Orangebloods.com staff predictions
Here's what I had to say about this game back in May when the staff made its pre-season predictions: "It's Todd Reesing's home-coming, but the Jayhawks won't be much of a threat in Austin against the 10-0 Longhorns, especially on the heels of back-to-back Big 12 North showdowns against Kansas State and Nebraska."
Six months later and my opinion really hasn't changed. The Jayhawks have been abysmal at times defensively this season and they figure to have real problems on Saturday night in trying to slow down a Texas offense that has the players on deck that can absolutely butcher their secondary.
The wildcard in this game is Reesing, but he has not played especially well this season and he's getting ready to face a defense that's out for blood once again this week. With all of the distractions and all of the factors pointing in the direction of the Longhorns, I'll go with the same score prediction I posted in the spring. Colt McCoy throws four touchdown passes and takes some ownership of the Heisman Race in breaking the career wins record.
Texas 50 Kansas 14
You saw everything the Jayhawks had last week in Lawrence against Nebraska in a game KU trailed only 13-10 in the fourth quarter before caving in. It's a pattern that has developed with Kansas over the last three games. KU had Texas Tech down 21-14 after three quarters in Lubbock three weeks ago, and then allowed 28 unanswered points in the fourth. KU mustered only 3 points in the fourth quarter of a one-possession loss to Kansas State (17-10) two weeks ago. And KU was outscored 18-7 in the fourth quarter against the Cornhuskers last week.
This is a Jayhawks team that is worn out physically and emotionally. Physically by a four-game stretch of playing Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Kansas State and Nebraska. Emotionally by all the headlines surrounding their soon-to-be former coach Mark Mangino.
Look for KU to come out with one non three-and-out offensive series as Todd Reesing tries to put on a good show for his hometown. But the Longhorns' stampede is on, and Kansas just happens to be in the way. It wouldn't shock me to see a repeat of the 2005 game, when Texas was up 52-3 at halftime.
My curiosity is with the Texas offense, and the rhythm the Horns seem to be in right now. Greg Davis and Colt McCoy seem to be in synch now, and are no longer trying to be stubborn with the running game. They are taking what's given and just dealing.
I could see a pick-six or two. I could see Jordan Shipley with a big kick return. I see Colt with three TDs passing and one running. (And if Colt is going to impress the Heisman voters, he needs to continue making plays by scrambling for big chunks if the pass isn't there.)
All in all, a successful Senior Day for the Longhorns, who will be resting the starters for most of the second half with a rivalry game on the road five days later.
Texas 55 - Kansas 6
This one's really pretty easy. Kansas comes in deflated, having lost five games in a row. Throw in all the controversy surrounding head coach Mark Mangino, and the Jayhawks don't stand a chance.
There's been talk about KU rallying around its coach, but that usually happens in situations where a team isn't playing well and its fighting to save the coach's job. You don't really see teams rallying around a coach that's drawing fire from within the program, from the players themselves.
Colt McCoy should have quite a bit of success and Texas will score early and often to put this one away before halftime.
Texas 52 - Kansas 10
Kansas brings in a team that has done everything this week but concentrate on Texas. Texas hops on them early and this game gets ugly and fast. Texas needs to play well and Colt McCoy does as well because the whole nation will be watching. Colt and Texas do what they are supposed to do.
Texas 52 - Kansas 17