For Kansas State Head Coach Bill Snyder, the formula for victory over the Texas Longhorns was really quite simple: Give your second-string QB the first start of his career, completely abandon the passing game by allowing said second-string QB to attempt only four passes for the entire game, and finally let your Big 12′s worst rush defense shut down the Longhorn running game and force Texas QB Garrett Gilbert into throwing five interceptions. Throw in both a fake field goal and punt attempt by the Longhorns that was successfully snuffed out by the Wildcats, and there you have it:
Final score: Kansas State 39, Texas 14.
Replacing the injured Carson Coffman, Wildcat sophomore quarterback Collin Klein ran for 127 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns, as the Wildcats routed the lifeless Longhorns and improved to 3-3 in the conference and 6-3 overall. For the Kansas State faithful, there had to be a collective sigh of relief to finally get over the proverbial ”hump” and get that illusive sixth victory, while becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 2006. For the Longhorns, who fell to 2-4 in the Big 12 and 4-5 overall, there are only questions and very few answers for one of college football’s powerhouses. The Wildcats took control of this game right from the opening kickoff as senior RB William Powell returned it 62 yards and the Kansas State offense scored two plays later on a Daniel Thomas 34-yard touchdown run. Thomas finished the game with 106 yards on 18 carries and eclipsed the 1000-yard mark on the season.
Next for the Wildcats, a trip to Columbia and a meeting with the now reeling Missouri Tigers. Realistically, a win there will be difficult, but not impossible. The much-maligned K-State defense has somewhat stiffened up over the past two weeks and seems to be playing with more energy and urgency. Yes, the Longhorns still finished with over 400 yards of total offense, but a lot of those yards came in garbage time, late in the fourth quarter. It will be interesting to see what Snyder does with the lineup next week. Will Klein remain the starter? Will the Wildcats pass attempts reach double-digits?
Based on yesterday’s easy victory, who needs a passing game anyway?
About the Author
Written by Chad Craghead
A 1988 graduate from Wichita State University, Chad has followed WSU as well as Kansas State athletics for over 30 years, along with being a lifelong Boston Red Sox and L.A./St. Louis Rams fan.