60 days, 60 stats: No. 44

Each day, as a countdown to fall camp opening on Aug. 2, we are going to provide you with a number that was important in 2011 and let you know why it will be important in 2012.

To win in the Big 12, teams have to score. A lot.

Texas scored 44 touchdowns in 2011. That’s not a lot.

Not in the Big 12. Not when Oklahoma State had 81 and Baylor 80.

Inside the number

Only Kansas and Iowa State scored fewer touchdowns than Texas in the Big 12. If the Longhorns want to compete in 2012, expect the touchdown number to rise to at least more than 50.

Just for a point of reference, Texas scored 68 touchdowns in 2009, also known as the last year Texas was good on offense. (The Longhorns scored 31 in 2010.)

There is plenty of reason to believe Texas should score more than 44 touchdowns in 2012. First off, New Mexico State is on the schedule.

Where it counts in 2012

Texas should be better in the red zone than it was in 2011. Texas was completely ineffective passing in the red zone last season. The Longhorns had a pass efficiency rating of 66 percent in the red zone in 2011. That’s the lowest ever for any team in Big 12 play.

The reason for the red zone improvement should be threefold. First the running game is better, although Texas still has to settle on a wild back. That was its most effective offensive set in the red zone in 2011.

Secondly, depth is better especially along the line, meaning that Texas should be able to wear down opponents therefore taking advantage of long, methodical drives as well as second half scoring opportunities.

And finally the quarterback and receiver play should be much improved. David Ash might be trusted to throw a few more red zone fades in 2012 and he should have the receivers who can go up and get them.