Texas vs. Kansas: Five questions facing the Longhorns
Five questions facing Texas (4-5, 2-4 Big 12) against Kansas (1-8, 0-6) on Saturday night (6:30 p.m., ESPNU):
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Which Texas running backs will play?
Both Bijan Robinson (neck) and Roschon Johnson (toe) were on Texas' injury report after last week's 30-7 loss at Iowa State. Johnson was made available to reporters Wednesday and said he was feeling fine, but on Thursday head coach Steve Sarkisian said both backs would be game-time decisions. Robinson and Johnson have accounted for 73.4% of the Texas rushing attack. Up next on the depth chart are Alabama transfer Keilan Robinson (194 yards) and freshman Jonathon Brooks (110). Sarkisian said Gabriel Watson (37 yards) also could fill in.
Will anyone step up with Joshua Moore's departure?
On Monday, Sarkisian announced that Moore had entered the transfer portal and was no longer on the team. The fourth-year wide receiver underachieved this season, but his 24 receptions are second-most on the team. Six players have caught a touchdown pass for Texas, and two of them — Moore and an injured Jordan Whittington — won't be available Saturday, and Robinson might be too injured to play. Two of the other Longhorns who have caught a touchdown pass are tight ends.
Can Texas avoid getting fooled by a trick play?
In each of its last three games, Texas has seen an opponent reach into its bag of tricks. Against Oklahoma State, the trickery didn't work. The Cowboys had a receiver throw an incomplete pass back to quarterback Spencer Sanders. But in each of the past two weeks, Texas was fooled as Baylor and Iowa State receivers tossed touchdown passes. Over its last three games, Texas has actually given up more touchdown passes to opposing receivers (two) than opposing quarterbacks (one).
Will Cameron Dicker make a bigger impact kicking or punting?
Kansas fans probably know Dicker as a kicker. Two years ago in Austin, he kicked a 33-yard field goal with no time left in a 50-48 Texas win. He's 9-for-11 on field-goal attempts this season, but his leg is actually making more noise on punts. This week, Dicker was named one of the 10 semifinalists for the Ray Guy Award. He's averaging 47.8 yards per punt; if the season ended today, that would best Michael Dickson's school-record average of 47.4 yards.
Will Jason Bean start for Kansas?
This week, Texas defensive lineman Moro Ojomo noted the Kansas quarterback's speed, and the transfer from North Texas has ripped off a 46-yard run this season and has thrown for 1,252 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions. However, the Kansas City Star reported that Bean has a "questionable to doubtful" designation for Saturday. Jalon Daniels, a sophomore who started six games last season, sits behind Bean on the depth chart.