The Texas Longhorns avoided coming out flat against the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday and exploded for 69 points on offense. The ground game was at the forefront of the gameplan, with the Longhorns turning in not one, but two 100-yard performances on the ground for the first time since 2016.
Bijan Robinson: 9 car, 172 yards (19.1 ypc), 3 TD. 3 rec, 51 yards.
This game was a national coming out party for Bijan Robinson, a confirmation of everything fans hoped for from the young running back and a glimpse of his all-time potential.
Exploding for 172 yards on just nine carries gives Robinson his first — of possibly many — school records, passing Gib Dawson for the highest single-game yards per carry mark, a record set back in 1951. From a pure yardage standpoint, it was the best running performance since Chris Warren, III ran over and past Texas Tech in 2015 for 276 yards and four touchdowns. When you add in the 51 receiving yards, that makes Robinson the first running back since Longhorn Legend Cedric Benson in 2001 to have at least 150 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Robinson’s outing was his ability to find space and crack off big plays for the offense. He did nearly all of the work on Texas’ opening drive of the second half, going 75 yards for a score, the longest rush by a Longhorn since the aforementioned 2015 game against Texas Tech. That was one of four explosive plays for Robinson on the day — Texas as a team managed nine — giving him a team-high nine on the season.
For his standout performance, Robinson earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors.
D’Shawn Jamison: 3 returns, 150 yards (50.0 avg)
Junior defensive back and returner D’Shawn Jamison is easily one of the most dynamic returners in Texas history and has an opportunity to rewrite the Texas record books for returners. His 50-yard kick return average broke Fozzy Whittaker’s record set in 2011 against the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Jamison was an elbow away from a kick return score in the third quarter, settling for a 98-yard return in the process, the tied for the second longest of his career. The next time he manages to cross the goal line on a return, Jamison will tie Jordan Shipley for the most combined kick and punt return touchdowns in a career. If it is a kickoff, he will tie D.J. Monoroe for the most kickoff returns for a touchdown in a career as well.
Jamison’s record-setting performance earned him Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
Joseph Ossai: 3 tackles, 2 TFL
As the pace-setter on the defense, Joseph Ossai continued his career year against the Wildcats. Ossai drew the attention of the offense for most of the game, but still managed to finish with two tackles for loss in the contest, giving him a conference-high 16 on the season, the second-highest total under Tom Herman and the most among all Power Five players.
His ability to both impact the blocking scheme and create chaos in the backfield have been a differentiator for the Longhorns in the last two seasons. Texas is 4-1 in games when Ossai has multiple tackles for loss in a game with the lone loss coming this year against Oklahoma.
Texas has one more game on the schedule — a road tilt against the Kansas Jayhawks — but COVID-19 questions on both teams need to be answered prior to that matchup.