Texas wins if, loses if: Kansas

Vicente Montalvo, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the November 12 Double Coverage flipbook.

The Longhorns return home to Austin after failing to produce at hardly any level on the road against Iowa State. Luckily for Texas, the Longhorns have had better results when playing at home versus on the road.

Texas wins if:

… Sark finds a quarterback

Although junior quarterback Casey Thompson got the start against the Cyclones, freshman Hudson Card relieved him of his duties early on in the contest. This week’s depth chart lists both quarterbacks as QB1 options, leaving the starter up in the air. Card has not started a game since a Week 2 loss against Arkansas. Don’t be surprised if you see both quarterbacks get an opportunity since neither one has shown enough promise lately. Whichever quarterback gets on the field and lines up behind the center, look to see how each progresses throughout the game. If Thompson or Card can get comfortable and find some rhythm, the Longhorns could be one more win away from potential bowl eligibility.

… the wide outs produce

There is no question that Xavier Worthy is an outstanding talent at the wide receiver position, but one of the Longhorns’ biggest problems is that other players need to step up. With Jordan Whittington’s injury earlier on in the season and Joshua Moore entering the transfer portal Monday, new Texas names will take on bigger roles. Freshman Kelvontay Dixon will step up into the starting lineup as the wide outs look for consistency in Week 11.

… running backs come up big

The Longhorns may no longer be led by running back Bijan Robinson after the sophomore was helped off the field in Week 10’s matchup against the Cyclones. With junior Roschon Johnson and junior Keilan Robinson, Texas should have a committee approach in the backfield. All three running backs have unique abilities and talents that head coach Steve Sarkisian should utilize. Keeping the backs fresh can help the Horns improve in the second half of the game where they have struggled tremendously. With just three more games to go and Robinson being a star in the making, Texas will have to fill a giant void in the running game against the Jayhawks.

Loses if: 

… the special teams is the best position group on the field

While special team units are monumental to the game, their play should not be what carries the entire team to a victory. Against the Cyclones, the Longhorns tried to get by with exceptional special teams play with kickoff returns and flipped field position through punts, both of which proved to be not enough. If the Texas offense and defense fail to show any signs of life for a complete quarter, then it will be a long night for Longhorn faithful.

… it overestimates Kansas

Everyone knows that the Longhorns have not been playing at an exceptional level as of late, having dropped their last four games for the first time since 2010. The Jayhawks have not won a game since defeating South Dakota in Week 1. Kansas’ closest chance to adding a second victory to the win column came against Oklahoma when the Jayhawks led at halftime. Both programs are trending in the wrong direction, but the Longhorns cannot afford to overlook their opponents. The Kansas defense is composed of a majority of experienced upperclassmen that enjoy ball-hawking. In 2016, former Texas head coach Charlie Strong lost to a one-win Kansas team, leading to his dismissal from the program. Sarkisian will need to have the “All Gas, No Brakes” mantra living up to its fullest potential Saturday.