Texas is in the midst of a 4-game losing streak that has dropped their record below .500 for the first time this season. The good news for the Longhorns is Kansas is coming to town, and they are a very bad football team. The bad news for the Longhorns is their last 2 meetings with the Jayhawks have been very close victories.
The Jayhawks are ranked last in the Big 12 in total offense. Transfer Jason Bean has started every game for the Jayhawks this year at QB but is currently questionable for Saturday's game after suffering an injury against Kansas State last week. Backup QB Miles Kendrick also exited the game after going down, so if Bean is unable to go against the Longhorns they will be forced to turn to Jalon Daniels, who actually played quite a bit in 2020 as a freshman but had planned to take a redshirt this year. Regardless of who starts at QB, the passing attack is not good. As a team, they are completing 57.8% of their passes and have thrown 9 touchdowns compared to 7 interceptions.
The running game hasn't been much better than the passing game for Kansas. They are averaging a lowly 3.7 yards per carry, which ranks 9th in the Big 12. Freshman Devin Neal receives the bulk of the carries and has 505 yards and 4 touchdowns on the year.
The offense as a whole relies heavily on the RPO game to protect a bad offensive line. Kansas will also play some option football and try to put defenders into conflict to generate big plays. The game everyone remembers is the near upset of Oklahoma. In that game, Kansas did a really good job of staying ahead of the chains, chewing clock and utilizing the RPO game early to put the Sooners on their heels. I expect the same type of gameplan this week.
Kansas has not been able to stop anyone on defense all season. They are giving up 7.4 yards per play, ranking dead last in the Big 12. They are the only team in the Big 12 that has allowed over 2,000 yards rushing on the season. The Jayhawks have struggled all season to get push up front and generate a pass rush. Despite the struggles of the Texas offensive line, this is a matchup the Longhorns will have an advantage in when it comes to the trenches.
The backend of the defense hasn't been much better. The Jayhawks are relying heavily on two true freshman at corner and it shows. This will need to be a get right game for the Texas passing attack.
If Texas doesn't put up 35+ points in this matchup, it be a major disappointment.
Kansas isn't good, but who knows what Texas team is going to show up at DKR Saturday night. The Longhorns would be without some key players who exited last weeks game against Iowa State. If Texas comes out slow and allows Kansas hang around for the first half, they will be treated to a nail-baiter similar to the one Oklahoma experienced in Lawrence.
Steve Sarkisian has a lot he needs to fix throughout the Texas program, and a loss or close game against the Kansas would be disastrous.