The Longhorns (4-5, 3-3) will welcome Kansas (1-8, 0-6) to Austin on Saturday. Texas will be looking to revenge a shocking 24-21 loss to Kansas in 2016. Kansas is coming off a 38-9 loss to a Baylor team that was previously winless. Let’s take a look at what to expect from the Kansas offense:
Throughout fall camp, sophomore Carter Stanley and junior transfer Peyton Bender competed for the starting quarterback job. Bender started the first game of the season against Southeast Missouri State, the only win for the Jayhawks on the year. In the games following, Bender’s play regressed and he was eventually replaced by Stanley, who has started the last two games against TCU and Baylor. Stanley has thrown for 717 yards, with one touchdown and 3 interceptions. During his media availability on Tuesday, Beaty said that Stanley was nursing an undisclosed injury and is questionable for Saturday’s game.
If Stanley is unable to play, Kansas will be forced to hand the reigns back to Bender. Bender has thrown for 1437 yards, with 8 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Doug Meacham is in his first season as offensive coordinator for the Jayhawks, and has found it tough to move the football without the weapons he had at his disposal at his previous stop, TCU. Regardless of who lines up behind center for Kansas, Texas will have a decisive advantage when the Jayhawks throw the ball.
With the Jayhawks averaging 49 passes per game and falling behind early in almost every game, the running game has struggled. Primary running back Khalil Herbert had a monster performance against West Virginia, gaining 291 yards on the ground on 39 carries, but has otherwise only surpassed the 100-yard mark in one other game. Herbert has rushed for 615 yards and 4 touchdowns on the year. Backup Taylor Martin has added 197 yards and 3 touchdowns.
As a team, Kansas is only averaging 3.5 yards per rush. To better put that in perspective, Texas is also averaging 3.5 yards per rush. The Jayhawks will live and die by the passing game. The Longhorns should be able to contain Herbert and force the quarterback to beat them.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
The one player on the Kansas offense that Texas can not let beat them is Steven Sims Jr. The junior leads the Jayhawks in receiving with 679 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is averaging over 17 yards per reception and will serve as the primary big play threat. Junior Jeremiah Booker will serve as the number two option. Booker has hauled in 21 passes for 282 yards and 2 touchdowns. Junior Ryan Schlader will also hear his name called on offense as well as on kickoff returns. Schlader has caught 18 passes for 146 yards.
Kansas has the luxury of utilizing a very good tight end in Ben Johnson. The senior was an honorable mention All-Big 12 member a season ago and is currently the second leading receiver on the team. Johnson has hauled in 25 passes for 307 yards and a touchdown. He also serves a quality blocker and will present some matchup problems for Texas linebackers.
Kansas starts an extremely young offensive line. 4 out of 5 starters are underclassmen. Senior right tackle Zach Hannon was a graduate transfer from Nebraska who was receiving the first significant snaps of his collegiate career this season. Hannon missed last week’s game against Baylor with an injury and David Beaty said he is questionable for Saturday’s game. Sophomore left tackle Hakeem Adeniji may be the most talented offensive lineman on the Jayhawks roster. Adeniji started all 12 games in 2016 as a freshman and was honorable mention All-Big 12. Chris Hughes and Andru Tovi will man the two guard positions. Hughes is a redshirt freshman who is in his first year as a starter. Tovi is a junior college transfer who hails from Hawaii. The offensive line is rounded out by sophomore Mesa Ribordy.
The offensive line has allowed 21 sacks on the season and has not paved many holes in the running game. The Texas defensive line is coming off another impressive performance and should have no problems getting into the backfield against a young and inexperienced offensive line.
Texas drops #17 TCU 31-16
Tom Herman got his first signature win over Gary Patterson and TCU on Saturday
The Texas Longhorns entered Saturday’s game looking to put an end to a nasty trend of losing to TCU — a team they have historically had their way with. Recent history has proven this task difficult, with TCU winning five of six since joining the Big 12, including four straight against the Longhorns. As a Big 12 member, TCU has a perfect 3-0 record in Austin. On Saturday afternoon, the Longhorns emphatically ended the losing streak to Gary Patterson and TCU in front of 95,124 fans, proving they are a legitimate contender for the Big 12 Championship this season.
TCU began on offense after Texas won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. The Horned Frogs worked quickly behind quarterback Shawn Robinson, marching 46 yards on 8 plays. The drive was capped with a 46-yard field goal by Jonathan Song which gave TCU an early 3-0 lead over Texas.
Texas failed to answer Songs’s field goal on their first offensive possession, with freshman kicker Cameron Dicker missing his first field goal of the season on a 42-yard attempt.
The Longhorns would make up for it on their next possession, with quarterback Sam Ehlinger engineering a 65-yard scoring drive which was capped off by a five yard touchdown run by Tre Watson. Texas led TCU 7-3 at the 4:09 mark of the quarter, their first lead over the Horned Frogs in four years.
After two rushing plays on the next possession, Robinson would complete a 50-yard pass to Jalen Reagor, setting TCU up for a first and goal at the Texas 4 yard line. The Texas defense held steady, forcing the Frogs to settle for a 23-yard field goal, Jonathan Song’s second of the day.
The Longhorns maintained a 7-6 lead after one quarter was in the books.
Cameron Dicker’s 34-yard field goal represented the first points of the second quarter, extending Texas’ lead to 10-6 over TCU.
TCU would take a 13-10 lead into the locker room at the half, on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Robinson to Jalen Reagor.
Texas started the third quarter on offense but quickly went three-and-out. On the next possession Robinson was intercepted by Brandon Jones, but the Longhorns would fail to capitalize.
Song extended the TCU lead to 16-10 at the 8:44 mark, making good on his 3rd field goal of the night, this time from 29 yards out.
Texas regained its lead with less than a minute left in the quarter after Sam Ehlinger found a stretched-out Collin Johnson in the end zone for the score. Texas led TCU 17-16.
On TCU’s next possession, Caden Sterns intercepted Shawn Robinson for the second time on the evening and returned it for a touchdown. After review by the officials, Sterns stepped out of bounds at the TCU 2 yard line. Sam Ehlinger finished the short drive by taking the first down snap and running it in untouched for a touchdown.
Headed to the fourth quarter, Texas held a 24-16 lead over the Horned Frogs.
The fourth quarter belonged all to the Longhorns, who scored a lone touchdown courtesy of Sam Ehlinger to Lil’Jordan Humphrey, and played solid defense en route to a 31-16 win.
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns in the win and rushed for one touchdown. Collin Johnson led the Longhorns with 124 yards receiving and one touchdown. The Texas offense totaled 367 yards of total offense compared to TCU’s 372.
Cade Sterns and Brandon Jones each had interceptions against TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson, who threw for 197 yards in the loss.
The Longhorns improve to 3-1 overall and are riding a three-game win streak, something they haven’t accomplished since the 2014 season. Additionally, Texas defeated it’s second consecutive ranked opponent in two weeks.
While the win over TCU was important, Tom Herman knows he has a lot of work ahead if his team wishes to leave the Manhattan with a win next Saturday:
“We’re going to celebrate it, enjoy it, and we’re going to wake up tomorrow knowing we got to go on the road for the first time in a month against a Kansas State team that’s always, always tough to handle and especially when they’re playing at home. That is a tough, tough place to play. ”
Texas will travel to Manhattan, Kansas to take on the Kansas State Wildcats next Saturday at 2:30 PM.
- True freshman running back Keaontay Ingram returned to the field against TCU after missing the USC game with a knee injury. Ingram left the game in the first half after suffering a hip pointer. In his postgame presser, Herman said he doesn’t expect Ingram’s injury to be anything long-term.
- Defensive back Jarmarquis Durst sustained a severe shoulder sprain.
- Offensive lineman Calvin Anderson played through some knee issues in the game and will be evaluated on Sunday.
- Texas improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the Big 12 Conference with the win
- The Longhorns are now 3-1 for the first time since 2012
- Saturday’s win marks the first time UT has beaten Top 25 teams in consecutive weeks since 2008
- The Texas defense forced four turnovers in the win
- Collin Johnson’s 100-yard receiving performance marked the second straight season, and seventh time in school history, that a Longhorn receiver has eclipsed the century mark against TCU.
- Sam Ehlinger has 2,893 career passing yards, surpassing his high school coach Todd Dodge’s career passing mark for 15th all-time in school history. Ehlinger also becomes the first Longhorn QB since Colt McCoy in 2008 with at least one passing and one rushing TD in three consecutive games.
Seahorn’s Five Thoughts: TCU
Texas finally ends the Horned Frogs curse
That’s two weeks in a row this team has proved me wrong. Maybe I should just keep picking against them each week. This was a better opponent this week and a much more meaningful game in the grand scheme of things, and this team answered the bell in a big way.
Getting the Purple Monkey (Frog) Off Their Back
TCU has had Texas’ number for several years now and it’s been no secret, especially given how Gary Patterson and his staff have been beating that drum in the ears of recruits. Over the recent years, Texas has been out coached, out schemed, out hustled, and just about anything else you can think of in its matchups with TCU. It seemed like anything that could go wrong would, and things would get ugly quick. That changed today in Austin.
Big hat tip to Todd Orlando and his defense as they found a way to limit the explosive TCU offense to less than 20 points and force Shawn Robinson to turn the ball over several times, including one that led to an offensive touchdown. Orlando’s bunch kept the game tight even with the offense struggling at times, but they got the ball back in their hands and gave them extra opportunities. That leads me to my next point.
Winning the Turnover Battle
Texas didn’t just win the turnover battle today — they dominated it. The Texas safety tandem of Brandon Jones and Caden Sterns combined for all four defensive turnovers today and Sterns almost scored his first collegiate touchdown, but stepped out before he could. We knew going in that Robinson was prone to turning the ball over and he did it three times, with each being very key to swinging the momentum and contributing to what ended up being the final score. Speaking of Sterns, if people didn’t know who he was before today, they probably do now. That kid is a future All-American and a three year player. Enjoy him in Austin while you can.
On the other side of the ball, Sam Ehlinger and the Texas offense took care of the ball and didn’t turn it over to a defense that knows how to force errors. While the offense may have had struggles today, they did not give TCU extra opportunities via the turnover.
Playmakers at WR Come Up Big
It’s impossible to tell the story of this win today without mentioning Collin Johnson and LIl’Jordan Humphrey. The dynamic duo combined for 11 catches for 204 yards and two HUGE touchdowns that gave Texas the lead, and put away the Frogs down the home stretch. Plain and simple, these two came up huge despite having all kinds of coverages rolled their way, and when Ehlinger needed a big play, he went their way. Humphrey and Johnson continue to impress early on and are looking like one of the top receiver duos in the Big 12.
Learning to Finish
Remember how I said previously that this team needs to learn how to finish off quality opponents? Don’t look now, but in back-to-back weeks this Texas team has not only beat a ranked opponent, but has delivered knockout blows and made the teams wave the white flag. Gary Patterson opted to punt with time left on the clock and his team down on the scoreboard. He (and his team) tapped out. They said NO MÁS. With the way TCU has been treating Texas lately, I didn’t think I’d see that with my own eyes any time soon. This team is getting better each week and they have a chance to get another monkey off their back next week in Manhattan. Just a different shade of purple.
Winning last week against USC was huge for recruiting and confidence. This week’s win over TCU is the USC win multipled ten times. This was a win over a conference and in-state rival who has built their brand off of dominating Texas over the past few years, and now you take the shine off that pitch and have a chance to change the momentum. If recruits and opponents weren’t paying attention after last week — they certainly are now. Texas isn’t back, but they are certainly getting better. They should be favored over a struggling Kansas State team next week, but it’s the venue that should frighten everyone. They have a chance to win in Manhattan and put together a 3-game winning streak heading into Dallas. That would make an already big game even bigger.
GAME DAY: TCU @ TEXAS
The Texas Longhorns (2-1, 0-0) and the TCU Horned Frogs (2-1, 0-0) will open Big 12 play for both schools on Saturday at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. The Longhorns are coming off an upset win over a ranked USC Trojan team, while the Horned Frogs look to get back on-track after losing to 4th-ranked Ohio State last Saturday in Arlington, Texas. TCU has the Longhorns’ number and owns a 4-game win streak against the program.
When: Saturday, September 22, 2018
Time: 3:30 PM CST
Venue: Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium
Location: Austin, TX
Line: Texas +3
Last Meeting: TCU defeated Texas 24-27 in Fort Worth (11/4/2017)
All-time Series Record: Texas leads TCU 62-25-1
- Texas vs. TCU Depth Chart
- Offensive Preview: TCU
- Defensive Preview: TCU
- Staff Predictions – Texas vs. TCU
- Game Preview – Texas Longhorns vs. TCU Horned Frogs
Game Preview: Texas Longhorns vs. TCU Horned Frogs
Can the Longhorns get past the pesty Horned Frogs?
Since joining the Big 12, the TCU Horned Frogs hold a 5-1 record against the Texas Longhorns, including four straight wins. On Saturday Big 12 play begins for both schools, and the Longhorns look to beat head coach Gary Patterson’s team for the first time in Austin since 2007. The Longhorns are riding the momentum of a resounding win against USC last week, while TCU lost to 4th-ranked Ohio State 40-28. Texas hasn’t lost five in a row to TCU since the 1930’s and they will have a challenge at hand with the nation’s 40th ranked offense.
When: Saturday, September 21, 2018
Time: 3:30 PM CST
Venue: Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium
Location: Austin, TX
TCU Horned Frogs
Head Coach: Gary Patterson
Head Coaching Experience: 18th year as a head coach
Years as Head Coach at TCU: 18
Career Record: 162-58
Career Record at USC: 162-58
Head Coach: Tom Herman
Head Coaching Experience: 4th year as a head coach
Years as Head Coach at Texas: 2
Career Record: 31-11
Career Record at Texas: 9-7
Can Texas Break the Curse of the Frogs?
While Texas owns the all-time series record (62-25) against TCU, Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs have dominated the Longhorns since joining the Big 12. Last year Patterson beat Herman in Fort Worth to the tune of 24-7. And in the last four losses to the Horned Frogs, the Longhorns have been held to 10 points or less. Attribute those numbers to Gary Patterson’s sound defensive philosophy, which is no different this year. Texas will have to score points and play sound defense if they are going to break the recent purple curse.
Can Ehlinger and the Offense get Cranking?
Sam Ehlinger has made strides from game-to-game this season, and Texas needs the sophmore to continue his winning ways. He has thrown for 723 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions this season, and rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns. Ehlinger’s ability to run is something the Longhorns need to take advantage of in order to throw off a tenacious TCU defense that allows only 317 yards of offense per game. Texas head coach Tom Herman is aware of the challenge Gary Patterson’s defense poses to his team on Saturday.
“So we’ve got our work cut out for us on both sides of the football. TCU has speed everywhere. Their skilled guys on offense are fast in terms of wide receivers and running backs, a running back with a 94-yard it was against Ohio State, who has a lot of speed on defense themselves. And obviously on defense, even their front and fast and athletic. They played well. They came up a bit short, but it’s as fast of a defense as I’ve seen in a long time.”
The Texas rushing offense managed just 9 yards on the ground in last year’s loss to the Horned Frogs, something that must change on Saturday to give the Longhorns a chance. The Longhorns have several weapons at receiver that have the potential to impact the outcome of this game. Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson are two of Texas’ top play-makers and will be integrated into the offensive strategy in heavy doses. Johnson, a 6’6, 220 pound junior, has 13 receptions for 175 yards and a touchdown this season. Humphrey, also a junior, leads the team with 17 receptions for 275 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught a 47-yard touchdown pass in last week’s win against USC.
Brennan Eagles – WR
Tom Herman listed the freshman Eagles as doubtful for Saturday’s game against TCU with an injury to his hamstring. Eagles has played in all three games for the Longhorns this season and has one reception for 35 yards on the season.
Keaontay Ingram – RB
Ingram missed the USC game while still nursing a knee injury sustained in the Tulsa game. The true freshman was upgraded from questionable to “available” to play during the TCU game. Ingram is averaging 6.3 yards per carry and has 101 yards on 16 carries this season.
Zach Shackleford – C
Shackelford missed the Tulsa game due to injury and was still experiencing pain in his foot. He is doubtful for Saturday’s contest against TCU.
DeMarvion Overshown – LB
Overshown’s knee is still nagging him and will miss the TCU game and possibly the Kansas State game.
Malcolm Roach – LB
Roach had surgery on a fractured foot on Wednesday and will be out six to eight weeks.
What’s at Stake?
The Longhorns are 14-8 (.636) all-time in their first home Big 12 game. Texas hasn’t won three consecutive games since 2014 and with a win today, would carry a 3-1 record into Manhattan, Kansas next week against another team that historically has given them fits. Texas beat USC last week, but fans are still uncertain as to whether that indicates that Texas is on the rise, or if the Trojans are simply overrated this season. Saturday’s game against TCU will provide an honest assessment of this team’s capacity on both sides of the ball.
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