 2 10.26% 0.00%
2009 13 68 212 3.12 0 44 16 11 1 17.65% 0.00%
2008 13 72 405 5.63 0 49 20 14 4 25.00% 0.00%

Again, it's the number of carries that's most surprising here and what you should somewhat pay attention to is the idea that the Brown is increasing his rushing attempts in Texas Tech's end of the field more than in the opponent's end of the field. This is where Texas Tech is running the ball more under Brown, which is not what I would have guessed. I would have guessed that the rushing attempts would have increased when Texas Tech moved the ball into the opponent's end of the field. This is where those additional rushing attempts are coming from on a game-by-game basis. The number of explosive plays is about the same, but because there are more attempts, those number of explosive plays aren't happening at the rate of 2009 and 2008. Not at all surprised that over the past four years there was one rushing touchdown when Texas Tech was within their own 40 yard line.

Own 40 To Opp 40 Yd Ln

Year G Att Yards Avg. TD Long 1st 10+ 20+ EP % TD %
2011 12 82 361 4.40 2 51 23 8 2 12.20% 2.44%
2010 13 116 545 4.70 0 43 35 19 5 20.69% 0.00%
2009 13 95 358 3.77 0 33 29 16 3 20.00% 0.00%
2008 13 80 447 5.59 1 44 32 15 5 25.00% 1.25%

This is where things are probably most troubling, but OC Brown appeared to be on the right track in 2010, things fell off in 2011. Again, I think that having Stephens helps these numbers. I almost am starting to think that 2011 is the aberration rather than what we can expect as OC Brown, for the most part, is keeping pace with prior years, but has had quite a few more attempts in 2010. OC Brown and Leach increased the number of rushing attempts when Potts and Potts/Sheffield were on this part of the field.

Opp 39 To 21 Yd Ln

Year G Att Yards Avg. TD Long 1st 10+ 20+ EP % TD %
2011 11 70 282 4.03 1 28 22 8 5 18.57% 1.43%
2010 13 74 460 6.22 3 39 24 17 4 28.38% 4.05%
2009 13 57 155 2.72 1 21 12 6 1 12.28% 1.75%
2008 13 55 301 5.47 3 38 25 12 4 29.09% 5.45%

So OC Brown appears to be doing some good things here. A high percentage of explosive plays, did a significantly better job of explosive rushing plays in 2010 than Leach did 2009 and OC Brown's 2010 was pretty much on pace with Leach's most explosive offense in 2008. I think this is encouraging and I am starting to think that Stephens' injury was more significant to this offense than we've previously thought. Still, this wasn't as bad as I would have thought considering a good chunk of the year Brown was playing with two true freshmen in the backfield.

Opp 20 To 1 Yd Ln (RZ)

Year G Att Yards Avg. TD Long 1st 10+ 20+ EP % TD %
2011 11 81 183 2.26 17 14 19 5 0 6.17% 20.99%
2010 12 77 183 2.38 13 17 15 5 0 6.49% 16.88%
2009 13 71 222 3.13 23 19 15 7 0 9.86% 32.39%
2008 11 83 213 2.57 24 18 18 4 0 4.82% 28.92%

Obviously, explosive plays are incredibly tough to come by in this part of the shortened field, so I don't put too much stock into them one way or another. I thought that if you added Leach's two years (11 total) and Brown's two years (10) it's about the same.

What I do find surprising is that the attempts are pretty much the same from OC Brown to Leach, so they both rush the ball about the same number of times, however, the biggest difference is the touchdown percentage which is significantly different as is the yards/attempt. I'd love some theories as to why there is a decrease for both figures.


It sounds strange, but I'm encouraged and hopeful all at the same time. I think I was slightly discouraged last week when I took a the passing numbers, but I'm somewhat encouraged that the numbers are more similar than not. There's room for improvement for OC Brown, but I still can't shake how important it is to have a running back that knows how to pass protect and has a few years to figure out the running lanes in spread offense like Stephens had. I don't think that the fact that he was injured for a good part of the year should be discounted and was maybe more significant than not.

I'd also add that I think what I would like to see is fewer rushing attempts while Texas Tech is inside their own 40 yard line and we'll discuss in a future post the combination of passing attempts and rushing attempts and how they all work together, but I think this may be part of the cause as to why the offense isn't as explosive.

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