I've had trouble picturing how this game plays out. But for some reason, I think the Texas defense rises up in a big way and controls this game.
The defense plays assignment football against K-State's delay option, forces a couple turnovers, and Tyrone Swoopes gets into a rhythm early throwing the football.
But for Texas to win this game, the Horns will need some help - the same way K-State helped Auburn - with turnovers and missed FGs.
If the Horns can win the turnover battle and contain Jake Waters in the running game and control Tyler Lockett on special teams, I think Texas can pull the upset. And for some reason, I have that feeling.
Jake Waters is held to 51 yards rushing, but he also throws a couple INTs. Tyler Lockett scores one TD through the air and on a punt return.
But Texas moves the ball against K-State with a nice mix of run and pass. It's a big day for RB Malcolm Brown (102 yards rushing) and for WR John Harris through the air (1 TD) and KR "Hot Rod" Bernard returns a kick for a TD.
Charlie Strong gets a signature win. Finally.
Texas 24, Kansas State 21
The Longhorns will progress.
Their defense will play much better.
But in the end, the curse that is Kansas State will again get the better of this Texas team.
I think Texas is going to do a nice job of bottling up KSU’s running game led by Charles Jones, but QB Jake Waters will be effective enough to get them into scoring range in crucial moments with his escapability.
I don’t think Tyler Lockett will have a huge game but I do think he comes up with some key possessions. The receiver that UT will have most trouble with is Curry Sexton, who comes in with one more catch than Lockett’s 35 and two less touchdowns (4).
Kansas State kicker Matthew McCrane, who really wanted to come to Texas, will be key as well.
This will be a hard-fought game and the Longhorns won’t do much to screw this up. Kansas State will simply do just a little bit more to come out victorious. And when the two head coaches (friends) meet at midfield after the game, Bill Snyder will let Charlie Strong know that he has this program on the right track.
Kansas State 33, Texas 27
Texas has a tall task this weekend as they try and slow down Kansas State and 43 points per game at home. Kansas State checks in at No 14 in the country in scoring offense. They are very balanced through the air and on the ground. State racks up 190 rush yards per game and 250 pass yards per game.
This will be another great task for the Texas defense after a poor performance defensively vs. Iowa State last weekend. I am expecting to see the Longhorns man up this week and play sound fundamental football, something they did not do last weekend in Austin. Look for the Texas defense to hold Kansas State to 17 points below their season average of 42 points per game at home.
The offense has great confidence heading into this game and will keep it going against a Kansas State defense allowing 352 yards per game. Look for Swoopes and company to roll to the tune of 500 plus yards in this game.
Texas 38, Kansas State 25
Nick Castillo’s Pick
Charlie Strong is searching for his first signature win as the head coach of the Texas Longhorns.
With Kansas State being Texas’ purple kryptonite, a win over the Wildcats would be huge. But will the Longhorns be able to get their first win in Manhattan, Kansas since 2002? I’m going to go out on a limb and say Texas upsets Kansas State and gives Strong his first signature win.
How will it happen? The defense will bounce back from its horrible performance against Iowa State. The Longhorns will be able to contain the Wildcats passing attack for the most part but Lockett will still give the secondary fits. For the most part, the Longhorns will stop the Wildcats rushing offense which will be important as Kansas State is a run-heavy team.
Offensively, sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes will have a solid day against the Wildcats’ defense. His numbers will drop but he’ll still throw for 275 yards. But Kansas State will attempt to contain Swoopes on the read-option which will give senior running back Malcolm Brown and junior running back Jonathan Gray an opportunity to shine. Brown and Gray will rush for a combined 150 yards and two touchdowns. The Wildcats will try to take a way Swoopes’ go-to guy, senior wide receiver John Harris which allow wide receivers Jaxon Shipley and Marcus Johnson to get more open looks.
The biggest factor will be the special teams. If there are no issues from the special teams unit, Texas will be in good shape.
Against my better judgment, Texas wins.
Texas 35, Kansas State 31
*****Longhorns 2015 QB commitment Zach Gentry's junior highlights
Get 10% off Longhorns tickets, tickets to other sporting events as well as concerts by joining HornsDigest.com. Click here to get discounted tickets!