The Texas Longhorns' hopes of continuing the undefeated conference record should still be within reach when the Kansas Jayhawks come to Austin Saturday. The Jayhawks will be seeking revenge after the Longhorns late fourth quarter win in Lawrence last year. But this game should not be anywhere near the nail-biter from 2012.
When: Saturday, November 2, 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas
TV: Longhorn Network
Austin radio: KVET 98.1/1300
SiriusXM satellite radio: XM 117; Sirius 202; Internet 969; Spanish 970
Spread: Texas (-28), per VegasInsider.com
Last meeting: October 27, 2012, Lawrence, Kansas
Last outcome: Texas 21 Kansas 17
Contain the Run Game
Texas' biggest strength on offense is its run game, and it appears to be getting stronger week by week. The Longhorns have found two solid running back options with sophomore Johnathan Gray and junior Malcolm Brown. In the last two games, Gray and Brown have racked up a combined 383 rushing yards against two solid defenses. The Jayhawks will need to stop the rushing duo to avoid this game from getting out of hand.
We can sit here and say how Texas should be worried about Kansas' defense or offense, but from a realistic standpoint, Texas has Kansas beat in every position matchup. The only way this game is close is if Texas' focus is not on the game, which is exactly what happened last year.
Texas needs to continue to build momentum from its performances in conference play, regardless of its opponent's record.
Running back James Sims
Kansas running back James Sims has been one of the bright spots on the Jayhawks offense this season. Sims managed to pick up 176 rushing yards in Kansas' 21-17 loss to Texas last season. Expect No. 29 to once again be a key contributor Saturday.
Defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat
Opposing Big 12 quarterbacks are probably having nightmares about No. 44. Senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat has flipped a switch since starting conference play, picking up eight tackles for loss and six sacks over the last four games. Jeffcoat entered the season projected as a top pick in the 2014 NFL draft and he has really started playing up to that potential.
"Go back and watch last year's video. You got out by the skin of your teeth with less than 12 seconds left. If that doesn't help you get excited for Saturday, nothing should."
I have a lot of respect for Texas and their program and am especially fond of their head coach. Because we didn't put the game away when we had an opportunity to put it away, it didn't surprise me that they came back and beat us. If you have an opportunity to put a good team away, you better because, if not, something like that could end up happening.
Junior defensive back Quandre Diggs on Kansas' chances of beating Texas (Via Texassports.com)
No doubt, they can come in here and beat us. Those guys have Division I football players just like we have. They're going to come in hungry for a victory. They have confidence because of the way we played last year. Anybody can be beaten each and every week.
Nobody can actually predict Kansas will upset Texas, right?
Texas is on an unexpected roll right now and that will not be stopped by the Jayhawks. Kansas does have talented players, but those players do not equal the talent of the Longhorns.
Barring Texas not attending Saturday's game, this one will not be close.
Prediction: Texas 42 Kansas 14
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.
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