Press Box Observations: Longhorns shutout Kansas

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Here are three observations from Texas’ blowout of Kansas.

Marquise Goodwin is back

Even before playing Oklahoma State, head coach Mack Brown said his offense needed to get Marquise Goodwin more involved. The junior wide receiver has been clocked at under 10.5 seconds in the 100-meter dash but had only recently gotten into football shape, according to Brown. Because Goodwin did not re-join the team until after Texas’ season opener against Rice, it took him some time to get used to the new offense. Goodwin did not touch the ball in either of the Longhorns’ contests against Iowa State or Oklahoma but was productive against Kansas, catching four passes for 36 yards and running for 52 more on just five carries.

“Marquise is a guy that, along with what we’re doing inside, really complements us on the outside on the perimeter,” said co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin. “Finding more ways to try to distribute the ball is what we were doing — getting the ball in our playmakers’ hands.”

Texas found solution at tight end

For the fourth-straight game, no Texas tight end had more than two catches for 19 yards. But the Longhorns got their most productive performance from a tight end since D.J. Grant caught three touchdown passes against UCLA. Junior Luke Poehlmann, listed as the backup left guard behind senior David Snow, moved over and helped pave the way for Texas to run for a season-high 441 yards.

“We put Luke Poehlmann in at tight end tonight and that really helped us,” Brown said. “We’ve been having some trouble knocking people around on the edges. It looked like he did a great job.”

Secondary fine without Phillips

The Longhorns were not facing a quarterback nearly as good as they had in their last two games, which made the absence of sophomore defensive back Adrian Phillips hurt a little less. But Jordan Webb helped develop a respectable Kansas offense and threw for an average of more than 200 yards per game coming into Saturday. Thanks to sophomore Carrington Byndom and freshman Quandre Diggs, who intercepted his second pass of the year, Texas held the Jayhawks’ aerial attack in check, allowing just 48 passing yards. Thanks to the Longhorns’ prolific running game, Texas was able to dominate the time of possession battle, and Kansas attempted just 16 passes. The Longhorns had 93 passes attempted on their defense in their last two games.

“The sky is the limit with this defense,” Diggs said. “It was different from playing offenses like Oklahoma and Oklahoma State when you’re on the field maybe 75 plays. When you go from playing 75 to 36, it’s a relief on your legs. Playing those 36 snaps was great.”