Texas brings faint Big 12 Conference title hopes when it travels to Kansas on Saturday for a key, late-season game in Lawrence.
Both teams head into the penultimate game of the regular season after losses on Nov. 12, with the then-No. 18 Longhorns losing at home to No. 4 TCU 17-10 and the Jayhawks falling 43-28 at Texas Tech.
Texas (6-4, 4-3) dropped out of the CFP rankings but remains mathematically alive for a slot opposite TCU in the Big 12 Championship game. The Longhorns will need to win their final two games and have losses from Oklahoma State and Kansas State, two of the three teams above Texas in the conference standings.
The Longhorns controlled their destiny until their loss to TCU. Texas did not score an offensive touchdown in the game and gained just 199 total yards.
The Longhorns’ four defeats this season have been by a combined 18 points.
“I think it’s encouraging to the idea that we’re playing hard,” Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said. “We’re playing tough. We’re giving ourselves a chance. It’s also to some degree frustrating because we want to win those games.”
The Jayhawks (6-4, 3-4) have dropped four of their past five games. Kansas trailed 36-28 in the fourth quarter before Texas Tech expanded its margin with a touchdown three plays after a strip sack. The Jayhawks got 190 yards rushing from Devin Neal and three scoring passes from Jason Bean in the setback while amassing 525 yards of total offense.
Kansas, which is bowl eligible for the first time since 2008, beat Texas 57-56 in overtime last season in Austin. Jayhawks coach Lance Leipold said Monday that the win helped build momentum that has pushed his team this year.
“Maybe it wasn’t that big of an upset, but it was a sign of some things to come,” Leipold said. “I’m sure Texas is going to answer enough questions in its press conferences this week about it too, and they’re going to be ready to come here and play and play extremely well.”
–Field Level Media