Texas might be the most hope-filled 2-4 team in the entire country. The last time the Longhorns were on the field they had just beaten a heavily favored Oklahoma team in the Red River Showdown. Last weekend Texas had a bye which left them with a little extra time to savor their victory before turning their focus towards hosting Kansas State. The Longhorns are hoping that they can build off their last game and find a way to become bowl eligible with six games left on the schedule.
Kansas State needs to circle the wagons and find a way to win in Austin. Heading into Big 12 play the Wildcats were 3-0 and it looked like head coach Bill Snyder had found a way to work his magic once again. Unfortunately for Kansas State their first three Big 12 games resulted in three losses and a pile of injured player. The most embarrassing loss came last weekend at the hands of an angry Oklahoma team. The Wildcats barely amassed 110 yards of offense while conceding 568 yards on defense. In order to salvage their season and find a way into a bowl game Kansas State will need to find a way to pull something together this weekend before heading into a bye next week.
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 24th, 11:00 CST
LOCATION: Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium (Austin, TX)
FORECAST: Raining with winds 8-10 mph, 73° F
TV: FS1 / FOX Sports Go
BETTING LINE: Texas -6.5, O/U 50
KANSAS STATE WILDCATS 3-3 (0-3)
Last weekend Kansas State’s loss to Oklahoma wasn’t just awful it was historically bad. The loss represents the worst home loss in school history and the 55 point differential was the largest since the Wildcats lost at Colorado 64-3 in 1990. That loss occurred in Bill Snyder’s third season as head coach and that team won five games that season which represented more wins in a single season than the Wildcats had accumulated in the previous five seasons combined. In the 265 games since that loss to Colorado the Bill Snyder has led the Wildcats to 184 wins. Winning 70% of your games over a 22 year period if pretty good and Kansas State fans should keep that in mind when looking at last weekends result.
Moving past last weekends loss will be the key to saving this season and it starts with a challenge against Texas. Injuries have played a role in the Wildcats recent losses however at some point your replacement players have to step because the original starters won’t be making it back anytime soon. Bill Snyder’s success against Texas, he’s 6-3 against the Horns, shouldn’t be overlooked as the Wildcats look to bounce back with a statement game of their own this weekend.
KEYS TO THE GAME FOR KANSAS STATE
Find Your Offense – Through their first five games of the season the Wildcat offense was averaging 36.4 points per game. Their offense went missing against Oklahoma which was disastrous. The Wildcats will need to find their offense as soon as possible if they want to survive this weekend.
Give The Defense A Break – Texas is going to try to beat the Wildcats with a brutal ground game that will drain the Wildcat defense. In order for their defense to stand up to the constant pressure of the Texas run game they’ll need their offense to give them a break with nice long Wildcat drives.
Next Man Up – This season has several Big 12 teams have been decimated by injuries and lost playing time and Kansas State might lay claim to being the team most affected by lost players. It’s time for Kansas State to start seeing production from their replacement players. If the Wildcats are going to salvage this season they’ll need for the people to step up in a big way and it starts this weekend.
TEXAS LONGHORNS 2-4 (1-2)
Two weeks ago people were already carving Charlie Strong’s tombstone, a win against Oklahoma later and things have turned rosy for the Longhorns. With a team full of freshman and sophomore contributors the Longhorns will have to be wary of a let down after a huge win and a bye week. The Longhorns benefited from Oklahoma overlooking them coming off a blow out loss to TCU it would be ridiculous for Texas to make the same mistake.
After this weekend Texas will have five games remaining with three of those on the road. With a win against Kansas State the Longhorns season could actually be saved since four of their last five games appear to be winnable. For a team that was left for dead a few weeks ago finding a way to bowl eligibility would be huge especially on the recruiting trail.
KEYS TO THE GAME FOR TEXAS
Win The Line – For Texas it starts up front on both offense and defense. The Longhorn defensive line had a field day against Oklahoma and they’ll want to continue that dominance against Kansas State. Perhaps the biggest question for the Longhorns is what to make of their offensive line, when they’re playing well the Texas rushing attack is nearly unstoppable.
Don’t Get Creative – Some coaches like to tinker and get creative when things are going well, those coaches usually don’t get to keep their jobs for long. If Texas doesn’t complete a single forward pass but they rush for 300 plus yards does it matter? As Darrell Royal once said “You dance with the one that brung ya”, the running game brought you a win against Oklahoma so stick with it.
No Mistakes – Texas is tied for 11th nationally in turnover margin which is huge. If the Longhorns can keep the flags off the field it’ll go a long way toward helping the team to secure their third victory of the season.
BY THE NUMBERS
|3rd Down Con||40.74%||34.88%|
|Opp 3rd Down Con||42.70%||48.89%|
|Sacks Given Up||2.83||2.17|
|Redzone Scoring %||90.0%||85.71%|
|Field Goal %||83.3%||62.5%|
In terms of yardage these are the two worst offensive teams in the Big 12 which sounds like an old school Big 8 or Southwest Conference match up. When playing their best both of these teams are capable of beating or sticking with the best teams in the conference. The team that shows up on Saturday with the most desire to rectify their season is the one that will come out with a victory.
For the first time since 1988 the Texas Longhorns will take the field without a living Bevo mascot to watch over them which might just be the extra motivation that the Longhorns need. The Longhorns will pull this one out late with a big play on special teams.