Texas vs. Kansas State: Complete Game Preview
Who: Texas vs. Kansas State
When: Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 at 7 p.m. CST
Where: Manhattan, Kansas
Stadium: Bill Snyder Stadium
The No. 6 Kansas State Wildcats (10-1, 7-1) look to secure the Big 12 Title on Saturday when they host the No. 18 Texas Longhorns (8-3, 5-3) in Manhattan.
The Wildcats are coming off of a bye week after getting knocked out of the no. 1 ranking by Baylor.
The Longhorns are looking to deliver a statement win that could legitimize their season after a tough loss to TCU on Thanksgiving.
Here's a complete preview of the primetime matchup with plenty at stake.
Texas Depth Chart
QB: Case McCoy, David Ash
RB: Johnathan Gray, Joe Bergeron
WR: Jaxon Shipley, Bryant Jackson
WR: Mike Davis, Kendall Sanders
WR: Cayleb Jones OR Marquise Goodwin, D.J. Monroe
TE: D.J. Grant OR Greg Daniels, Barrett Matthews
LT: Josh Cochran, Donald Hawkins
LG: Trey Hopkins, Sedrick Flowers
C: Dom Espinosa, Garrett Porter
RG: Mason Walters, Thomas Ashcraft
RT: Luke Poehlmann, Garrett Greenlea
DE (Buck): Cedric Reed, Shiro Davis
DE (Strong): Alex Okafor OR Reggie Wilson, Ashton Dorsey
DT: Brandon Moore OR Chris Whaley
DT: Desmond Jackson, Malcom Brown
SLB: Tevin Jackson, Peter Jinkens
MLB: Steve Edmond, Dalton Santos
WLB: Kendall Thompson, Peter Jinkens
CB: Quandre Diggs, Duke Thomas
FS: Kenny Vaccaro, Josh Turner
SS: Adrian Phillips, Mykkele Thompson
CB: Carrington Byndom, Leroy Scott
PK: Nick Jordan, Anthony Fera
P: Alex King, Anthony Fera
Kansas State Depth Chart
QB: Collin Klein, Daniel Sams OR Sam Johnson
RB: John Hubert, Angelo Pease
WR: Chris Harper, Torrell Miller
WR: Tyler Lockett, Curry Sexton
WR: Tramaine Thompson, Kyle Klein
TE: Travis Tannahill, Zach Trujillo
LT: Cornelius Lucas, Tomasi Mariner
LG: Cody Whitehair, Nick Puetz
C: B.J. Finney, Drew Liddle
RG: Keenan Taylor, Boston Stiverson
RT: Tavon Rooks, Cody Whitehair
DE: Adam Davis, Alauna Finau
DE: Meshack Williams, Ryan Mueller
DT: John Sua, Javonta Boyd
DT: Vai Lutui, Travis Britz
SLB: Justin Tuggle OR Jarell Childs
MLB: Arthur Brown, Blake Slaughter
WLB: Tre Walker, Jonathan Truman
CB: Allen Chapman, Carl Miles
FS: Ty Zimmerman, Kent Gainous
SS: Jared Milo, Thomas Ferguson
CB: Nigel Malone, Randall Evans OR Kip Daily
PK: Anthony Cantele, Brandom Klimenk
P: Ryan Doerr, Mark Krause
What Happened to Texas Last Week
Texas dropped a Thanksgiving night game to TCU, losing to the Horned Frogs 20-13, a scoreline that hardly demonstrates just how dominant TCU was all game.
The Horns were largely unable to establish their offense and showed the same vulnerabilities that has plagued their defense all season. TCU posted 217 yards on the ground and completed 7 of 10 passes for 82 critical yards.
After more than a week of practice, one would have thought the Longhorns to be better prepared. But a well-coached TCU team far outworked and out-executed the home team.
What Happened to Kansas State Last Week
The Wildcats went back to work during a bye week after being upset by Baylor the weekend before in a 52-24 mess of a game.
After losing its No. 1 ranking, humbled by an offensively powerful Baylor team, Kansas State had the extra time off to prepare for the Longhorns for senior day in Manhattan.
More importantly, the Wildcats got the extra time to rest up for what should be a physically demanding regular-season finale.
What It Means for Both Teams
For Texas, it has been on a roller-coaster ride all season, and the chance to knock off a well-respected Kansas State team is a final opportunity to make a statement before bowl season.
The lows have been low and the highs high, but there is no other Big 12 opponent that can offer up that statement win than the Wildcats. A 9-3 mark looks much better than 8-4 considering Texas' 8-5 record in 2011.
For Kansas State, a win clinches the Big 12 title and a place in the Fiesta Bowl in January.
After losing to Baylor, Bill Snyder will have every single player ready for action on Saturday in an effort to claim the conference title for the first time since 2003.
Key Player for Texas: Case McCoy
Sophomore quarterback David Ash is taking a back seat with a rib injury, leaving the starting duties in the hands of junior signal-caller Case McCoy.
With the offense looking pretty stale against Thanksgiving, including three Ash turnovers, Texas made no sweat about making the change, a transition that will continue into the final game of the season.
McCoy has never been shy about slinging the ball, but his decision-making at times has jeopardized the offense's production.
If Texas cannot get its ground game going, McCoy will have to have his shining moment of the season.
Key Player for Kansas State: Collin Klein
Kansas State's senior quarterback had an uncharacteristic kind of performance in the upset loss to Baylor two weekend's ago, and the opportunity to rebound to clinch the Big 12 title is a chance to further his Heisman candidacy as well.
Klein is a physical and emotional leader of the offense, and his efforts will only be compounded by the players around him.
The senior threw 50 passes against the Bears, smashing is previous season-high of 28. But in completing just 54 percent of those attempts, Klein showed a lack of efficiency that has to improve against the Longhorns.
The Horns Will Win If...
The Horns will win if their play their best defensive game of the season, not only on physical and mental levels, but also with a high standard of execution and discipline.
They slipped up against TCU after taking big strides against Texas Tech and Iowa State, but the Horned Frogs and the Wildcats are totally different animals.
Texas was able to hold KSU's running game at bay last season, keeping the Wildcats to just 38 yards on 39 carries. As unlikely as a repeat defensive performance may be, given the thinness of Texas' run defense this season, every rushing yard prevented goes that much further towards helping the Longhorns manufacture an upset.
The Wildcats Will Win If...
The Wildcats will win if they come out and execute.
Bill Snyder's team has been wildly successful this season on both sides of the ball, and Kansas State's attitude and approach has been almost transparent through its 9-1 record.
Kansas State looks the better team on paper, and if it can translate those advantages onto the field, it could cruise to victory.
Prediction: 38-24 Kansas State
The truth is that Kansas State is simply a much better team with good leadership and an undeniable identity.
Texas will start its backup quarterback for the first time this season, while its defense still has plenty of holes about the field.
Kansas State is not the kind of team that will have a letdown after losing its No. 1 ranking, and it will get right back to its winning ways with a convincing victory to claim the Big 12 crown.