Texas vs. Kansas: Complete Game Preview
Who: Texas vs. Kansas
When: Saturday, Oct. 7, 2012 at 11 a.m. CST
Where: Lawrence, Kansas
Stadium: Memorial Stadium
TV: FSN (Regional)
The No. 23 Texas Longhorns (5-2, 2-2) travel to Lawrence this weekend where they will face the Big 12's worst in the Kansas Jayhawks (1-6, 0-4).
Kansas fields one of Division I's worst scoring offenses, recording just 17.3 points per game.
Texas, meanwhile, goes into the weekend with the 105th-ranked scoring defense, giving up 35 points per game.
Something will have to give.
Depth Chart for Texas
QB: David Ash, Case McCoy
RB: Joe Bergeron OR Johnathan Gray, Malcolm Brown
WR: Jaxon Shipley, Bryant Jackson
WR: Mike Davis, Kendall Sanders
WR: Marquise Goodwin, D.J. Monroe
LT: Josh Cochran, Donald Hawkins
LG: Trey Hopkins, Sedrick Flowers
C: Dom Espinosa, Garrett Porter
RG: Mason Walters, Thomas Ashcraft
RT: Luke Poehlmann, Kennedy Estelle
DE (Buck): Cedric Reed OR Reggie Wilson
DE (Strong): Alex Okafor, Shiro Davis
DT: Chris Whaley, Ashton Dorsey
DT: Desmond Jackson, Brandon Moore
SLB: Demarco Cobbs, Tevin Jackson
MLB: Steve Edmond, Dalton Santos
WLB: Kendall Thompson, Jordan Hicks
CB: Quandre Diggs, Duke Thomas
FS: Kenny Vaccaro, Josh Turner
SS: Adrian Phillips, Mykkele Thompson
CB: Carrington Byndom, Leroy Scott
PK: Anthony Fera, Nick Jordan
P: Alex King, William Russ
Depth Chart for Kansas
QB: Dayne Crist, Mike Cummings
RB: Tony Pierson, Taylor Cox
WR: Kale Pick, Chris Omigie
WR: D.J. Beshears, Andrew Turzilli
WR: Daymond Patterson, Tre' Parmalee
TE: Mike Ragone, Jimmay Mundine
LT: Gavin Howard, Riley Spencer
LG: Aslam Sterling, Randall Dent
C: Trevor Marrongelli, Dylan Admire
RG: Duane Zlatnik, Damon Martin
RT: Tanner Hawkinson, Pat Lewandowski
DE: John Williams, Ben Goodman
DE: Toben Opurum, Michael Reynolds
NT: Jordan Tavai, John Williams
DT: Keba Agostinho, Keon Stowers
LB: Tunde Bakare, Corrigan Powell
LB: Huldan Tharp, Prinz Kande
LB: Ben Heeney, Schyler Miles
CB: Greg Brown, Tyree Williams
FS: Lubbock Smith, Ray Mitchell
SS: Bradley McDougald, Dexter Linton
CB: Tyler Patmon, Greg Allen
PK: Ron Doherty, Austin Barone
P: Ron Doherty, Sean Huddleston
What Happened to Texas Last Week
Texas bettered Baylor in a 56-50 shootout that had the Longhorns create a couple of turnovers and generate just enough stops to register their fifth win of the season.
Defensively, the Longhorns were generally unimpressive, save for the takeaways. But in a solid showing offensively on the ground, Texas was able to impose its will on a weak Baylor defense.
Joe Bergeron rushed for a career-high five touchdowns, and Mike Davis hauled in a career-best 148 yards on six receptions, including a late score for the only passing touchdown of the night for the Longhorns.
What Happened to Kansas Last Week
Kansas dropped its sixth straight game overall and its 16th straight Big 12 matchup in a 52-7 defeat to Oklahoma.
It took just over 56 minutes for the Jayhawks to crack the scoreboard on the defensively-stout Sooners, and in Charlie Weis' debut season in Lawrence, Kansas is suffering from a severe lack of offensive production.
Mike Cummings, who increasingly has received more looks at quarterback in place of Dayne Crist in the past three weeks, has hardly improved the situation as he completed 10-of-21 attempts for 111 yards and two interceptions.
What It Means for Both Teams
Kansas is searching for its first conference win of the season, which would be its first in almost two years. The Jayhawks are also seeking out a legitimate option at quarterback, as Dayne Crist and Mike Cummings have come up well short of expectations.
Texas is looking to build on a less-than-flawless game before entering another rough tumble through the Big 12. The Longhorns will be looking to showcase some defensive improvement, and against a feeble Kansas offense, there will be ample opportunities to shine.
Key Player for Texas: Defensive Line
In all fairness, the entire Texas defense is in need of a strong showing after weeks of criticism, and the Jayhawks present quite an opportunity.
But with the defensive line seeing its share of struggles against the run, in addition to a hit in depth with the loss of Jackson Jeffcoat for the season, the group needs a strong performance to establish some confidence moving forward.
Inconsistency up the middle has not helped a young corps of linebackers battling its own brand of issues.
Power in the trenches has often determined success for the Longhorns this season, and getting more of that from the defensive line can serve as an anchor point for a struggling defense.
Key Player for Kansas: The Quarterback
Whether it is Dayne Crist or Mike Cummings taking the snaps for the Jayhawks, much of the onus of the offense's success will ride with the quarterback.
Though the Jayhawk offense has been sustained by a solid running attack that averages 180 yards per game, a scheme that will be put to the test as the Longhorns will play strong against the run, Kansas will need legitimate contributions from the passing game to have a real chance of staying in this game.
Combined, however, the two signal-callers have recorded 1300 yards, four touchdowns and nine interceptions on less than a 50 percent completion rate.
Texas Will Win If...
The Longhorns will win if they run the ball.
Once again leaning on its strongest offensive component, Texas sees its success through the production of its ground game.
Kansas does rank better against the run than the Longhorns, but the ground game opens up so much of Bryan Harsin's playbook.
With Joe Bergeron coming off of a five-touchdown performance, Texas would be wise to ride what's hot.
Kansas Will Win If...
The Jayhawks will win if they can stop Texas' running game.
Stopping the train that Joe Bergeron becomes when he runs up the middle is the biggest key to stopping the Texas offense.
Kansas gives up 185 yards per game on the ground, but against a diverse running game, the Jayhawks will have plenty of different challenges ahead of them.
Prediction: 45-24 Texas
Although Texas' biggest weakness stacks up against Kansas' biggest strength, the lack of a viable passing game puts the Jayhawks in a bad position against a talented, underachieving Texas defense.
If the Jayhawks can successfully run the ball and hold the Longhorns' ground game, then the result could be much closer.
But with the biggest difference between the two teams coming from the quarterback position, Texas has a significant edge.