Texas Football Breakdown: Scouting Week 5 vs. Kansas

Jonathon Brooks, Texas football (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Jonathon Brooks, Texas football (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

The 2023 college football season is fast approaching, and the hype for Texas football in Year Three of the Steve Sarkisian era is high. The Longhorns bring back 17 starters from a 2022 squad that won eight games and had flashes of greatness. Those flashes must become more consistent if the Horns want to leave their mark during their final season in the Big 12.

In July, Texas was selected atop the Big 12 Media Preseason Poll for the first time since 2009. The Horns received 41 of 63 first-place votes, ahead of Kansas State’s 14 and the four received by Oklahoma and Texas Tech. This solidified Texas as the program to beat in the Big 12 this fall.

The Longhorns first took the field for fall camp on Wednesday, Aug. 2. The hype for Texas football and the 2023 season has grown with every passing practice. I thought it would be apropos to take a game-by-game look at the Longhorns’ 2023 opponents, diving into every aspect of what Texas will face this fall.

Take a look at the first four Texas  games I previewed earlier this month:

Texas returns home in Week Five for a conference matchup against the Kansas Jayhawks. The Sept. 30 matchup in Austin has yet to be assigned a kickoff time. According to ESPN’s matchup predictor, the Horns have a 94.7 percent chance of beating the Jayhawks.

Here is everything you need to know about the 2023 Kansas Jayhawks and their matchup against Texas.

Breaking down how Texas football matches up against Kansas.


Year Two of the Lance Leipold era in Lawrence was a resounding success. The Jayhawks won six regular season games and notched a bowl appearance for the first time since 2008. Kansas averaged over 35 points per game and was a must-watch team every Saturday for the first time in 15 years. That said, some things still need to be improved for the Jayhawks to be a perennial bowl-eligible program.

Kansas finished the 2022 season 1-7 after a blistering 5-0 start. The injury bug was not their friend, but the lack of depth on the roster became apparent once November rolled around. The Jayhawk defense was not in the business of stopping anyone. Kansas gave up 40+ points in six games, allowing a season-worst 55-point outburst to the Longhorns.

Texas rolled into Lawrence and steamrolled the Jawyhakws 55-14 last season. What should we expect when these two meet for the final time as Big 12 foes?


As mentioned, the Kansas offense was the key reason this program succeeded in 2022. That bodes well for the Jayhawks in 2023 as Preseason All-Big 12 quarterback Jalon Daniels returns for his fourth season in Lawrence. Last year, Daniels amassed 25 total touchdowns and just four interceptions in nine games. His RPO ability is second to none at the collegiate level, but he must stay healthy for this offense to run at maximum efficiency.

Daniels won’t have the burden to do it all as Kansas returns nine other starters from its 2022 squad. Running back Devin Neal is back after a 1,090-yard season. Neal’s ability to run between the tackles and catch the ball out of the backfield makes him one of the most lethal backs in the Big 12.

On the outside, Kansas brings back 1,700+ yards and 15 touchdowns with Lawrence Arnold, Luke Grimm, and Quentin Skinner. The trio complemented each other well and formed one of the conference’s top returning receiving corps. On top of the outside production, the Jayhawks also return All-Big 12 tight end Mason Fairchild.

The 2023 Jayhawk offense will have a plethora of ways to beat opponents. They have elite team speed and should once again be one of the best offenses in the country when it comes to big play ability. That said, the Longhorns match up well here. Texas has the team speed to limit the rushing attack and keep Daniels in the pocket. The Horns also have enough veteran presence in the secondary to avoid gash plays. The vocal leadership of safeties Jalen Catalon and Jerrin Thompson will be important in this game.


The Kansas defense must take significant strides this fall if the Jayhawks want to be considered legitimate contenders in the Big 12. Coach Leipold prides himself on player development; reshaping the Jayhawk defense would speak volumes about his ability to develop players. Last season, the Kansas defense ranked outside the top 100 in rushing, passing, scoring, third-down percentage, negative play percentage, and a myriad of other stats. The unit returns 80 percent of its production from a season ago, putting Leipold’s developmental chops to the test.

The entire starting back seven returns and, from all accounts, have made major improvements this offseason. All-Big 12 cornerback Cobee Bryant returns as the most disruptive playmaker on this defense. Last season, Bryant racked up nine pass deflections, three interceptions, and two touchdowns. He has elite length and a nose for the football. Bryant will be playing on Sundays next fall.

The safety tandem of OJ Burroughs and Kenny Logan returns with another offseason of continuity under their belt. Add in LSU transfer Damarius McGhee, and the Jayhawk secondary should make incremental strides this fall.

The defensive line is a question mark as Coach Leipold must replace all four starters from a season ago. It’s a transfer-fest across the line. As it stands, the top five projected contributors from this unit are transfers. Former four-star recruit and Auburn transfer Dylan Brooks has the highest upside at the edge position. The Kansas front four must create more pressure to give its secondary help.

The Texas offensive line should be able to maul the Jayhawks. Last year, the Horns rushed for 427 yards and six scores in this matchup. Look for Coach Sark to rely heavily on Jonathon Brooks and CJ Baxter in this game.


Many national pundits are very high on the 2023 Jayhawks, and rightfully so. The offensive production they bring back ranks first nationally and should be able to score on every defense in the conference. That said, I still see too many holes on the defensive side of the ball for Kansas to be competitive with the top of the Big 12.

Daniels will have his moments in this game, and the roster should be relatively healthy, given this is a Week Five matchup. The experience Texas has on the defensive side of the ball should limit the big-play opportunity for the Kansas offense, while the loaded Longhorn offense should have its way with the Kansas defense. – Kansas 20 Texas 45

dark. Next. 4 standouts Sarkisian praised coming out of training camp