Texas vs. Kansas State: What you need to know
The Texas Longhorns head to Manhattan, Kansas, this weekend to take on the Kansas State Wildcats. It’s a big game for both teams. Both teams have 3-3 records so far this season, which means the winner of Saturday’s matchup will be in a good position for bowl eligibility. The loser…not so much.
Why Texas will win
Freshman quarterback Shane Buechele is off to a good start this season. In six games, he has thrown for 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Texas offense is led by running back D’Onta Foreman, who’s been pretty impressive this year. He leads the Big 12 in rushing by more than 200 yards – he’s second nationally – and has already run for 731 yards and eight touchdowns. Foreman is a beast.
Texas coach Charlie Strong needs another win to keep his job off the chopping block. That was true last week against Iowa State, and it’s true again. He took over defensive coordinator duties the last two games, and last week the Longhorns showed improvement on defense. With Charlie Strong working extra hard to prove himself to the Longhorns brass, the Texas defense will be working extra hard this week. They certainly have lots of speed and athleticism on the defensive side.
On the other bench, Kansas State has lost two of its first three Big 12 games and could be facing the Longhorns without quarterback Jesse Ertz, who was hurt before halftime last week. Relief quarterback Joe Hubener took over for the second half and had a hard time moving the offense; he was just 12 of 23 for 157 yards.
Why Kansas State will win
The Wildcats haven’t lost at home to Texas since 2002, so solely based on past records, things don’t look good for the Longhorns. The ’Cats just play better at home, especially on offense. They’ve completed 65 percent of their passes at home, compared to 45 percent on the road. They’re also averaging 244 yards per game on the ground compared to just 107.3 on the road.
The Longhorns have struggled on defense this season, while the Wildcats are fourth nationally in rushing defense. Texas did well against Iowa State last week, but they’ll have to work hard to prove that was a turning point. A strong offense on Kansas State’s side should be successful against a less-than-impressive Texas defense.
The Wildcats have said they take pride in their winning home streak against the Longhorns, so they’ll certainly be looking to keep that streak going. Still, with the eroding Kansas State offense and struggling backup quarterback, Texas should be able to edge ahead to a victory this week.