Saturday, we looked at four questions that Texas was facing ahead of its matchup with Kansas.
Here’s how they played out:
1. What was Jerrod Heard’s role?
With Sam Ehlinger back in the mix at quarterback, Heard — Texas’ versatile junior (and former starting quarterback) who shifted to wide receiver in 2016 — moved out of his role as Shane Buechele’s backup for the previous two games and back into receiver mode. But if he got onto the field, we didn’t see it. Ten different Longhorns recorded a catch, but Heard wasn’t one of them.
2. Did Texas hold Kansas to fewer than 19.7 points?
The Longhorns came close to holding the Jayhawks to their 19.7 scoring average, however. Kansas added a late touchdown with 11 seconds left to bump its total from 20 to 27. The Jayhawks are only the third team, along with Maryland and Kansas State, that bettered their averages against the Longhorns. Oklahoma State, which was scoring 45.3 points a game heading into Saturday (No. 2 in the country), put up only 13 against Texas. And Oklahoma, at 45.0 points a game (No. 3), scored 29.
3. Who handled kicking duties for Texas?
The Longhorns finally made a change. But the results were the same. Becker took over place kicking duties from Joshua Rowland, who’s only 7 of 14 on his field goal attempts. Becker missed his only field goal try of the night, from 44 yards out. It seemed that the Longhorns opted to go for it on fourth downs in the second half rather than try for field goals. Texas went for it on fourth down six times, converting four.
4. Did Texas beat Kansas — and the spread?
Yes. And no.
The Longhorns, needing two wins out of their final three games to make a bowl, got their fifth win of the season. That means they need one more win against West Virginia or Texas Tech to get to a bowl game for the first time since 2014. But Texas, which was a 33-point favorite, didn’t cover. But there’s a reason why the Jayhawks have now lost nine in a row. Texas, which had an average margin of victory of 25.8 points in its four wins before Saturday, beat Kansas by 15.
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