LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Texas doesn't have any intention of overlooking Kansas on Saturday.
It doesn't matter that the Jayhawks have only won one game, or that they were blown out last week by Oklahoma, or that there's an unproven freshman quarterback under center.
The Longhorns haven't proven they can overlook anybody.
"I told our team that we're not good enough to beat anybody unless we play our best," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "We have to play at high intensity. We've got to practice at high intensity. And we understand that this league is the best it's ever been."
Of course, if there is a team that can be neglected, Kansas may be the safest bet.
The Jayhawks (1-6, 0-4 Big 12) have allowed at least 20 points in every game this season against teams from the Football Bowl Subdivision. They allowed 50 or more to Kansas State and Oklahoma, and haven't scored more than 24 since a season-opening win over South Dakota State.
That's part of the reason coach Charlie Weis made a change at quarterback.
Michael Cummings will get his second straight chance under center against the Longhorns (5-2, 2-2), taking over on a more permanent basis from fifth-year senior Dayne Crist.
It was Crist who transferred from Notre Dame to be reunited with Weis, only to struggle so much in his final season of college football that fans were regularly booing him.
Cummings took over in the second half against Oklahoma State and nearly rallied Kansas to an improbable victory. He wasn't nearly as good last week against the Sooners, but Weis said he did enough to warrant an extended look the rest of the season.
"They both have been told that and they both know Michael's starting and we'll see where it goes," he said. "I think that, at this point when you're 1-6 and things haven't gone real well, I think you owe it to your team to see what you have."
Said Cummings: "As long as I got a chance to compete, that's all you can ask for."
The Jayhawks are averaging a league-low 10.8 points through their first four Big 12 games, nearly 10 points fewer than Iowa State, the next-worst team. They're averaging 17.3 points for the season, eighth-worst among the 120 teams in the country.
All of which bodes well for a struggling Texas defense.
The Longhorns are giving up nearly 50 points a game against league foes, and are last in the Big 12 against the run, allowing more than 266 yards per game.
"Four of our last five opponents have had an offensive ranking, either scoring or total offense, in the top 10. Oklahoma was the only not one in that group, and they're really good on offense," Brown said. "We've played some of the best offenses in the country."
Particularly over the last few weeks.
The Longhorns lost a shootout to West Virginia a few weeks ago in Austin, Texas, and then were trounced 63-21 by the Sooners in their annual showdown. Last week, they managed to outscore Baylor 56-50 in a game that wasn't decided until Texas ran out the clock in the final minute.
"You just have to go in and you play your style of game," Texas cornerback Carrington Byndom said. "We know what game we're capable of playing, and we just need to play to that level and that standard. And I think we'll be OK when it's all said and done."
It helps to have an offense that's starting to click.
David Ash threw for 274 yards and a touchdown against the Bears, rebounding nicely from a tough outing against Oklahoma. He was 13 of 29 for 113 yards and two interceptions in that game.
Then there's Joe Bergeron, who had four carries for a single yard against Oklahoma.
The sophomore running back ran for 117 yards and five scores against the Bears, one touchdown shy of the school record held by Heisman Trophy-winning running back Ricky Williams. Bergeron had four of his TD runs in the first half and tacked on the fifth in the third quarter.
It was the kind of performance that showed how potent Texas can be, and it came in a game that showed why the Longhorns are reticent to look past anyone on the schedule.
"What we talk to our team about is right now we are not good enough to sit there on the schedule and look at it and say, 'We are going to beat them, we are going to beat them and this one is going to be hard,'" said Major Applewhite, the Longhorns' co-offensive coordinator. "If we don't play well then we are capable of being beat."