The Texas Longhorns will have a difficult battle with the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday. In fact, K-State is perhaps the hottest team in the conference following a 48-0 win over Oklahoma State.
As you might imagine, some interpret Kansas State’s dominant win to mean they should clobber the Longhorns on Saturday. Considering the unpredictable nature of this college football season, it would be foolish to count on that result.
Texas had a similar win this season. The Longhorns defeated the Oklahoma Sooners, 49-0. In their next game, Texas barely escaped an upset against Iowa State, 24-21.
As for Kansas State, Chris Klieman’s team has had its fair share of inconsistency. The Wildcats lost 17-10 at home against the Tulane Green Wave.
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 did on Saturday.
Let’s identify five reasons Texas can win against Kansas State.
Twice the preparation time
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The Longhorns were afforded two weeks to prepare for Kansas State. Judging by the lopsided result on Saturday, the Wildcats looked to have had all their attention on the Oklahoma State Cowboys. If Steve Sarkisian’s team took the last week of preparation seriously, they should have a tactical advantage over the Wildcats.
The matchup itself
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When I predicted Kansas State would defeat Texas during the offseason, I assumed the Wildcats would not lose to Tulane and Adrian Martinez would be the starting quarterback. Will Howard’s strong performance against Oklahoma State doesn’t negate the full body of work we have seen from the backup quarterback. Even should Martinez return, 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
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Make no mistake, Kansas State has a dominant defensive front. They’ll face a Texas offensive line that is steadily improving and could emerge from the bye week even better. The unit will be worth monitoring as we near the end of the season.
Texas skill players
-51 receiving yds
Robinson did it all today, Thoughts on him as a prospect?pic.twitter.com/AUIdRnW3PQ
— NFL Draft Prospects Podcast (@nflprospectspod) December 5, 2020
You may recall the last trip Texas made to Manhattan. Texas won 69-31, scoring 66 points in the first three quarters. Bijan Robinson and Jordan Whittington were the primary drivers of offensive success. Robinson ran for a 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
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Some have decided to write Ewers off as a bust. It’s probably premature to make such a determination. At some point the young quarterback should flip a switch. It could all come together this week.