Head to Head: K-State vs. Texas


Guest columnist: Christian Corona, Double Coverage editor, Daily Texan

Sean: There’s a saying here at K-State that’s grown in popularity over the past few years. It’s called, “We own Texas.” And there’s good reason why K-State students and fans say that. Primarily, it’s because the last time the Longhorns beat the Wildcats was back in 2003 when Vince Young was the Texas quarterback. In the two national title appearances the Longhorns have had since 2003, K-State wasn’t on that season’s schedule. Clearly Mack Brown doesn’t have it in the cards to beat Bill Snyder.

Christian: Jordan Hicks said it himself this week, “Kansas State has our number.” But I think the fact that Texas got to two national title games without playing Kansas State is more indicative of the fact that the Wildcats haven’t played many of the best Mack Brown-led Longhorns teams. Under Brown, Texas has had six teams lose two or fewer games. K-State hasn’t beaten any of them, facing only one. Brown’s five worst Texas teams, going by winning percentage, have all lost to K-State. That being said, this year’s squad is obviously not one of Mack’s best.

Sean: Clearly this year’s Texas team is not one of Brown’s best. In fact, this team is the one that’s going to get him justifiably fired. And the biggest weakness for the Longhorns, their rush defense, is surely what Snyder will attack with his two-quarterback system of Jake Waters and Daniel Sams. Sams is actually second in the Big 12 in yards per carry at 7.5. And against BYU, the Longhorns gave up 550 yards on the ground, including nearly 300 to quarterback Taysom Hill. Expect Waters to spread the weak defense out with his strikes through the air, then Sams to have a field day on the ground.

Christian: Jake Waters and Daniel Sams are dangerous players but have yet to face decent competition this year. Texas has played solid squads in BYU and Ole Miss while Kansas State has beaten up on weaker teams the last two weeks, losing to an FCS team the week before that. The Longhorns admitted that new defensive coordinator Greg Robinson didn’t have nearly enough time to install everything he wanted to install last week. Texas knows it’s going to see a lot of zone read and will be much better prepared for it than it’s been the last two weeks.

Sean: Waters and Sams certainly are dangerous players, much more so than David Ash. Ash is the laughing stock of the Big 12. He’s proven time and time again that he cannot handle the pressure of college football at the BCS level. That’s why I was shocked when Brown instituted the no-huddle system in the offseason. Ash has had trouble with his decision-making in the past, so it’s a tall order to ask him to make rapid-fire decisions, in quick succession, throughout the course of a game.

Christian: Texas is having problems on defense but it’s unfair to blame David Ash for any of the Longhorns’ issues. I don’t think anyone worthy of being considered the laughing stock of the Big 12 would be able to lead fourth quarter comebacks on the road against Oklahoma State or in the Alamo Bowl against Oregon State, much less help Texas put up 66 points in Oxford last year. The Longhorns only managed 23 against Ole Miss with Case McCoy taking the snaps. Their chances to beat K-State dramatically improve if he can shake off this concussion and shoulder injury and suit up this Saturday.

Sean: I will say that Ash has only faced K-State once in his career. Last year McCoy got the start in Manhattan. And even in 2011, McCoy and Ash both threw the ball 16 times. Although Ash had the far worse game in 2011 compared to McCoy in relative terms. In previous years, it’s been K-State’s defense that has shut down the Texas offense. But on Saturday night in front of a national audience, it’ll be the dynamic offense of the Wildcats that simply outworks the Longhorns defense, which is reeling from two terrible showings. And come Sunday, fans in Austin will be shocked that a team that returned 19 starters from a nine-win team is sitting on a 1-3 record.

Christian: McCoy threw for 314 yards and two scores in an inconsistent performance against K-State last year. He got no help from his running game in the second half last week against Ole Miss or from his defense in either half. If David Ash is healthy, expect him to play much better than he did as a true freshman two years ago. If McCoy gets the nod, expect him to get more help from a defense that is getting more used to its new coordinator and from a running game that is much better than it’s shown this year. Texas won’t win the Big 12 – a goal Mack Brown has so desperately emphasized this week – but it will beat K-State, 34-24.