The stats that mattered in Texas' 21-10 win over California in the Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl, from California's turnovers, to Texas' recruiting misfires, to Manny Diaz's ferocious defense.
5: Turnovers committed by California, four of the fumble variety. Texas allowed just 195 yards, forced five turnovers (worth 21.8 equivalent points, as defined here), sacked Zach Maynard six times ... and won by 11? This should have been a complete massacre. But Texas' own offensive limitations, along with quality defensive play from the Golden Bears, meant only 255 yards for the Longhorns and only a handful of scoring opportunities.
9: Three-and-outs. Texas had five, and Cal had four; plus, two other Cal drives ended within three plays because of a turnover. As I mentioned in the preview, fans of strong defense would probably enjoy the hell out of this game. I hope they did, because fans of offense, sustained drives, etc., didn't have much going for them in this one.
9.9: Average gain of the nine Texas plays involving Marquise Goodwin. The track star rushed twice for 33 yards (including a 37-yarder that set up the game's final touchdown) and caught three of six passes for 49 yards and a four-yard touchdown on a pass from receiver Jaxon Shipley.
The major problem for Texas: their other 50 plays gained just 176 yards, an average of 3.5 per play. Still some work to be done in Austin. And let's just say that while quarterback David Ash was not completely awful yesterday -- 14-for-23 passing, 142 yards, one touchdown, two sacks, 20 yards in six carries and, most importantly, no turnovers -- he also wasn't very good. If he were more accurate on deep balls, he would have twice found Goodwin on long bombs, and he undershot a couple of shorter passes as well. Let's just say that the timing of this article wasn't tremendously friendly to Texas. The Longhorns saw Robert Griffin III as only an "athlete," not a quarterback, and they didn't recruit Andrew Luck or Darron Thomas. Ouch.
13: Tackles for loss made by Texas. For as iffy as Texas' offense was (and will continue to be), defensive coordinator Keenan Robinson (2.5), Jordan Hicks (2.5, with 1.5 sacks), Jackson Jeffcoat (2.5, with two sacks) and safety Kenny Vaccaro (two). They are bigger, stronger and faster than you, but they always have been; this year, they were smarter, too. And at least temporarily, their 109 tackles for loss are the most in the country for the 2011 season. Cincinnati (107), Houston (102) and LSU (98) still have bowl games to play.earned his keep in his first year in Austin. The Longhorns were solid last year, but struggled a bit in the big-play and passing downs departments. Not this year, and not last night. Four different Texas defenders ended up with at least two tackles for loss --
170: Receiving yards pulled in by Cal receivers Marvin Jones and Keenan Allen. Their face-off with star Texas corners Quandre Diggs and Carrington Byndom was basically a draw -- they caught 17 of 23 passes (good) at 7.4 yards per target (mediocre) -- but a) Diggs still picked off a pass and broke up two others, and b) Texas negated any advantage these two derived by repeatedly wiping out Maynard before he could even get a pass away. (It is fun noting, by the way, that including eight rushing yards by Allen, the Allen-Jones duo gained 178 yards ... and the rest of the Cal offense gained 17.)