Know Thy Enemy

Every week, goes across enemy lines to bring an expert's point of view on Texas's opponents. This week, Kellis Robinett of the Wichita (Kan.) Eagle and the Kansas City Star stops by to answer five questions about Kansas State.

1) The Longhorns have struggled in recent years to beat the Wildcats, with Texas's last win coming in 2003. Why do you think Kansas State has been so successful in this matchup?

Kellis Robinett: "The last three wins are easily explainable. K-State has been the stronger team since 2010, and won its two home games in the series by wide margins. Then it used a mistake-free style to beat Texas on the road in 2011. I think K-State's slow pace on offense works to its advantage in this matchup. When the Wildcats win time of possession, they usually win the game. Bill Snyder has also pulled some nice coaching moves, particularly his surprise decision to start Collin Klein in 2010. There is no magic working in their favor here, but it is hard to fathom Ron Prince started the streak with wins over a pair of strong Texas teams."

2) The Wildcats lost a number of key pieces on defense. Who are some of the new guys, and how are they adjusting?

Robinett: "Outside of Ty Zimmerman, the entire defense is new. Tre Walker and Randall Evans have started before, but Walker isn't playing much this season and Evans is in a slightly different role in the secondary. The defense misses Arthur Brown, and has struggled at times without him. They will give up points in the Big 12. The top new players so far seem to be Blake Slaughter at linebacker, Travis Britz at defensive tackle and Kip Daily at cornerback. Slaughter, a senior captain is K-State's top playmaker in the middle. Britz blocked a field goal and knocked down a pass last week. He's a sophomore who should only get better. Daily is the current Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week."

3) It's no secret that Texas has struggled against the quarterback run game this year. How much of that do you expect to see on Saturday, especially with Daniel Sams?

Robinett: "So far, Daniel Sams has seen about 20 percent of the snaps. I expect him to see 50 percent or more this week. He is fast, he is the team's top runner and it would be foolish for K-State not to use him in this game. That being said, Bill Snyder will probably start Jake Waters and try to keep the offense somewhat balanced. He knows Texas is preparing for Sams, and wants to keep the defense off balance."

4) If you were on the Texas staff, how would you attack Kansas State's offense and defense?

Robinett: "On offense, I would attack the middle with the running game and short passes. K-State has looked weak in that area, especially on third downs. Strong safety Dante Barnett is still learning how to defend the run, leaving the Wildcats vulnerable to home-run plays. When Texas throws deep, it should target Dorrian Roberts, who couldn't defend his man against Massachusetts. On defense, my only suggestion would be to throws something radically different at K-State up front. The Horns have looked completely lost against the run so far."

5) What's your prediction for Saturday's game?

Robinett: "I predict K-State to win a shootout 38-35, but it's impossible to have a ton of confidence in either team. K-State lost to a FCS team at home. Texas is coming off back-to-back blowout losses. Anything could happen."

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