DT Chris Whaley (Sr.)
The big man in the middle of the Longhorn defense has been everywhere lately, returning a third-quarter fumble 40 yards to the house against Kansas on Saturday, his second momentum-turning touchdown in the last three games. Prior to Whaley’s 40-yard scamper — he was recruited as a running back, after all — the Longhorns were up 14-6 and struggling to distance themselves from the lowly Jayhawks, who are winless in the Big 12. Fueled by the senior’s deceptive speed and knack to make heads-up plays, the Longhorns were handed a comfortable lead that they didn’t relinquish.
DE Cedric Reed (Jr.)
Speaking of defensive linemen making plays, did you happen to notice who caused the fumble that Whaley recovered? Reed was a force against the Jayhawks, sacking quarterback Jake Heaps twice and harassing him all game. Although he only had two sacks in the past four games, the Reed has provided a consistent threat opposite Jackson Jeffcoat and helped this Texas defense develop a nasty attitude upfront. If he can put it all together and continue to play like he did against Kansas, watch out — this once-maligned defense will really start turning heads.
RB Malcolm Brown (Jr.)
If it wasn’t clear before, it sure is now — Malcolm Brown is back, and he loves playing the Jayhawks. The junior out of Cibolo ran like a man possessed on Saturday, racking up 119 rushing yards and four touchdowns for the Longhorns. That performances marks the second time Brown has had a huge day against the Jayhawks, as he also ran for 119 yards to go along with two touchdowns in a victory in 2011. Having scored six touchdowns in the past two games, it’s obvious he has emerged as Texas’ primary goal-line threat.
QB Case McCoy (Sr.)
Although McCoy has been the talk of the town lately after leading the Longhorns to a stunning upset over the Oklahoma Sooners and a crushing victory over TCU, he has struggled with inconsistent play and costly turnovers. Saturday marked the second straight game he has thrown multiple interceptions, giving him five in the past three games. With the way Longhorns have been dominating their opponents with a punishing running game, McCoy needs to realize that protecting the football comes first and foremost.
WR Mike Davis (Sr.)
Mike who? This isn’t the first time Davis has appeared on this list, and for good reason. The senior wideout has been a ghost, topping 60 yards only once in the past five games while netting a single touchdown. “Magic” has been anything but lately, as his one reception for five yards against Kansas showed.