HD Predictions: Kansas

The HD staff gives their predictions for Saturday's Big 12 opener for both Texas and Kansas.


William Wilkerson

In case you forgot, when Texas went into Lawrence in 2012 it needed a 1-yard game-winning touchdown throw with 12 seconds left from Case McCoy, who came off the bench, to D.J. Grant to escape with a 21-17 victory.

Now, I’m not saying the Longhorns are going to need some miraculous comeback game-winning drive from Jerrod Heard (throw salt over your right shoulder, knock on wood, etc. Texas fans), but until Texas proves that it can score consistently on offense I’m not wiling to say it will blow out anybody at this point. No, not even a Jayhawks team it’s beat by an average of 42.8-14.4 in 11 matchups in Big 12 play.

That being said I do expect the Longhorns to dominate defensively led by Malcom Brown, Cedric Reed and the “Green Mile” Hassan Ridgeway, and I do think Tyrone Swoopes will continue to make good decisions and, while he won’t blow you away with his stats, won’t turn the ball over.

I do think that this is the game that J Gray and Malcolm Brown finally get things going behind an offensive line that, while not as talented as you’d expect a Texas OL to be, has meshed well together.

What’s that? You think Marcus Johnson actually gets involved heavily in the passing game? Me too. He’ll have a TD reception of over 30 yards, book it.

Prediction:

Texas 30, Kansas 10



Chip Brown

I'm going to make this prediction pretty simple, because I keep coming back to the confidence I continue to see growing inside sophomore QB Tyrone Swoopes.

the major DI level - even though starting off 8-of-8 passing against BYU and a 75-yard scoring drive in the third quarter were totally lost (and understandably so) in a 41-7 home loss.

Then, it was clear Swoopes had gained a bunch more confidence at Jerryworld vs UCLA - even though starting off 11-of-11 passing and finishing 24 of 34 with 2 TD strikes and 0 INTs were totally overshadowed by losing a late lead and a botched coin toss. After having two weeks to get more comfortable in an expanded offense, I'm expecting big things from Swoopes as the Longhorns open Big 12 play on the road at Kansas. Even though UT has struggled in a flat atmosphere in Lawrence over the years (anyone remember 4th-and-18 and VY's Texas Two-Step in 2004 or Case McCoy's rescue in 2012?), I think Swoopes breaks out on Saturday. I not only think Swoopes will have a passing performance similar to that of UCLA, I think he also uses his legs more - even if improvised - to help Texas move the chains and sustain more scoring drives.

Prediction:

Texas 31, Kansas 13



Jason Higdon

Texas is 1-2 on the season and desperately needs a win for more than one reason. Texas will get things turned around this weekend against a 2-1 Kansas team. I am looking for the entire offensive production to increase across the board this weekend. Tyrone Swoopes has done a very good job completing 68% of his passes with three touchdowns vs. one interception. His yards per attempt are under six and I look for that to be around eight on Saturday.

This will also be the weekend the backs get the ground game cranked up. Texas has all sorts of issues on the offensive line but the Texas running backs will look to try and take the game over and make a statement. As a team, they average 3.5 yards per carry and I expect that to be around 4.5 this weekend vs. the Jayhawks.

The Texas offense will get off to a fast start forcing Kansas to play catch up for most of the day. This will put the Kansas offense in certain down and distance situations and the Texas defense will flourish all day.

Prediction:

Texas 28, Kansas 13



Nick Castillo

Charlie Strong’s record after a bye week as head coach at Louisville was 5-2. Louisville lost those games by a combined seven points including an overtime three point loss to Connecticut. So how will Strong fair after his first bye week at Texas? Luckily he gets to play Kansas on Saturday.

Unless the Longhorns come out flat like they did in 2012, they should get passed the Jayhawks with ease.

Offensively we’ll see the Longhorns best performance this season. The makeshift offensive line will finally look comfortable together and will provide sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes with ample time to throw the ball and open up lanes for senior running back Malcolm Brown and junior running back Jonathan Gray to run through.

Speaking of Swoopes, he’ll have phenomenal game. Like he did in his first two starts, Swoopes will start off hot which will lead him to throw for 215 yards and two touchdowns Saturday.

Both running backs will gain at least 50 yards.

The defense will play well but still give up some concerning big plays but ultimately it’ll be a good showing for them.

Prediction:

Texas 31, Kansas 7


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