No. 3 Texas is in the midst of enjoying the program's best start since 2012 and riding high after starting the season 4-0. The Longhorns will be putting that undefeated record on the line Saturday against No. 24 Kansas Jayhawks, another unbeaten team. Texas is coming off a downright dominant performance their conference opener a week ago, dismantling Baylor for a 38-6 victory.
Not to be outdone, Kansas starts 4-0 for the second consecutive season after beating BYU 38-27 in its Big 12 opener. Quarterback Jalon Daniels threw for 130 yards and three touchdowns in the win, and the Jayhawks defense scored a pair of touchdowns to keep the game out of reach. Running backs Devin Neal and Daniel Hishaw have combined for 629 yards and eight touchdowns on 7.0 yards per carry through four games.
Texas and Kansas have clashed 21 previous times, but this is the first time the game will be a battle of ranked teams. The Jayhawks have memorable wins over Texas in 2016 and 2021, but Texas holds a lopsided 17-4 all-time record in the series.
How to watch Texas vs. Kansas live
Date: Saturday, Sept. 30 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium -- Austin, Texas
TV: ABC | Live stream: fubo (Try for free)
Texas vs. Kansas: Need to know
Suffocating defense: While the offensive stars get the headlines, Texas' defensive growth is the catalyst behind the surprising rise. The Longhorns rank top 15 in scoring defense, holding opponents to just 12.5 points per game. The mark ranks between Georgia and Notre Dame. Defensive tackle T'vondre Sweat has been a menace in the middle, keying a defense holding opponents top 2.7 yards per carry. One could argue Kansas has not played a defense with this bulk or closing speed since Lance Leipold took over the program.
Tricky offense: Kansas offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki is one of the most underrated play-callers in the sport and has completely revamped the Kansas offense. The Jayhawks rank among the top 15 power-conference teams in yards per play -- one spot behind Ohio State -- despite missing Daniels for the opener. The Kansas offense is exceptionally balanced, using option and misdirection to nearly identical outputs in passing and rushing yards. Kansas is arguably the top offense Texas will play in 2023.
Quarterback battle: Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers was regarded by many as the top quarterback in the Big 12 entering the season, and his profile has only risen since leading an upset of Alabama. However, Daniels was named Preseason Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year is quietly off to a strong start to the season. This is a showcase opportunity for both players as they battle for the title of top quarterback in the Big 12. Ewers must outplay Daniels to stay on a Heisman contender track.
Texas vs. Kansas prediction, picks
Odds via SportsLine consensus
Texas has proven itself as a legitimate national contender, but Kansas provides a unique challenge. The entire game plan is built around compensating for line play and the defense has been opportunistic. In wins against Rice and Wyoming, the Longhorns faced small deficits in the second half before the floodgates opened. Kansas is stout enough offensively to keep things closer than a three-score line, even when Texas goes on its inevitable run. Pick: Kansas +16.5
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