Longhorns No. 1 In Polls, No. 111 In Pass Defense

Undefeated Texas giving up nearly 300 yards per game in the air

For the No. 1 team in the country, pure statistics say Texas plays some lousy pass defense. To which the Longhorns reply: Stats are for losers.

It's a catchy slogan from first-year coordinator Will Muschamp that masks some ugly numbers. That's even if the hard truth remains that Texas is unbeaten heading into Saturday's game against No. 7 Oklahoma State (7-0, 3-0).

Texas (7-0, 3-0) ranks 111th against the pass. That's two notches below where the Longhorns' finished last season, prompting coach Mack Brown to raid Auburn's coaching staff to hire Muschamp.

The Longhorns give up an average of 275 yards passing a game and opponents have hit them for 12 passing touchdowns.

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But what do numbers like that really mean?

The Longhorns play in a league dominated by some of the country's best quarterbacks and most prolific passing offenses. And the way the Longhorns have been building big leads early, like that 35-0 start against Missouri, teams are throwing the ball in a desperate attempt to catch up.

After seven weeks of opponents who pass first, run second, Texas faces a Cowboys team that ranks among the best in the country on the ground. The Cowboys average 283 yards rushing.

That should play right to Texas' strength. The Longhorns have been tough against the run, giving up just 48 yards per game. That's second in the nation, and Texas hasn't given up a rushing touchdown until last week. For the No. 1 team in the country, pure statistics say Texas plays some lousy pass defense. To which the Longhorns reply: Stats are for losers.

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