Football team looking to end regular season with victory over Texas

Then-quarterback Will Howard looks to pass the ball in the game against Texas on December 5, 2020 (File photo by Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

After a 20-10 loss to the now-ranked No.9 Baylor, the Kansas State football team (7-4, 4-4 Big 12) prepares to face the Texas Longhorns (4-7, 2-6 Big 12) in a Friday morning showdown in each team’s last conference game of the year.

The loss to Baylor ended a four-game winning streak that followed a three-game losing streak to open the Big 12. Although the Wildcats’ defense limited the Bears to just 20 points, the offense did not. never could start and finish with just 10 points and 263 yards.

To make matters worse, super-senior quarterback Skylar Thompson left the game with an injury four minutes to go. Whether or not Thompson will be against Texas is not set in stone, but K-State head coach Chris Klieman said at a press conference on Monday that Thompson may be able to take the ground.

“Well, there’s an outside shot, actually, from Skylar, so that’s on the bright side,” Klieman said. “I don’t think he will do anything today and Tuesday would be uncertain, but the kid wants to play. We will see where he is. I don’t think that will be determined until later in the week.

If Thompson can’t go, Will Howard will take the start, while Jaren Lewis prepares as a replacement. Lewis came to relieve Thompson against Baylor and threw an interception on his first pass.

Howard and Lewis have both reached the limit of games they can play and retain their red jersey eligibility, meaning that if either of them makes the game against Texas, they won’t be able to keep another year of play. eligibility for university.

“[Howard] knows this is a great opportunity for him to play and solidify, ”said Klieman. “I’ve seen enough situations in my time as a coach where you’re healthy and you have the opportunity to play, usually the kids want to play because you can’t predict the future.”

K-State may not need the extra passing offense against Texas as the Longhorns sport the Big 12’s second-worst running defense and the FBS’s 112th running defense while allowing 199.5 rushing yards per game.

That should bode well for star running back Deuce Vaughn, who had 162 rushing yards and three touchdowns against Kansas – the only team with a worse running defense than Texas in the Big 12.

Luckily for K-State’s rushed defense, they won’t have to face Texas sophomore star running back Bijan Robinson, who is sidelined with injury. Robinson will end the season with 1,127 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.

Here’s what else to look for:

Friday night lights

Although the game starts at 11 a.m. instead of 7 p.m., players in this week’s game will get a little taste of high school with a Friday game instead of the typical Saturday game that college football is known for.

What will this change for the game? Probably not much, but it will give coaches and players a day less preparation, meaning teams might not be as ready for each other as they usually would be.

Bowl ineligible

With only four wins and one game to go, Texas won’t be able to reach a bowl game this season because the minimum bowl eligibility threshold is six wins. Having said that, does Texas have something to play?

Maybe the players won’t go to as much effort not to get injured, or maybe the coaching staff will face some seniors who don’t usually see the pitch as a last hurray. On the flip side, the coaching staff could face players who aren’t typically on the pitch, and those players will use that time to show the coaching staff that they deserve time next season.

Regardless of who is playing and how hard they play, I would expect to see a team that is generally not aligned.

SECOND! SECOND!

Like Oklahoma, Texas announced earlier this year that it would be leaving the Big 12 in favor of the SEC in the coming years. With the season Texas has seen, it’s hard to see the Longhorns improve the conference game in what is widely recognized as the toughest conference in college football.

Echoes of fans shouting “SEC!” while giving the hand signal “horns down” have been a staple of opposing crowds at Texas games this season. Even if this is an away game, be prepared to see a sea of ​​rock n ‘roll billboards upside down on TV.

Refund

While the all-time streak between these two teams is set at 11-10 in favor of Texas, the Longhorns demolished the Wildcats at home on Senior Day last season by a score of 69-31.

“The players have to make the program their own,” Klieman said after the loss. “That’s when we’ll turn the corner – when the kids take ownership of the program, not the coaches. We have enough good guys coming back and I think it can happen. “

Don’t think K-State has forgotten this game, and maybe the Wildcats will use their disappointment from last season to turn it into a blast, the other way around.

K-State will face Texas at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 26 in Austin, TX. The game will air on FOX, with a recap and analysis on the Collegian after the game.

Texas is currently favored by 3.0 points, with an over / under set at 52.5.

Horns down!

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