Texas Football: 4 reasons the Longhorns will dominate No. 24 Kansas

Jaylan Ford, Texas football (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Jaylan Ford, Texas football (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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Xavier Worthy, Texas football
Xavier Worthy, Texas football /

Kansas doesn’t have the speed to contest space against the numerous Texas skill weapons

Texas has the best skill position talent in the Big 12. Thus, it goes without saying that Texas has the matchup advantage against Kansas with its abundance of skill talent, especially in the receiving corps.

However, Kansas has defended well this season. Kansas’ defense is the most improved in the Big 12 this season year-over-year regarding total yards allowed per game and yards per carry allowed. The advanced metrics still find flaws in Kansas’ defense, though.

For instance, Kansas ranks outside the top 100 in the FBS in FEI defense (per BCF Toys) and in the bottom quarter in the Power Five in defensive success rate.

The two reasons for Kansas holding its opponents at bay in the counting stats, such as rushing yards and total yards per game, while ranking so low in defensive efficiency metrics, comes down to time of possession and points per drive. Kansas ranks 17th in the FBS in time of possession (nearly 33 minutes per game), so opponents aren’t getting much time on offense against the Jayhawks.

But when opponents get the ball on offense against Kansas’ defense, they score at a decent rate. Kansas ranks 85th in the FBS, allowing an average of 2.47 points per drive. For context, Texas ranks ninth in the FBS in defensive points per drive, allowing just one point per drive this season.

As long as Texas possesses the ball and can spread it around to the right playmakers early in this game, the offense should be in business. Kansas’ defense looks good on paper, but Texas is faster, deeper, and should win battles along the offensive line.

Kansas doesn’t have the defensive backs to match up one-on-one with the likes of junior wide receiver Xavier Worthy, junior Adonai Mitchell, and redshirt senior Jordan Whittington. That’s not to mention the weapons Texas has at tight end and out of the backfield.

We could see a lot of mesh concepts and targets down the seams to standout junior tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders against Kansas this weekend. The biggest weakness of the Kansas pass defense is either defending receiver speed between the numbers or defending the deep ball.

Texas can get Sanders going down the seams and out in the flats to attack the pass defense that is allowing the highest completion percentage against short and intermediate routes between the numbers this season.

Over the top, Kansas is struggling, too, allowing the most yards per passing attempt on the deep ball of any defense in the Big 12 (over 21 yards per deep passing attempt).

Look out for Sanders to have his third 100-yard receiving game of the season. Worthy and Mitchell could also be in store for big days, depending on who is matched up against standout senior Kansas cornerback Cobee Bryant the most.

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