Featured Video from Scott Reichel
After a week off, the Texas Longhorns will be back in action on Saturday against Kansas State. The two teams have gone in different directions recently: Texas was ranked No. 15 two weeks ago before falling 37-27 to unranked TCU; Kansas State was unranked before shocking the world and taking down unbeaten No. 6 Oklahoma 34-27.
The Wildcats, who also dismantled their arch-rivals (Kansas) last week, are now ranked No. 20 in the nation. Their two losses this season have been in-conference to Baylor and Oklahoma State.
If history tells us anything, this will be a classic. The Big-12 rivals have played three consecutive one-score games entering Saturday's matchup, including a double-overtime thriller in 2017.
The Kansas State-Texas game is set for a 3:30 P.M ET kickoff on ESPN this Saturday.
K-State Feeling GoodK-State is feeling themselves right now after three straight wins. One of them was a huge upset over No. 5 Oklahoma, another was over rival Kansas, and the other was against TCU, a team that was ranked earlier this year. Now, the 16th-ranked Wildcats have another huge test against Texas on the road.
🔊@KStateFB has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2019 season.— College Sports on SiriusXM (@SXMCollege) November 5, 2019
Wildcat legend and current @Seahawks WR, @TDLockett12, tells @sportsiren & @GabeIkard that he is all in on Chris Klieman and loves what he is seeing in Manhattan this year. #EMAW pic.twitter.com/OJShan6W5H
The biggest reason for K-State's success is how well their offense has come along. They posted a 13-point and 12-point performance in their fourth and fifth games, only to hit their stride in games six through eight. In the last three weeks, they posted 110 points and, perhaps more importantly, zero turnovers. Taking care of the ball is very important in these big games against good teams; you can't give away free opportunities.
"People are starting to grasp the offense truly," quarterback Skylar Thompson told reporters on Tuesday. "They are trying to dumb it down a little bit so we can play fast and play with confidence."
Running back Jordon Brown injured himself against Kansas last week and finished with just two carries. A week prior against OU, he had 12 carries for 63 yards. Good news for K-State: he's probably for their game vs. Texas.
Texas Undervalued Right NowIf we're being honest, the Texas Longhorns are actually one of the 25-best college football teams in the nation. They're not currently ranked because of a bad loss to TCU but they are a very good team. Outside of their TCU loss, their only other losses are against a pair of Top 10 teams, each by just one score (Oklahoma, LSU). Texas will clinch a bowl appearance with a win here.
Texas is a lopsided team. Their offense is elite, averaging 39.1 points per game (12th in the entire country) and 477 yards per game (14th in the entire country). The only problem is that they're always in shootouts because their defense is a turnstile too often, even against middle-of-the-road teams. Kansas and West Virginia (2-9 combined Big 12 record) had their best games in Big 12 play against the Longhorns, scoring 48 and 31, respectively.
Injuries have hampered the defense badly and that's a big reason why they've struggled. Against K-State, some are coming back so maybe they'll show out. Safeties B.J. Foster and Caden Sterns, both key cogs on their defensive unit last season, missed last game and combine for seven missed games on the season. Both are probable this week, per 24/7 Sports, and have impact-play ability. Last year, they combined for 3.5 sacks and five interceptions.
- 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
- 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Road team is 0-6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings between KSU-TEX.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is a classic overreaction by the public. The Cats are going to be the trendy dog on Saturday and it's already headed there with 68 percent of action coming in on KSU, per The Action Network. They saw KSU win over Oklahoma and Texas lose to TCU and they think it's a good dog; it's not. The Longhorns are getting healthy, finally, and they've had an extra week to prepare. Tom Herman has been doing this for a long time and he's going to have UT on their game coming off a bye. Throw in home-field advantage and the public fade and this is such a hot pick.
Prediction: Texas -7
Full-Game Total Pick
Fans should prepare themselves for a new-look Texas defense. They're getting two of their best defensive playmakers back from injury and they've had extra time to prepare. Last year, a lot of the same players on the current unit held the 'Cats to just 14 points. On the flip side, K-State's defense is no joke themselves. In three road games vs. Power-5 programs this year, they're allowing 20 points per game. Under is the play. It's hit in five of their last six meetings and it's happening again.
Prediction: Under 58