Saturday, December 12, 2020, David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, Kansas, 3:30 p.m. ET
Longhorns at Jayhawks Betting Preview: Longhorns (-29.5), Jayhawks (+29.5)
Texas paused football activities early in the week but still planned to play a game already pushed back by COVID-19 concerns.
The 20th-ranked Longhorns (6-3, 5-3 Big 12) shut down their operations after three players and two staff members who previously tested negative and traveled to Kansas State for a victory last week tested positive on Sunday. Still, travel plans for a game this Saturday at Kansas remained on schedule.
“Everything we are doing right now is merely precautionary,” Texas coach Tom Herman said, “and we are wanting to make sure with a couple of extra cases, extra positives, that we haven’t had, quite frankly, all year, that this is not a trend throughout the team but a couple of isolated incidents.”
The matchup against Kansas originally was scheduled for Nov. 21 but was rescheduled after issues surfaced when Kansas could not field enough defensive linemen to meet Big 12 protocols based on injuries and COVID-19 concerns.
Each team is coming off encouraging performances.
Texas blasted Kansas State 69-31 last week after being eliminated from the Big 12 title chase in a home defeat against Iowa State on Nov. 27. Bijan Robinson rushed nine times for 172 yards and three touchdowns to pace a Texas offense directed by quarterback Sam Ehlinger.
Nevertheless, last week’s performance did little to reduce the heat on Herman. Potential replacements have surfaced for the fourth-year coach, who stands 31-18, though multiple reports say prime target Urban Meyer is not interested because of health concerns.
That could prompt Texas to retain Herman if donors aren’t eager to contribute to a $25 million buyout.
Herman has three years left on his contract and reportedly has been told his performance will be evaluated at the end of the season. Among Texas’ possible bowl destinations are the Alamo and Liberty.
Kansas has lost all but eight of its past 100 conference games and is facing its third winless season in history. The Wildcats (0-9, 0-9 Big 12) already are assured of a sixth consecutive last-place finish in the Big 12.
Still, the Jayhawks are coming off their tightest outcome, a 16-13 loss at Texas Tech.
Gaining any effectiveness at quarterback, either from Miles Kendrick or Jalon Daniels, remains a dilemma for the Jayhawks.
Kendrick played the entire game at Texas Tech but passed for just 102 yards and could not capitalize on four takeaways provided by the defense. The Kansas offense managed just 214 total yards.
“We’ll look at this week of practice and competition and see how it goes,” coach Les Miles said. “(Kendrick) was very good last week (at practices). We’ll have to see if he continues that pace.”
For the season, Kendrick has completed 73 of 120 passes (60.8 percent) for 647 yards and six touchdowns with five interceptions. Daniels has completed only half of his 152 pass attempts for 718 yards and one touchdown against four interceptions.
The Jayhawks have averaged only 104.9 yards a game rushing with Velton Gardner accounting for just over half (54.2) of that total.
Longhorns at Jayhawks Betting Pick for December 12, 2020
Texas leads the series with Kansas 16-3 and has won the last three meetings. The Longhorns squeaked by the Jayhawks 50-48 last year in Austin on Cameron Dicker’s 33-yard field goal as time expired. Sam Ehlinger was 31 of 44 passing for 399 yards and four touchdowns with one interception.
Longhorns at Jayhawks Betting Pick:
Longhorns 52, Jayhawks 14
Longhorns at Jayhawks Best Bet for December 12, 2020
The Longhorns are coming of a 69-31 spanking of Kansas State, the second time this season they have topped the 60-point mark. They just missed that i a 59-3 rout of UTEP to open the season. Kansas’ season scoring high is 23 points, twice, in losses to Coastal Carolina and TCU.
Longhorns at Jayhawks Best Bet: OVER 61.5