Swiss Family Robinson: Bijan, Keilan Robinson, running back room tramples Kansas, 55-14

Jordan Mitchell, Associate Sports Editor

It was Bijan Robinson’s world in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday, and the Jayhawks were just living in it. 

During Texas’ 55-14 beatdown of Kansas, the junior running back carried the ball 25 times – 13 more than last week’s loss at home to TCU. Robinson scored three times in his career game in the first thirty minutes, including one as time expired to end the first half.

After junior linebacker Jaylan Ford caught an interception to kill Kansas’ chances at putting points on the board before the end of the half, redshirt freshman quarterback Quinn Ewers took no time using his legs to take the Longhorns to midfield. Then, Robinson and junior running back Keilan Robinson combined for 24 yards on four rushes, getting to the Kansas 26-yard line. 

Following a pass to sophomore tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders, Ewers handed the ball off to Bijan once more. In motion, Bijan cut over to the right side of the line, and darted through the middle of Kansas’ line. Evading a couple of tackles, Bijan then took a knife-sharp run across to the opposite sideline, avoiding two more Jayhawks before getting pushed out of bounds just shy of the end zone.

With one second left before time expired, head coach Steve Sarkisian subbed in sophomore defensive lineman Byron Murphy and senior defensive lineman T’Vondre Sweat onto the offensive line so that Bijan could take a superman leap over the lines into the end zone. With the touchdown, Texas jogged into the locker room leading 31-0.

“You get No. 5 in space, and he started getting in one of those nights where the rhythm and the runs and making people miss were big,” Sarkisian told Longhorn Radio Network after the game. 

Bijan pulled back no punches to open the second half. After Texas’ defense forced a Kansas three-and-out, Ewers once again largely utilized the Robinsons to march down the field. In just five plays, the Longhorns scored another touchdown, this drive capped off with a 32-yard run for Bijan. On the run, he juked a Kansas defender before prancing into the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the afternoon.

Despite being largely pulled out of the game by the end of the third quarter, Bijan rushed for a career-high of 243 yards, which felt like the antithesis of his performance last week, when he mustered a mere 29 yards. With his performance today, he moved up to fifth all time in career rushing yards at Texas, passing former running back Chris Gilbert with 3,231 yards.

“I said No. 5 has got to show up tonight,” Sarkisian said. “When you go on the road and in conditions like this, you got to make sure you pack your defense, and you got to make sure you pack your run game. I think those two things showed up tonight.”

While Bijan’s performance will be the story coming out of the Longhorns’ win in Lawrence, Keilan and redshirt freshman running back Jonathon Brooks had prominent games as well. Keilan scored Texas’ second touchdown on a 15-yard catch-and-run and finished the game with 61 all-purpose yards.

By the third quarter, Brooks took the ball on the majority of Texas’ ground plays. In flashy nature, he sliced through the line into open space, where he took it to the house for a 70-yard rushing touchdown. As he entered the end zone, Bijan was smiling ear-to-ear, and went over to Brooks to congratulate him.

“It was great to see Keilan get in there on the screen for the touchdown, and it was awesome seeing Jonathan Brooks,” Sarkisian said. “We see it every day in practice, but (tonight) people (got) to see it.”

By the eventual final buzzer, Texas’ running back room finished with 427 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns, the most in a single game this season for the Longhorns.

“That room is very talented, we’ve got a good room there,” Sarkisian said. “(The) young players, they’ve got a bright future there as well.”