With West Virginia’s loss in Stillwater last week, the Texas Longhorns are one win away from playing in the Big 12 championship. To get that W, they travel to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Jayhawks, who will be playing their last game under head coach David Beaty. This Black Friday game is on Senior Day for Kansas, and many of the veterans on this squad would like to repeat their upset of the Longhorns from 2016.
TEXAS LONGHORNS (8-3, 6-2)
All eyes are on the quarterback position for Texas. In last week’s win, starting quarterback Sam Ehlinger suffered an AC contusion that put his status in question, but he’s now listed as a probable starter for Friday. Head coach Tom Herman would certainly like to have Ehlinger – backup junior Shane Beuchele looked good in relief last week, but Ehlinger might be the best signal caller Texas has had since Colt McCoy.
KANSAS JAYHAWKS (3-8, 1-7)
Whoever takes snaps, they’ll face a Kansas defense that has 25 turnovers on the season, including fourteen picks. If the Jayhawks can keep Texas from having success on the ground, a Longhorn team overly reliant on the passing game could make this one interesting.
Keep an eye on true freshman running back Pooka Williams for Kansas, who had 252 yards rushing last week against Oklahoma. The Longhorns have mostly bottled up opponents this year, allowing 136.5 yards per game on the ground. For the Jayhawks to approach the offensive success they had against the Sooners – where they scored 40 points in Norman – Kansas needs to get Williams going in this one.
Texas has not played well on the road or as a favorite this season, but it would be very surprising to see the Jayhawks get the upset in this one. Kansas will probably find a turnover in this game, but overall I think that the Longhorns will buck a trend somewhat and manage to cover this spread on the road. I expect an above average Texas defense to contain the Jayhawks’ offensive attack and that should be the difference in this game. Give me Texas by sixteen.