- Max Olson, ESPN Staff Writer
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A look ahead at Kansas, Texas’ first home opponent in more than a month. The Longhorns and Jayhawks meet Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT on the Longhorn Network.
2013 record: 2-5 (0-4 Big 12)
All-time record vs. Texas: 2-10
Last game: Baylor once again did what it usually does, blowing out Kansas 59-14 in Lawrence, Kan., on Saturday. Bryce Petty threw for 430 yards and three scores, two Bears backs surpassed 100 yards, and Baylor didn’t give up a score until late in the third quarter, when it already led 45-0. The Jayhawks’ offense sputtered, gaining 91 yards in the first half and settling for 10 punts on the day.
Last meeting with Texas: Who could forget? Texas pulled off a bizarre 21-17 road victory last season when Case McCoy replaced David Ash late and engineered two fourth-quarter touchdown drives after the Longhorns trailed 14-7 for nearly two full quarters. Kansas had absolutely no passing game (3-for-9, 39 yards) but got 234 yards on the ground and stifled Ash and the rest of the Longhorns offense. Texas escaped with a victory and a deep sigh of relief in the closest Big 12 game of Charlie Weis’ tenure.
Key player: Kansas running back James Sims burned Texas for 176 yards on 28 carries last season and will try to do it again on Saturday. He’s currently No. 4 in the Big 12 in rushing at 589 yards and has the second-most carries in the league behind Johnathan Gray. And don’t forget to watch out for Tony Pierson, the receiver/back hybrid who’s capable of breaking big plays at any moment.
Why Kansas might win: Seems like it would take something pretty crazy for KU to pull this upset. McCoy going down with an injury. The Texas defense completely collapsing. A six-hour rain delay. You know, something like that. All joking aside, though, Texas could overlook this foe, show up flat like in 2012, fall behind and come up short late. It’s not completely impossible, and Texas did play Iowa State way too close. But that kind of showing would be a complete reversal from what UT has done in its last two games.
Why Kansas might lose: Texas is finally playing like the team it was meant to be in 2013, and Kansas is fresh off a beatdown from Baylor and has now lost 25 straight Big 12 games. Mack Brown will use last season's sluggish showing and KU’s early 13-0 lead over Oklahoma this season as motivation. Don’t expect Texas to take this game lightly, especially when it means bowl eligibility and a 5-0 start in Big 12 play.