Commentary

Early K-State preview

Updated: August 16, 2012, 9:44 AM ET
By Carter Strickland | HornsNation

Editor's note: HornsNation will count down to the start of fall camp by taking an in-depth look at each team Texas will face in 2012.

The rundown

Kansas State in 2011: 10-3, 7-2 in the Big 12. Last time vs. Texas: Won 17-13 in 2011 All-time vs. Texas: 7-5.

Starters lost: Clyde Aufner, OL; Colton Freeze, OL; Zach Hanson, OL; David Garrett, DB; Tysyn Hartman, DB; Ray Kibble, DL; Jordan Voelker, DE.

Returning starters: B.J. Finney, OL; Chris Harper, WR; John Hubert, RB; Collin Klein, QB; Tyler Locket, WR; Travis Tannahill, TE; Arthur Brown, LB; Adam Davis, DE; Vai Lutui, DL; Nigel Malone, DB; Tre Walker, LB; Ty Zimmerman, DB.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Collin Klein, 161-of-281 for 1,918 yards; six interceptions and 13 touchdowns

Rushing: Klein, 317 rushes for 1,141 yards with 27 touchdowns

Receiving: Chris Harper, 40 catches for 547 yards and five touchdowns

Tackles: Arthur Brown, 101

Interceptions: Nigel Malone, 7

Sacks: Meshak Williams, 7

Did you know: During Bill Snyder's tenure, 46 players have been taken in the NFL draft.

Three things to watch

Slow starts: The Wildcats start is not going to be an indication of how it finishes. Last season KSU did not score a touchdown against Eastern Kentucky until the 58-minute mark and it barely won that game. The Wildcats went on to barely be edged out of a BCS bowl game spot. The reason for this is because KSU coach Bill Snyder brings in so many new faces during the offseason with junior college players, transfers and even true freshmen that it is hard for his teams to get on the same page until it has been thrown into the fire a couple of times. This year KSU does not have as many jucos at the top spots and is stable at linebacker, quarterback and running back. Still KSU is historically a team that plays better late.

Return game: Watch out for receiver Tyler Lockett. The sophomore didn't lead the team in receptions last season but he was a spectacular return man and should emerge this year as another outside threat alongside Chris Harper.

Close calls: The Wildcats were masters of the close call last season. Kansas State won eight of nine games that were decided by a touchdown or less. The one it lost was against Oklahoma State in fourth quarter that featured 32 combined points scored. Whether or not KSU is as solid in close games in 2012 will depend on the play of quarterback Klein. Because Klein was able to both run and pass last year, KSU could put the game in his hands and had faith that he would find a way to win in the end.

Carter Strickland | email

Reporter, HornsNation