K-State football hosts No. 18 Texas this weekend. Here’s what you need to know

Willie leads the team as they run onto the field for Family Day in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on September 15, 2018. K-State beat UTSA 41-17. (Alex Todd | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State football team returns to Manhattan after losing on the road to West Virginia 35-6 last Saturday.

This Saturday, the Wildcats will take on the nation’s 18th-ranked team in the nation, the University of Texas. The Longhorns have steadily improved since the start of the season and has won three games in a row.

K-State versus Texas: A History

Saturday’s meeting will be number 19 of all-time between the Wildcats and Longhorns. The series has been close, with the Wildcats holding a 10-8 all-time advantage.

Last season, the game went down to the wire as Texas came away with a 40-34 double-overtime win in Austin. The year before, K-State won a narrow 24-21 battle in Manhattan. Since K-State won in Manhattan in 2012, the series has been back and forth with the teams alternating wins.

Speaking of that 2012 K-State victory, it is a familiar one for Wildcat fans.

On Dec. 1, 2012, the Wildcats defeated the Longhorns 42-24 after trailing 10-7 at halftime. With the win, K-State secured its third-ever Big 12 championship and cemented a spot in the Fiesta Bowl as fans stormed the field post-game.

Highlights of 2012 game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiNvL1wvEPQ

One popular storyline ahead of Saturday is the fact that Texas has not won in Manhattan since 2002, a game that the Longhorns won 17-14.

Quarterback controversy

After four games, the Wildcats still have questions at the quarterback position.

Both sophomore Skylar Thompson and junior Alex Delton have played in every game, but Thompson has played a majority of snaps in the last two games against UTSA and West Virginia.

Thompson started against West Virginia, playing for much of the game before Delton came in near the end of the fourth quarter.

At the team’s press conference on Tuesday, head coach Bill Snyder said the reason he made the switch at quarterback was “not necessarily because Skylar was playing bad,” but the team had yet to score a touchdown. Snyder went on to add that he expects both of them to be on the field against Texas on Saturday.

In terms of passing, Thompson has gotten more exposure, with 66 attempts to Delton’s 31. Thompson has completed 59 percent of his passes (39-for-66) this season for 505 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Delton has gone 15-for-31 with 259 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

On the ground, Thompson has run for 176 yards and a touchdown, while Delton has gained 116 yards and no scores.

Texas is improving

K-State is catching Texas at an inopportune time. Since starting off the year with a 34-29 loss at the hands of Maryland, the Longhorns have rattled off three straight win — including two over Top 25 opponents.

In week two, Texas eked out a 28-21 win over Tulsa. Sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw for 237 yards and two scores and ran for another in the win.

The following game, the Longhorns routed USC, who was ranked No. 22 at the time, 37-14 after finding themselves down 14-3 after the first quarter. Ehlinger again scored three touchdowns — two passing and one rushing — and Texas also blocked a field goal and returned it for a touchdown.

Last week, Texas dropped then-No. 17 TCU, 31-16. Ehlinger kept the hot hand, adding two more passing touchdowns and one more rushing, while the defense forced three turnovers.

How to watch

The Wildcats and Longhorns will kickoff at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The game will be nationally televised on FS1.

Fans on the go can also view the game on the FOX Sports Go app or website, or listen to it via radio across the K-State Sports Network.

Jarrett Whitson
I’m Jarrett Whitson, the sports editor this semester. I’m from Blue Rapids, KS, a town of just over 1,000 people about 40 miles north of Manhattan. I’m a junior in Public Relations, and a member of FarmHouse Fraternity. I love playing and talking about sports— especially college football