The Texas Longhorns face a tough matchup against the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday. In fact, K-State may be the hottest team in the conference after a 48-0 win over Oklahoma State.
As you can imagine, some are interpreting Kansas State’s dominant win to mean they should beat the Longhorns on Saturday. Given the unpredictable nature of this college football season, it would be foolish to count on that outcome.
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Texas won a similar win this season. The Longhorns defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 49-0. In their next game, Texas narrowly escaped an upset against Iowa State, 24-21.
As for Kansas State, Chris Klieman’s team has had its fair share of inconsistencies. The Wildcats lost at home to the Tulane Green Wave 17-10.
Each team’s style will determine the specifics of this fight. Given how the teams have matched up in the past and how they are built, Texas should put up a much better fight than Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Let’s identify five reasons why Texas can win against Kansas State.
Double the preparation time
The Longhorns were given two weeks to prepare for Kansas State. Judging by Saturday’s lopsided result, it looked like the Wildcats were focusing all of their attention on the Oklahoma State Cowboys. If Steve Sarkisian’s team took the final week of practice seriously, they should have a tactical advantage over the Wildcats.
The matchup itself
When I predicted Kansas State would beat Texas during the offseason, I assumed the Wildcats wouldn’t lose to Tulane and Adrian Martinez would be the starting quarterback. Will Howard’s strong performance against Oklahoma State doesn’t negate all the work we’ve seen from the backup quarterback. Even if Martinez returns, Chris Klieman’s offense has been up and down this season. Even a limited Texas team managed a win against K-State last season. The Longhorns should provide more resistance than their last opponent.
Texas offensive line play
Make no mistake, Kansas State has a dominant defensive front. They will be facing a Texas offensive line that has been improving all the time and could come out of the bye even better. The unit will be worth watching as the end of the season approaches.
Texas Skill Players
-51 receiving yds
Robinson did it all today. Do you think of him as a prospect?pic.twitter.com/AUIdRnW3PQ
— NFL Draft Prospects Podcast (@nflprospectspod) December 5, 2020
You might remember Texas’ last trip to Manhattan. Texas won 69-31, scoring 66 points in the first three quarters. Bijan Robinson and Jordan Whittington were the main drivers of the offensive success. Robinson ran for 172 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries that day. Steve Sarkisian needs to find ways to facilitate one-on-one opportunities for Bijan Robinson, Xavier Worthy, Jordan Whittington and Brenen Thompson in space.
Quinn Ewers bounce back potential
Some chose to write Ewers off as a bust. It’s probably too early to make such a decision. At some point, the young quarterback should flip the switch. It could all come together this week.