Thursday, November 17, 2011
Kansas State-Texas: More Cats dominance?
By David Ubben
Which Big 12 team has the best record against Texas since the league formed? It's not Oklahoma. It's not the angry Aggies. It's not the pesky Red Raiders, either.
In all of their five-star recruitiness, the Longhorns have had infamous struggles against Kansas State, which comes to Austin this week with a 5-2 record against the Longhorns since the Big 12's inception in 1996. The Wildcats have won past three meetings.
"Good fortune, I think, probably as much as anything," coach Bill Snyder says of K-State's recent dominance over Texas.
Former K-State coach Ron Prince never beat Kansas or Mizzou in his three seasons in Manhattan, but he was 2-0 against Texas. Snyder continued the tradition with an epic 39-14 beatdown a season ago in Manhattan.
I don't know about "good fortune."
"They’ve outcoached us and outplayed us. It’s pretty simple," Texas coach Mack Brown said.
In last season's Kansas State-Texas matchup, Collin Klein ran wild, rushing 25 times for 127 yards and two touchdowns.
That's more like it. Last year, K-State quarterback Collin Klein found out he'd be making his first start an hour before kickoff.
He carried the ball 25 times for 127 yards and two scores, and K-State needed only four pass attempts before jumping out to a 39-0 lead after three quarters.
"In that particular game, the good fortune was the fact we ended up playing a different style of quarterback, and one that they had probably not prepared for," Snyder said. "Collin was in the ballgame because Carson Coffman was injured. We were more geared toward quarterback run game, and I’m sure they probably hadn’t prepared well for that, so that’s my guess."
The defense, though, picked off Garrett Gilbert five times. Only three teams beat Texas by double digits in last year's 5-7 campaign. K-State's 25-point margin of victory was the season's most lopsided loss for the Longhorns.
"We were running the ball so well, with turnovers and good field position, the way we were controlling the ball, why throw it? Shoot," Klein said. "We played so well across the board as a team, it really took a lot of pressure off me. We executed so well up front that I had a lot of big holes to run through. Daniel was running well, they opened up some big holes for me, and when you take the turnovers and field position into effect, it equals a big victory."
Despite getting a longer look at Klein than most other teams in the Big 12 entering this season, that experience hardly provides an advantage for the Longhorns.
"He ran up and down the field last year and didn’t throw any passes and we didn’t stop him," Brown said. "He whipped us really good."
Despite entering this weekend 10 spots higher in the BCS standings, K-State is a nine-point underdog, a familiar spot for a team that's won five games as an underdog already this season.
If Texas can't get healthy, though, that status could change quickly on Saturday. If Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron aren't able to return, the Longhorns will be without their top three running backs. (Fozzy Whittaker injured his knee last week.) A knee injury has hounded top receiver Jaxon Shipley as well, and the offense sputtered in a 17-5 loss to Mizzou a week ago, failing to score a touchdown for the first time since 2004.
"Everybody’s got to play better. And we didn’t. We’ve got to coach better, we’ve got to play better, and we didn’t do either one," Brown said.
Texas, Brown says, just needs a win, however it happens.
"Even if it was a pee wee team," he said.
Beating No. 13 K-State would be a big one, and the Wildcats are no pee wee team, especially against the Longhorns. What bearing will history have, though?
"Every year is different. Every team of ours is different. Every team of theirs is different," Klein said.
The results when K-State and Texas get together, though, have been the same.