Key Matchups: vs. Kansas

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Quarterback

Advantage: Texas

The Longhorns’ offensive line struggles to protect whichever quarterback happens to be healthy that game. Sophomore Shane Buechele appears to have reclaimed the starting role after posting a 254-yard performance against the best defense in the Big 12. Moving from TCU to the conference-worst Jayhawks, Buechele will likely shine as Texas appears poised for another home blowout. 

Sophomore quarterback Carter Stanley holds the reins to the worst Big 12 offense in recent memory. The Jayhawks dropped nine points in a 38-9 blowout loss to Baylor, one week after Texas crushed that same Bears team in Waco by 31 points. Kansas is averaging just 19 points per contest, and after posting 21 total yards against TCU earlier this season, the threat of a shutout in Austin is real. 

Running Back

Advantage: Texas

It seems wrong to give Texas the edge in anything related to the running game. The Longhorns had 26 rushes for an unbelievable nine yards against TCU and sit at seventh in the Big 12 in rushing offense. The team has gone through a number of running backs in its search for a fit, but the beat-up offensive line makes production up the middle hard to come by.

Texas’ advantage is more of a testament to the truly woeful Kansas team that sits at the bottom of the conference in total offense and second to last in rushing offense. Sophomore running back Khalil Herbert leads the Kansas ground game with 615 yards in eight games, and ran for 71 yards on 10 tries against Baylor. 

Wide Receiver

Advantage: Texas

Shane Buechele connected with 11 different receivers against TCU — the third week in a row a Longhorn quarterback has found 10 or more receivers in a contest. Sophomore wide receiver Lil’ Jordan Humphrey finished with 109 yards, including a career high 42-yard reception. This deep and talented group continues to be limited by the struggles on and around the line.

Junior wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. has managed to put up big numbers all season amidst a floundering offense. Sims earned 210 total yards against Baylor, including 157 on kick returns and another 42 receiving. Unfortunately for Kansas the worst has yet to come, as the team faces off with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State after Texas in its last two matchups of the season. 

Defense 

Advantage: Texas

Texas’ defense continues to exceed expectations. Despite a stellar performance against TCU, including eight forced three-and-outs, the other side of the ball simply cannot produce. With as well as the Longhorn defense is playing, Kansas may be facing its third shutout in five games.

Redshirt junior linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. is a defensive juggernaut. His 12.2 tackles per game ranks third in the nation and first in the Big 12, and his 2.2 tackles for loss per game are the second-highest in the country. Dineen’s individual brilliance still fails to cover the many holes of the porous Kansas line.