36 - 140 (3.9) - 1: Kansas rush attempts - rushing yards (yards per carry) - rushing TDs
2 - 18: Texas defense sacks - yards lost
4 - 14: Kansas third down conversions - third down opportunities
If you're looking for the biggest cause of Texas's Big 12 turnaround, look no further than the run defense. After allowing 7.0 yards per carry against BYU and Ole Miss, the Texas run defense is holding Big 12 opponents to a combined 3.5 yards per carry (181 rushes for 631 yards), with no opponent going for more than 4.0 per carry. The improved run defense has kept Texas opponents behind the chains, where the pass rush has been able to get home, notching another 2 sacks, after accumulating 16 in the prior 4 Big 12 games (following only 2 in 3 non-conference games). The third piece of the defensive improvement puzzle: getting stops on third down, where Texas was able to hold Kansas to less than 30% conversions.
The improvement will need to continue to hold, with WVU running back Charles Sims and Oklahoma State's vaunted rush attack next on the schedule.
Under Greg Robinson, the linebacking duo of Dalton Santos and Steve Edmond has shown steady improvement to become a respectable group of linebackers. Edmond followed his strong performance in Fort Worth with another solid outing against Kansas, contributing 3 stops in a second quarter 3 and out for Kansas. And Santos put together his best game as a Horn, leading the team with 8 tackles and a pass breakup. For Santos, it was more than the 8 tackles, it was the authority with which he brought the hits. He was decisive and left his mark on ball carriers all game long.
6 - .5 (2) - 2: Jackson Jeffcoat tackles - tackles for loss (lost yardage) - quarterback hits
5 - 3 (19) - 2 (18) - 1: Cedric Reed tackles - TFL (lost yardage) - sacks (yards lost) - forced fumbles
1 - 40 - 1: Chris Whaley fumble recoveries - fumble return yards - defensive TDs
The Texas defensive ends continue their romp through the Big 12, adding 3.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble against the Jayhawks. What more can I say about the two that hasn't been said? Their dominance has spearheaded the Texas turnaround.
And how bout Chris Whaley? While the senior failed to record a tackle, he scooped a Cedric Reed forced fumble and returned it 40 yards for his second defensive TD of the season. The 2 defensive TDs in a season is a first for non-DBs at Texas. Big ol' hat-tip for the former RB, who is doing nothing but improving his draft stock with his senior year.
44 - 221 (5.0) - 4: Texas rush attempts - rushing yards (yards per carry) - rushing TDs
20 - 119 (6.0) - 4: Malcolm Brown rush attempts - rushing yards (yards per carry) - rushing TDs
18 - 68 (3.8) - 0: Johnathan Gray rush attempts - rushing yards (yards per carry) - rushing TDs
The Texas run game continues to complement the defense with strong pacing. Of Texas's 76 offensive plays, 44 game on the ground to the tune of 5.0 yards per carry. With John Gray being quiet on the day, Malcolm Brown wore down a loaded Kansas front. Gray managed little more than a 21 yard scamper early, so Brown came out and broke arm tackles and pounded out 3 goalline TDs and a 30 yard TD after breaking a crowded line of scrimmage. The two lead backs continue to push each other to find success.
6 - 77 (12.8) - 0: Jaxon Shipley receptions - receiving yards (yards per catch) - TDs
7 - 46 (6.6) - 0: Daje Johnson receptions - receiving yards (yards per catch) - TDs
3 - 44 (14.7) - 0: Marcus Johnson receptions - receiving yards (yards per catch) - TDs
With Case McCoy having an off day, struggling to connect on deep passes and throwing a pair of INTs without a TD, there was little to be had in the passing game. Much of the passing game production was Daje Johnson out of the backfield on shuttle passes for 46 yards (and when combined with 75 kick return yards and 25 punt return yards, came out to a career high of 156 all purpose yards). When the passing game struggles to create big plays, Jaxon Shipley always comes to save the day, snagging 6 passes for a team high 77 yards, setting up a few scores. 4 of his catches went for first downs, and 25 of his last 39 receptions of moved the chains for Texas. He's now caught a pass in 31 consecutive games, tying older brother Jordan for third longest streak in school history. Marcus Johnson also continued his strong rapport with Case McCoy.