the score

UT Looks to Easily Snare Jayhawks

Pick up a rare Big 12 home win

By Russ Espinoza, 3:12PM, Thu. Oct. 27, 2011

David Ash
David Ash
Photo courtesy of UT

Fans are notorious for taking outcomes for granted. Journalists too. In the event you’ve had it drummed out of your head by discussion of a Big 12-West Virginia union, the Longhorns (4-2) have a home game this Saturday – albeit one that is sane to sleep on.

But wait! Understanding the Texas vs. Kansas backstory will rivet where the game probably won’t. Much has fallen off with the Longhorns since the Jayhawks last showing in Austin on Nov. 21, 2009. Would you believe that night’s 51-20 rout was Texas’ last home win over a Big 12 opponent? One stolen glance into Bevo’s joyless eyes affirms it as fact. Last year’s 5-7 record is well-chronicled and oft- regurgitated, but UT’s 0-4 mark at home in Big 12 play remains unrealized to some — the keg-standing frat and sorority contingent, for instance.

Yes, it’s been almost two years.

With Mack Brown running the show, Texas was 40-3 in conference home games before 2010 threw everything and everyone into question. Now, Brown’s improved, yet enduringly mysterious Longhorns have a tailor-made chance to vanquish the losing streak, start the season’s second half on a positive note, and feel much better about themselves.

Theoretically, that November 2009 victory over Kansas is what Texas Football is all about. It was Colt McCoy’s swan song at DKR Memorial Stadium: he set the NCAA career mark for all-time wins by a starting quarterback with 369 passing yards that night. Those Longhorns were 11-0, ranked third, and en route to the National Championship game at that juncture. Since, they’re a combined 9-10 across 2010-11.

At 2-5, Kansas is an ideal patsy for any team desperate to assert itself. The Jayhawk defense ranks dead last in points allowed — 50.4 per game — and yards allowed at 550.9 per game. Early home wins over McNeese State and Northern Illinois have since been buried under Kansas’ current five-game losing streak. Head coach Turner Gill’s squad has been outscored 287-124 during that span; but UT coach Mack Brown qualified during his weekly press conference that each of KU’s losses have come against "strong" teams — Georgia Tech, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Kansas State.

“I told the players I thought this game was very similar to [last year’s home contest with] Iowa State,” Brown told reporters on Monday.

A long memory isn’t needed to recall how the 4-4 Cyclones crashed the DKR grounds last October and stole their first-ever victory over UT, 28-21. That outcome was a shocker, but a home loss to KU on Saturday would be the upset of our young century. The bottom-feeding Jayhawk defense ought to make Texas’ stable of backs look like Earl Campbell, Ricky Williams, and Cedric Benson.

Take it for granted: Longhorns win big, 49-17.

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