Stat Guy: Manny Diaz saved his worst for last

David Leffler

“Missed tackle,” “blown assignment,” “another missed tackle” and “touchdown Brigham Young.” For those who suffered through Texas’ loss at BYU this past weekend, the firing of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was expected. In fact, any lesser course of action would have been a surprise. Never before did a Longhorn defense look as overwhelmed as it did Saturday, providing one of the most embarrassing moments in program history. As a final salute to Diaz, here is a statistical look at just how bad things got in Provo, Utah, on Saturday.

While BYU quarterback Taysom Hill is clearly talented, he’s no Vince Young. Yet, Hill’s 259 rushing yards left him just eight yards shy of Young’s FBS record of 267 yards, accomplished in 2005. The unofficial stat was 24 missed tackles by the Longhorn defense. And it’s not as if Hill’s arm opened things up for the run game. Hill’s 34.6 completion percentage (9 for 26) was unimpressive, resulting in only 129 yards through the air. That’s right, the quarterback logged twice as many yards on the ground as he did through the air.

Hill wasn’t the only Cougar to prey on the Longhorn run defense. BYU running back Jamaal Williams played his part, too, gashing Texas for 183 yards on 30 carries. While his 6.1 yards-per-carry average pales in comparison to Hill’s 15.2-yard average, both are well above the FBS average.

BYU’s run game was stellar from start to finish, but the first half was particularly notable. By halftime, Texas had already surrendered 349 rushing yards, the most ever in a single half during the Mack Brown era. The Longhorns also scored three of their four touchdowns in the first 30 minutes.

Unfortunately for Brown, the Cougars didn’t let up. By the time the third quarter was over, BYU had already broken the record for most rush yards against a Texas defense, formerly held by Rice which torched Texas for 452 rushing yards back in 1997. When it was all said and done, the Cougars shattered the record, posting a total of 550 yards on 72 carries for a team average of 7.6 yards per carry. That was more than double the
Longhorns YPC mark of 3.4 in the game. 

Texas didn’t just lose its first non-conference road game since 2000 — it got stomped. With the talent, facilities and payroll dedicated to this program, Brown and Diaz have no excuse for this kind of performance. Greg Robinson is here to save the day, but for this defense, it may be too late.