Texas vs. Kansas prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Longhorns and Jayhawks.
Texas vs. Kansas Game Preview
When: Saturday, November 19 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS
Broadcast: ABC or ESPN2
Charlie Strong still has some leeway for keeping his job with the Longhorns. Just don’t dare lose to Big 12 doormat Kansas, or else all bets are off. Texas failed to secure bowl-eligibility last weekend, suffering a crushing home loss to West Virginia. Now, with just two games remaining, the 5-5 Horns—and their coach—really need to take care of business this week in Lawrence and next week versus TCU. The Jayhawks are trying to rebound from their own deflating loss, falling to Iowa State, 31-24, in their best chance of the year to snap a nasty 19-game losing streak in conference games.
What To Know About Texas
What was most frustrating for the Horns last Saturday was that they did enough to defeat the Mountaineers. They gained 536 yards, spread neatly between Shane Buechele’s passing and the tireless running of D’Onta Foreman. Plus, the D picked off three Skyler Howard passes and kept the West Virginia backs in check. Yet, it was still not enough because the offense failed to deliver when it mattered most. Texas has had problems all year with offensive efficiency, ranking next to last in the Big 12 in third-down conversions and red-zone touchdown percentage.
What to Know About Kansas
This continues to be a protracted work-in-progress for David Beaty in Lawrence. There have been strides, sure, but not enough to actually impact the bottom line. The team had some success on offense against Iowa State, getting solid days on the ground from Ke’aun Kinner and Martin Taylor. However, the way to beat Texas is through the air, and starting quarterback Montell Cozart remains a question mark with a concussion. The Jayhawks will need all of the offensive punch they can get, since the defense is giving up 39 points per game and has had a particularly tough time slowing down opposing backs.
Offense: Texas. If this team was better on third downs and in the red zone, it’d be averaging north of 40 points per game.
Defense: Texas. Kansas is challenging Texas Tech for the Big 12’s worst D. The Horns have been sketchy on the back end, but tough in the front seven, including racking up 36 evenly distributed sacks.
Special Teams: Texas. The Horns have been imperfect but improved, aided by the addition of PK Trent Domingue and the powerful leg of P Michael Dickson.
Coaching: Texas. Not only is Strong a couple of rungs higher than Beaty, but he has the superior staff of assistants as well.
Intangibles: Texas. If this program isn’t motivated by earning that sixth win, after missing the postseason in 2015, maybe it is time for a change on the sidelines.
Matchup To Watch
Texas LT Connor Williams vs. Kansas DE Dorance Armstrong Jr.
This is one of the more interesting head to head battles not involving Foreman. Williams has been All-American-caliber at protecting Buechele’s blindside this season, but Armstrong is a dangerous speed guy off the edge, leading the league with 14 stops for minus yards and the team with eight sacks.
Texas vs. Kansas Betting Odds
Spread: Texas -22.5
Over/Under: No line as of post
Texas vs. Kansas Prediction
Texas will win to become bowl-eligible. By how much depends on how well the team performs once it gets deep into Kansas territory. Foreman will once again run wild, surpassing 200 yards on the ground to further his Heisman cause. But the combination of the Longhorns’ third-down woes and the Jayhawks’ Big 12-best third-down D will keep this matchup just a little closer than the overall talent disparity might indicate.
Texas vs. Kansas Score Prediction: Texas 38, Kansas 20