Kansas (2-5) at Texas (5-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 2, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium (100,119)-- Austin, Texas. Television: Longhorn Network. Home Record: Kansas 2-3, Texas 2-1. Away Record: Kansas 0-2, Texas 2-1. Neutral Record: Kansas 0-0, Texas 1-0. Conference Record: Kansas 0-4, Texas 4-0. Series Record: Texas leads, 10-2.
GAME NOTES: Mack Brown will try to keep his Longhorns atop the league standings as Texas hosts the Kansas Jayhawks for Big 12 Conference action at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
After a disappointing display in their non-conference season, the Longhorns have gone 4-0 versus Big 12 rivals to arrive at a 5-2 overall record. Texas and Baylor are the only two teams remaining in the conference without a loss to a Big 12 opponent. Last week, Brown's squad coasted to a 30-7 road win at TCU to secure its fourth consecutive victory.
Kansas is at the opposite side of the spectrum as it is one of two teams left in the Big 12 without a conference victory. Charlie Weis's squad fell to 2-5 on the season last week as it was handed a 59-14 loss at home by Baylor. The Jayhawks have lost four games in a row, while being outscored by an average of 27 points per contest during that span.
This will be the 13th meeting in history between Texas and Kansas. The Longhorns hold a sizeable 10-2 all-time series lead with their only losses to the Jayhawks coming in 1901 and 1938. Texas has won all 10 matchups in Big 12 play and has outscored the Jayhawks by nearly 30 ppg during that span. Kansas came close to an upset when these schools met last season, but fell 21-17 in Lawrence.
Kansas has been abysmal offensively throughout its campaign and has yet to score more than 20 points versus an FBS opponent. It is at the bottom of the Big 12 with its averages of 290.6 total yards and 17.7 points per game.
Senior tailback James Sims is the most valuable player for the Jayhawks. He is currently the third-leading rusher in the conference at 84.1 ypg and has carried the ball 129 times, which gives him the second-most attempts in the league. Sims finished last week's loss to Baylor with 70 yards on 19 attempts while Brandon Bourbon provided a spark by tallying 48 yards and a touchdown on seven totes.
Junior quarterback Jake Heaps has struggled tremendously in recent action. After completing only 5-of-13 pass attempts for 16 yards on Oct. 19 at Oklahoma, Heaps finished last week's loss to Baylor 7-of-19 for 85 yards. He has completed 50 percent of his throws on the season with seven touchdowns against six interceptions. Heaps's favorite target, Tony Pierson, left the Baylor game with concussion like symptoms after missing the previous two games for the same reason. The already weak passing attack will be drastically diminished if Pierson is unable to play, as no other Jayhawk has reached 20 catches on the season. Heaps will still have tight end Jimmy Mundane, who is second on the squad with 173 receiving yards and has accounted for a team-best four touchdown grabs.
Kansas is nearly as feeble defensively with allowed marks of 450.7 total yards and 31.6 points per outing. The Jayhawks were no match for the most explosive offense in the nation last week and surrendered 743 offensive yards to Baylor, the third-most allowed in school history. Junior defensive back Cassius Sendish led all players with seven tackles in the loss. Isaiah Johnson is pacing the squad with 53 total stops to go along with a pair of interceptions.
The Jayhawks could have another frustrating result as they attempt to halt the Longhorns' high-powered attack which has produced 450.7 total yards and 32.6 points per game. With starter David Ash sitting out with a concussion, Brown turned the keys of the offense over to Case McCoy last week at TCU. Although the senior signal caller connected on just 9-of-19 attempts and was picked off twice, he still managed to finish with 228 yards and a touchdown. McCoy has seen plenty of action this season and has amassed 992 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions on 84-of-142 efficiency.
Mike Davis is pacing the team in receiving with an average of 63.5 yards per game and five touchdowns. Jaxon Shipley is also targeted frequently and despite being held out of the end zone in all seven games this season, has reeled in a team-high 33 catches for 368 yards.
Texas does an excellent job of establishing the run thanks to star halfback Johnathan Gray, who is the only player in the conference with more carries than Sims. Gray has compiled 656 yards and four touchdowns through seven games to help the Longhorns net just over 200 ypg on the ground. Malcolm Brown made an impact against TCU with 51 yards and a pair of rushing scores.
Texas received a relentless performance from its defensive unit last week as the Horned Frogs were held to only 45 rushing yards and 12 first downs. The Longhorns also registered three takeaways, six TFL and three sacks in the win. Brown's defense is now tied for sixth in the Big 12 in points allowed at 24.1 ppg. Jackson Jeffcoat has taken down the opposing quarterback six times over the past four games.
The Jayhawks are going to have a tough time on both sides of the ball against this red-hot Texas squad. The Longhorns need just one more win to become bowl eligible. With little room for error in the tight five-team race for the Big 12 crown, Texas will look to put this one out of reach as early as possible to preserve its key players for a very difficult remaining stretch of games.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas 42, Kansas 10
10/30 10:34:27 ET