Keys to the game

Wes Maulsby

Run the Ball
Last game was the first loss in Mack Brown’s career in which his team ran for more than 200 yards. Before, he was 70-0 in those situations. Texas needs to run the ball in order to give itself its best chance to win. With a freshman quarterback starting, Malcolm Brown becomes the most important player on the team. Through the first six games of his career, Brown has 516 yards rushing, with two 100-yard games. At the same points in their careers, Ricky Williams had 348 yards and no 100-yard games, Cedric Benson had 329 yards with one 100-yard game and Earl Campbell rushed for 495 with two 100-yard games.

Texas has not lost to Kansas under Mack Brown. Further, Texas has not lost to Kansas since joining the Big 12. The two teams haven’t played very often, and the last time Texas lost to Kansas was in 1938, and in that year, Texas ended up going 1-8. Before that, they played in 1901 with Kansas winning 12-0. During the current streak, Texas has won seven of the eight games by double figures, with only the 2004 game in Lawrence being decide by 4 points. Texas has won the last eight games by an average margin of victory of more than 30 points and with the 2004 game removed, that margin of victory goes up to 34 points per game.

Exploit Defense
To say that Kansas is struggling on the defensive side of the ball would be an understatement. The Jayhawks are allowing teams to roll up more than 50 points a game, with more than 550 yards in offense. There are only three teams in the country allowing more than 40 points game, and Kansas is the only one allowing more than 50. They are also the only BCS conference team allowing more than 40 points a game, and they have not limited a team to fewer than 42 points since holding McNeese State to 24 in the first game of the season. Kansas also sports one of the worst run defenses in the nation, allowing 232 yards per game, along with a whopping 604 to Georgia Tech.

Special Teams
Fozzy Whittaker emerged as an elite return man against Oklahoma, and continued it against Oklahoma State. He already has two returns for touchdowns and has 372 yards on just eight returns, averaging 46.5 yards per return. This pace would put him handily in first all time at Texas, as he is 17 yards per return over the single season average and 19 yards over the career average right now. Before Whittaker, Johnny “Lam” Jones was the only player in Texas history to have a 100-yard return, and Whittaker now has two in consecutive games. Whittaker shattered the single-game return-yards record previously held by Quan Cosby by almost 100 yards. When paired with D.J. Monroe, who had two return touchdowns in 2009, Texas has one of the most dangerous return tandems in the country.