Texas will look to bounce back from a tough performance against Oklahoma by welcoming the Kansas Jayhawks to Austin. Kansas is led by former LSU coach Les Miles, and Miles is already shaking things up halfway into his first season in Lawrence. Let’s take a look at what to expect from the Kansas offense.
Senior Carter Stanley will start against Texas for the 3rd time in his career. Stanley’s career as a Jayhawk has been a rollercoaster. He started the final 3 games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, including Kansas’ win over Texas in Lawrence. He went on to split time with Peyton Bender in 2017 and 2018 before regaining his starting spot this season.
Stanley is quietly having a solid 2019, completing 65% of his passes while throwing for 12 touchdowns compared to 4 interceptions. The biggest change for the Kansas offense came 2 weeks ago when Les Miles announced offensive coordinator Les Koenning was being relieved of his duties immediately. In Koenning’s place will be Brent Dearmon, who served as a senior offensive consultant prior to his promotion. Prior to joining the Kansas coaching staff, Dearmon was the head coach of Bethel College in 2018, where he had the highest-scoring offense at any level in the entire country at 55 points per game.
The Texas defensive will be tasked with shutting down sophomore Pooka Williams, who ran for over 100 yards against the Longhorns a season ago. Williams leads Kansas in carries with 90 and is averaging just under 5 yards per carry. Williams was previously conceding a handful of carries to Khalil Herbert, but Herbert recently decided to sit out the remainder of the season so he can redshirt and transfer. Dom Williams and Velton Gardner are likely to see an uptick in carries in Herbert’s absence.
A trio of receivers carry the load for the Kansas passing attack. Junior college transfer Andrew Parchment is having a nice first season in Lawrence, hauling in 32 receptions for 422 yards and 4 touchdowns. Stephon Robinson Jr. and Daylon Charlot hold down the 2 other starting spots. Charlot hauled in a touchdown in the matchup last season and Robinson is averaging over 15 yards per reception in 2019.
No position group is likely to benefit more from the coordinator switch than the receivers. Parchment, Robinson and Charlot are likely to see an uptick in touches with a faster-paced offense focused more on the quick passing game and getting players in space.
The Jayhawks have an experienced offensive line with quite a few starts between the group. Senior left tackle Hakeem Adeniji is a future NFL player and has started every game of his Kansas career. The rest of the offensive line is made up of 3 juniors and senior right tackle Clyde McCauley. The unit as a whole likely ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of talent in the Big 12. The Jayhawks are allowing a little under 2 sacks a game, but have stalled on offense at times and have struggled to establish the running game.
This may be a tricky game for the Texas defense. It is completely unknown what will be kept the same and what will change with Dearmon now calling the plays. The Jayhawks had a bye week last week, so the opportunity was there for significant changes to be made to the playbook. Regardless, Texas fans should expect a loose Kansas team who is playing with nothing to lose. Dearmon surely saw what Oklahoma did to the Texas defense last weekend, so expect a lot of motion and misdirection to try to force Longhorn defenders to overthink. In fact, the first thing Dearmon said in his introductory press conference was the Jayhawks were going to run more RPO’s. Expect a heavy dose of that this weekend against a Texas defense that struggles stopping that scheme.
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