AUSTIN — Texas reasserted itself as the superior squad in its annual series against Kansas. After losing to the Jayhawks for the first time in Big 12 history last year, the Longhorns exacted revenge with a 42-27 victory on Saturday at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin.
Texas forced four first half turnovers to take an 18-point halftime lead and held on despite another underwhelming offensive performance. Senior cornerback Antwuan Davis had two interceptions, the first of which he returned 16 yards for a touchdown.
He also recovered a muffed punt at Kansas’s 25-yard line to set up a one-yard touchdown run by sophomore wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey. His second interception came in the end zone at the end of the half to solidify Texas’s 18-point advantage going into the break.
The other first half turnover was forced by senior safety Jason Hall, who picked off a pass in the first quarter and returned it to Kansas’s nine-yard line. That set up an eight-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger to freshman tight end Cade Brewer.
The offense continues to disappoint Texas fans who thought new head coach Tom Herman would come in and light up the scoreboard. The Longhorns averaged just 5.0 yards per play – which would rank 103rd nationally – against a Kansas defense that was last in the Big 12 – and 121st nationally – in that statistic.
The running game was once again nonexistent. Freshman running back Toneil Carter had a 23-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, but outside of that, Texas gained just 90 yards on 39 carries. Freshman running back Daniel Young got the most work with 21 totes for 67 yards.
Texas’s struggling offense allowed Kansas to stay in the game until the fourth quarter. But Junior linebacker Malik Jefferson got behind the line for a big fourth down stop at Texas’s 29-yard line and Buechele completed a key fourth-and-five slant to Johnson on the ensuing drive, which set up a 2-yard scoring plunge from junior running back Chris Warren III with 5:42 left to put the game away.
Sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele hit senior wide receiver Lorenzo Joe for a 49-yard touchdown pass off play-action on the first play of the game and finished 249 yards on 22-of-32 passing with one touchdown and one pick. Joe caught five passes for 98 yards to go with his score and sophomore wide receiver Collin Johnson added six grabs for 63 yards.
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