The 2012 season is finally coming to a close. Kansas State is coming off of one of its most disappointing defeats in school history. But even with the loss, this season has been a massive success. Picked 6th in their conference to start the season, K-State made nearly every expert look foolish. Now they will look to finish the season strong and win a Big 12 Championship.
K-State will be taking on a tough Texas Longhorns team. K-State has had extreme success against Texas in recent years which coined the term “we own Texas.” That has to be under the Texas fans’ skins, and most likely their players. K-State will no doubt be the favorite to win this game, but Texas will be looking to prove the doubters wrong and end K-State’s streak against them.
K-State has had many injuries to deal with over the past couple of weeks. Collin Klein has been fighting an undisclosed injury (rumored to be a concussion, also rumored to be a wrist injury). Tre Walker, Ty Zimmerman, Curry Sexton are all out for the season, and in the last game Adam Davis, Meshak Williams, BJ Finney, and Jerrel Childs were all injured (though they all returned to the game). The bye week may have been just what K-State needed to get healthy, and back to playing Kansas State football.
A Look at the Longhorns
Last season the Texas Longhorn offense was a joke. Texas had one of the best defenses in the nation, but the inconsistency at the QB position really slowed Texas down. They had a fierce rushing attack, but no passing attack whatsoever. That has changed this year. They still have a strong rushing attack, but David Ash has really come along ways as a QB for Texas. However, Ash was injured in the TCU game and will not be starting for Texas.
Quarterbacks – With David Ash not starting, the Longhorns will turn to the brother of Texas legend Colt McCoy, Case McCoy. McCoy played significant time last season throwing for 1,044 yards and 7 touchdowns. This season the young quarterback has 408 passing yards and 4 touchdowns (1 interception). He will need to have a successful game if Texas wants to win this.
Running Backs – Texas is loaded at halfback. The leading back for UT has been true freshman Jonathon Grey. Grey has averaged 5 yards per carry this season, while running for 654 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Longhorns also get great production from SO Joe Bergeron. Bergeron is a power back. He has 16 rushing touchdowns on the season while running for 562 yards. Texas also has SO Malcolm Brown who has 276 rushing yards on the season. SR Ryan Roberson will start at fullback.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends – The Longhorns start three wide receivers. Leading the way so far this season has been JR Mike Davis. On the season Davis has a team high 51 catches and a team high 891 yards, with a team high 7 receiving touchdowns. Texas also has an explosive threat in SO Jaxon Shipley. Shipley is second in those same receiving categories with 46 catches, 581 yards, and 5 touchdowns. The other starting WR will be true freshman Cayleb Jones. On the season Jones has yet to make a catch. Starting at TE will be SR DJ Grant who has 13 catches and 120 yards with one touchdown.
Offensive Line – The Longhorns have a very young, but big offensive line. Starting on the right side of the line is made up of SO RT Josh Cochran (6’6 299 lbs), and JR RG Mason Walters (6’6 320 lbs). On the left side of the line will be JR Trey Hopkins (6’4 301 lbs) and JR LT Donald Hawkins (6’5 310 lbs). The starting center is SO Dominic Espinosa (6’4 298 lbs).
This Texas defense took a major step back from last season’s. They have allowed 4.9 yards per carry on the ground, as well as allowing 216.2 yards through the air. But as K-State has learned a lesson from Baylor: numbers don’t be crap. The more prepared team is going to come out and win. The longhorn defense is covered with talented players, but they have not got into a rhythm yet.
Defensive Line – Texas will be without one of their star defensive players this week. SR Alex Okafor was injured last week against TCU. He has been a disruptive force on the Texas defense. He had 58 tackles and a team high 8 sacks. He will be replaced by JR Reggie Wilson (27 tackles, 1 sack). On the other side of the line SO Cedric Reed (38 tackles, 1 sack) will start. The two tackles will be JR Brandon Moore (16 tackles 2 sacks), and SO Desmond Jackson.
Linebackers – Starting for Texas at the linebacker position will be SO Tevin Jacksin (20 tackles 2 sacks), SO Steve Edmond (92 tackles 1 sack, and 1 interception), and Kendall Thompson (54 tackles 1 sack).
Secondary – The secondary is yet another young unit for this Texas team. The unit only has one SR in FS Kenny Vaccaro (88 tackles 2 interceptions). The other safety is JR Adrian Williams (67 tackles, 1 interception). The two cornerbacks are SO Quandre Diggs (49 tackles, 1 sack, 3 interceptions) and JR Carrington Byndom (47 tackles 3 interceptions). This entire defensive unit is young, and is poised to do great things in the future.
Starting at Punter for Texas is a Duke transfer in Alex King. So far on the season King has played great averaging 45.5 yards per punt including 14 inside the 20’s. At kicker the Longhorns start a freshman in Nick Jordan. Jordan has connected on 7 of 11 kicks with a long of 38 yards. They have also kicked with Anthony Fera who is only 2-4 on the season. DJ Monroe has the Longhorns lone special teams touchdown on the season, and shares returning duties with Marquise Goodwin. The starting punt returner is CB Quandre Diggs.
3 Keys to a Wildcat Victory
1. Believe – The last game was a horrible experience. The team was beaten to shreds, exhausted, and nothing went right. It could be a major blow to a team’s confidence. The team, as well as the fans, need to believe in this team’s ability to overcome their obstacles.
2. Balanced offense – For some reason last week K-State got away from their normal style of attack. They did not run the ball well, or really at all, and became one dimensional. Can K-State pass successfully? Absolutely. But this WR unit is beaten up. Last week I don’t think Tyler Lockett was 75 percent. K-State was already without Curry Sexton, which meant they had to give Chris Harper and Tramaine Thompson much more playing time. Both of those players played very hard, but by the end of the game were clearly gassed by having to run much more deep routes than normal. K-State has to run the football successfully.
3. Have a presence in the backfield – Last week the Wildcats did not get to the quarterback, or anyone in the backfield. Baylor ran up and down on K-States defense, and that was mostly because they were able to spread the field through the passing game. K-State absolutely has to get to the quarterback, and cut down on the Texas rushing attack. In my opinion Baylor has the best HB in the conference, and next year he might be considered the best HB in the nation. But Texas has the best trio of halfbacks in the conference.
Texas is sick of losing to K-State, there is no doubt about it. There is no reason whatsoever that K-State should beat Texas on a regular basis. But it happens. Maybe it is just the fact that these players like playing Texas. Maybe coach Snyder matches up great against his friend Mack Brown. Who knows, but for whatever k-state has success against the Longhorns. In the past it has been K-State who plays the spoiler against Texas. This season it will be Texas trying to spoil K-States season, and give the Big 12 title to Oklahoma. C’mon Texas, you know you don’t honestly want that! But in all seriousness, I do like the match up this season against the horns. Texas has struggled stopping the run, and that is what K-State needs to get back on track (a running attack). These seniors deserve all the accolades that they have a chance to get. I don’t think they slip up in their final game in a purple uniform at the Bill. But it will be a close game.
K-State wins 36-29
On the year: Brandon 52-10, Deante 48-14, Jordan 46-16, Paul 50-12
|Brandon Starkey||DeAnte Mitchell||Jordan Bayless||Paul Badke|
|OU @ TCU||OU 27-14||OU 28-20||TCU 24-17||OU 31-13|
|OK ST @ BAY||OK ST 48-29||OK ST 37-27||BAY 41-31||BAY 45-35|
|KU @ WVU||WVU 66-31||WVU 45-24||WVU 49-17||WVU 48-28|
|TEX @ KSU||KSU 36-29||KSU 42-17||KSU 27-17||KSU 42-31|