1. How Will Texas respond following yet another controversial week?
Following the 30-7 smacking the Longhorns took from Iowa state, Texas found themselves in the news once again. A video released by a Texas player in which defensive line coach Bo Davis ripped into the players gained national attention. Hearing the audio by Davis provided confidence the coaches care and want to bring the Texas program back to where it deserves to be. The problem for years in Austin has been the lack of caring about losing as much as they care about being a football player at Texas. The player who released the video hasn’t been named, but he should be kicked off the team plain and simple. While Saturday's game against Kansas should be a relatively easy win, it will serve as a barometer for Davis' message. The Longhorns need players who love football and will do anything to win.
2. Can the Longhorns find a passing game?
Texas has struggled mightily in the passing game since they were defeated in Dallas by Oklahoma. Whether it’s Hudson Card or Casey Thompson under center, the team needs to find one. Bijan Robinson is a game-time decision and if he doesn’t play, it's even more critical that Texas succeed through the air. While Kansas is still a bad football team, they did manage to shutout Oklahoma for an entire half and hung with them until the end of the game. Steve Sarkisian during his Thursday press conference declined to name a starting quarterback but mentioned that both would play. At this point in the season they aren't in the mix for a conference championship but a bowl game is still on the table if they can win 2 of their last 3 games. Also on the quarterback front, it's highly possible that Sarkisian will be hunting the portal to see what he can find.
3. Will Texas finally be able to stop the run?
It’s the question I’ve been asking frankly all season. Week after week it never fails - the opponent runs for 200 plus on the ground. Kansas averages 138.3 yards per game on the ground and if Texas can’t hold them to under that average then it could spell trouble for the game's outcome. We all thought the defensive line would be a team strength and while it’s certainly not, they should be able to impose their will against the Kansas offensive line. After the world saw their position coach light them up I would expect the line to play with some fire. We will see on Saturday how many players in this program belong at Texas long-term.
4. Can Texas finally win the battle on the headset?
Texas should never lose the coaching battle. Since Week 1 against Louisiana, I’m not sure they have won the coaching advantage one time. The Longhorns can’t ever lose that battle against the Jayhawks, much less a first year head coach in Lance Leipold. If Texas can win the coaching matchup there’s no reason the Longhorns can’t win this game in a big manner.