Sunday, November 3, 2013
What we learned: Week 10
By Max Olson
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas knocked off Kansas 35-13 on Saturday to improve to 6-2 on the season and remain tied atop the Big 12 standings at 5-0 in conference play. Here are three big takeaways from the Longhorns' home victory:
1. Defense takes another step: Kind of a bend-don't-break day for the Texas defense, which gave up a few plays but not many costly ones. In the first three quarters, Kansas' offense reached the Texas 13-yard line on one drive, the 4-yard line on another and the 10 on a third. The Longhorns permitted zero touchdowns on those possessions. Texas forced only one turnover but did score on it thanks to a 40-yard scoop and score from Chris Whaley. All in all, it's another fine showing from a unit that's now the No. 1 scoring defense in the Big 12 (18.2 PPG) in conference play.
2. When in doubt, run: Texas played up to its offensive identity against Kansas, rushing for 229 yards on 44 attempts and getting all four of its offensive scores on the ground, by way of Malcolm Brown rushes. Brown ran for 119 yards on 20 carries, surpassing 100 for the second time in three games. Johnathan Gray was stifled a bit today by KU, gaining 68 yards on 18 rushes, but was more than happy to watch Brown have another breakout game. Texas' line wasn't as dominant as in recent weeks, but none of Texas' rushing attempts were stopped behind the line of scrimmage on Saturday.
3. What it will take to win the Big 12: A better performance than what Texas put together against KU. It wasn't sloppy, it wasn't even poorly planned. Just inconsistent, in execution and possibly energy. Not knocking what Texas did in taking care of business and getting to six wins. But take a look at what Oklahoma State did to Texas Tech on Saturday. Or the Oklahoma-Tech brawl a week ago. These teams are bringing their very best to the big stages. Texas will have to put together its best ball of the season in its four-game finish if this team is serious about a Big 12 title. Wins are good, but these Longhorns have to get a lot better in the next two weeks if this five-game run is to continue.