Texas football vs. Kansas: 4 reasons the Horns dominate in Lawrence

Xavier Worthy, Texas football
Xavier Worthy, Texas football /
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Bijan Robinson, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Bijan Robinson, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

For the second time in the last three weeks, head coach Steve Sarkisian and Texas football will hit the road to face a Kansas school. A couple of weeks ago, Texas hit the road to travel to Manhattan to face head coach Chris Klieman and the No. 13 ranked Kansas State Wildcats.

That trip to Manhattan resulted in a win for Sark and the Longhorns. Texas will look for a similar result when it travels to Lawrence this weekend to face head coach Lance Leipold and the upstart Kansas Jayhawks.

In fact, it’s hard to find a game where Texas needs a solid bounce-back performance more than it does this weekend against the Jayhawks. Texas is coming off a sluggish 17-10 loss to the No. 4 ranked TCU Horned Frogs at home on Nov. 12.

And this team needs a confidence boost to close out the regular season strong, especially with the Baylor Bears coming to town next week.

It would be nice to see Texas actually control a game for once on the road and close out a Big 12 opponent with a winning record before the dying minutes of the fourth quarter. And with the way that Kansas has looked in some of its games recently (having lost four of its last five), Texas does have the opportunity to get a comfortable win this weekend.

How Bijan Robinson and Texas football can convincingly beat Kansas this weekend

Here’s a look at four reasons why the Longhorns could dominate the Jayhawks in Week 12.

Kansas’ defensive struggles

On paper, if there is any defense in the Big 12 that Texas should be able to have its way with down the stretch this season, it is definitely Kansas. In many ways, the Jayhawks are struggling to defend both the run and the pass.

Kansas ranks 104th in the FBS in scoring defense this season, allowing just over 30 points per game. The Jayhawks also rank in the bottom third of the FBS, allowing a whopping 5.8 yards per play.

For good measure, Texas is allowing just 21.3 points per game and a little under 4.9 yards per play.

And according to Football Outsiders, Kansas ranks 99th in the FBS, and ninth in the Big 12, in adjusted defensive efficiency this season.

To make matters worse for the Jayhawks, it looks like the defense has gotten worse as the season progressed. Opponents are finding ways to beat the Jayhawks by coming up with successful plays in the ground game and through the air.

And there’s not just one way this is happening. Kansas has managed to rank in the bottom 30 in the FBS since Week 5 in defensive rushing and passing play explosiveness, defensive rushing and passing play success rate, and stuff rate, since Week 5.

And in four of those five categories since Week 5, Kansas ranks in the bottom 10 in the FBS.

It’s also worth noting that Kansas ranks 103rd in the FBS in sack percentage and 122nd in third-down defense.

Texas really needs to face a struggling defense such as the Jayhawks to get back on track. This game should provide Sark and the Longhorns with the perfect opportunity to right the ship on offense after a truly lackluster performance against TCU last weekend.