The No. 15 Texas Longhorns came into their Saturday night showdown with the Kansas Jayhawks as 21-point favorites against a Les Miles-led squad that’s yet to win a Big 12 matchup this season. To the disappointment of the Longhorn faithful, Texas needed every second to pull off a narrow 50-48 victory against the Jayhawks.
It’s not worth rehashing the gory details from the night at this point, however, there is one silver lining in the sky for the burnt orange. Texas won the game, and are within one win of becoming bowl eligible. If the Longhorns take care of business over the next five contests, nobody will remember a near miss to Kansas in mid-October.
That said, let’s examine how the Longhorns did in the three focus areas versus Kansas.
Get off the bus
The Texas offense looked great in the early parts of the first quarter. The Longhorns relied on the run game and quick, high-percentage passes to efficiently move the ball on their first two drives of the game, jumping out to an early 14-0 lead.
It appeared as though the Longhorns were well on their way to a blow out victory until late in the quarter, when a sack then some very questionable play-calling led to a turnover on downs. Kansas took over at the Texas 490-yard line and was able drive the ball into the end zone, to bring the game within four points. While the Longhorns did meet the 14-point metric, they are going to lose a letter grade for the final drive of the quarter.
Game Grade: B
Run the football
The metric here was 15 carries each for Keaontay Ingram and Roschon Johnson, with at least one player gaining 100 yards on the ground. While Ingram did gain 101 yards on the day and added a touchdown, neither player eclipsed the 15-carry mark. Sam Ehlinger, on the other hand, was asked to make a play either with his arm or his legs 58 times on the night.
A fourth quarter interception on an RPO inside Texas’ own 20 is going to remove any benefit of the doubt Texas may have earned by sheer effort in this area. Despite Ingram averaging 7.2 yards per carry against a weak Kansas run defense, Ehlinger’s 14 attempts matched Ingram’s total on the night.
Game Score: F
Finish the game
Kansas came into the game averaging 22.7 points per game. Texas gave up 24 points to the Jayhawks in the fourth quarter. 24 fourth quarter points to the Jayhawks. Excuses aside, let that sink in. Texas gave up 24 fourth quarter points to Kansas. No further analysis is needed in this area.
Game Score: F
Texas won the game. That is worth something. It was a sloppy win against an inferior opponent, but it was a win. Texas gets some benefit for being able to come out of the game with a win, despite their struggles.
Game Score: D