The Kansas State Wildcats and Texas Longhorns took drastically different paths to this Big 12 showdown between familiar foes.
Kansas State has rolled to a 2-1 record while utilizing an effective read-option attack. The Wildcats enter the matchup with Texas completely owning Longhorns' head coach Mack Brown, who is 2-7 against Kansas State and has lost five in a row.
Texas not only has to worry about the historical implications of the matchup. Everything that could have gone wrong for the team this year has. The Longhorns enter the game at 1-2 and have allowed 1,128 yards to opposing offenses in its past two games (not a typo).
When the Wildcats and Longhorns meet under the bright lights in front of a national audience, the season will be on the line for both teams. Here are the critical things to know about the showdown in Austin.
When: Saturday, September 21 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, TX
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider)
- Over/Under: 58 pts
- Spread: Texas (-5.5)
Kansas State Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Boston Stiverson||G||09/15/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Texas||Questionable||foot|
Texas Injury Report (via USA Today)
|David Ash||QB||09/16/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Kansas State||Questionable||head|
|Demarco Cobbs||LB||09/15/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Kansas State||Questionable||knee|
|Josh Cochran||OL||09/16/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Kansas State||Questionable||shoulder|
|Greg Daniels||TE||09/19/2013||will miss Saturday's game against Kansas State||Out||shoulder|
|Mike Davis||WR||09/16/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Kansas State||Questionable||ankle|
|Deoundrei Davis||LB||09/15/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Kansas State||Questionable||knee|
|Ashton Dorsey||DT||08/30/2013||has decided to transfer||Out||personal|
|Bryant Jackson||WR||09/15/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Kansas State||Questionable||foot|
|Daje Johnson||RB||09/16/2013||will miss Saturday's game against Kansas State||Out||ankle|
|Miles Onyegbule||TE||09/15/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Kansas State||Questionable||leg|
|Kevin Vaccaro||S||09/15/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Kansas State||Questionable||ankle|
|Mason Walters||OL||09/16/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Kansas State||Questionable||knee|
|Dalton Santos||LB||09/20/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Kansas State||Questionable||Leg|
Can Texas Stop the Read Option?
In two victories this season, Kansas State has racked up 910 total yards running a read option with quarterbacks Jake Waters and Daniel Sams.
Waters handles things through air while Sams carries the football. Sams has tallied 140 yards on the ground in the past two games while Waters has added over 300 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
The Kansas State attack presents a serious issue for Texas. Two weeks ago, BYU torched the Longhorns defense with the read option, rushing for 550 yards, 259 of those from quarterback Taysom Hill. Ole Miss adopted the attack last week to score a 44-23 victory over Texas while rushing for 272 yards.
Now Texas is tasked with stopping a team sound in running the exact offense that has given the team fits. Either the Longhorns will fight through the injury bug and overcome the attack or falter yet again, dooming their season.
Which team wins?
Not only does recent and long term history say Texas is in serious danger against the Wildcats, there's also a chance the Longhorns could be without starting quarterback David Ash, who has thrown for almost 600 yards, six touchdowns and just two interceptions this season.
The Texas defense has proven it will struggle against the run, while Kansas State has looked unstoppable outside of a hiccup in Week 1 versus D-II North Dakota State.
Outside of 56 points in Week 1, Texas has scored just 23 and 21 points in two contests this year. That's not good enough in an encounter with the Wildcats. Kansas State will have no issue controlling the tempo of the game and rolling right over the Longhorns' depleted and exposed defense.
Wildcats win 40-23
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling