In need of a win to keep their hopes of earning a bowl bid alive, the Texas Longhorns traveled to Kansas to take on the Kansas State Wildcats, a team that was 5-3 heading into this game—a game that ended up being a virtual killing as the Longhorns fell (hard) to the Wildcats, 39-14.
Of all the games the Longhorns have played this year, this one was the worst.
The offense was unable to do anything until the end of the game and quarterback Garrett Gilbert single-handedly kept the Longhorns from winning this game by throwing five interceptions. The defense had a hand in it as well and couldn’t stop the Wildcats running game pretty much the whole night.
The loss forces them to have to win two of their final three games in order to ensure a winning season and be eligible for a bowl game. The loss also puts head coach Mack Brown's job into question and has people calling for change in Austin.
The following is an in-depth review of the Longhorns game this past Saturday night.
The Kansas State Wildcats scored first after a long kickoff return to start the game. They put up seven after running back Daniel Thomas ran 34 yards into the end zone for a score. Kansas State would add a field goal, a 30-yarder by kicker Josh Cherry (still in the first quarter) to go up 10-0.
Kansas State made it 17-0 in the second quarter after Collin Klein ran 12 yards into the end zone for a touchdown. The Wildcats would tack on another touchdown in the period after Klein dashed into the end zone from 10 yards out to make it 24-0 to close out the first half.
The third quarter was all Kansas State. The Wildcats would put the Longhorns in a deeper hole after Thomas scored his second touchdown of the game on a nine-yard run to make it 31-0. Kansas State would get their last touchdown after William Powell ran into the end zone from eight yards out (the extra point turned into a two-point conversion on accident) and that made it 39-0.
The Longhorns would get the final two touchdowns of the game to help save some face and not get shut out. Their first touchdown (both in the fourth quarter) came on a four-yard run by running back Cody Johnson. That score made it 39-14. Their next touchdown happened when Gilbert threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Dominique Jones to make it 39-14. That was the last score of the game.
Stud of the Game
It’s difficult to find a single player that played a good game against the Wildcats. Both offense and defense had poor games as did the Texas special teams units. Even the coaching staff had a poor game. This honor goes to no one single Texas Longhorns player.
Dud of the Game
The whole team had a big hand in making this a blowout and causing the loss but Gilbert had the biggest part in this loss. His five interceptions killed drives for the Longhorns, gave the ball back to the Wildcats and allowed them to control the ball and the clock for a better part of the game.
Gilbert has struggled often this season and the coaching staff has been very hesitant to take him out of the game perhaps in fear of “damaging” him. They kept him in the game, allowed him to make mistakes and thus lost the game.
This was, needless to say, a horrible game for the Longhorns. The tone was set at the opening kickoff and just kept on rolling from there. The Longhorns couldn’t seem to recover from that opening touchdown and couldn’t do anything on offense or defense until the game was well out of hand at the end.
The Longhorns had a solid rushing defense coming into this game and they were shredded to the tune of 261 yards. The Wildcats second-string quarterback had a field day running the ball against the Texas defense and they just couldn’t stop him. Even though Texas knew that the Wildcats would struggle passing the ball, they didn’t stack up and force the Wildcats to pass. The coaching staff really blew it on that one.
Of course we all know what Gilbert was not able to do and this raises some questions as to whether or not Gilbert is the right choice at quarterback. Unfortunately, the Longhorns don’t have much experience behind him so it would be difficult to make a change, but after seeing how he played the Longhorns may be looking at some of their backups to see what they could get out of them in the remaining three games of the season.
Speaking of the remaining three games of the season, the Longhorns need to win two of those three games in order to become bowl eligible and stay above the .500 mark. Not getting to a bowl and not having a winning season could spell the end of Mack Brown in Austin.
The Longhorns will take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys, one of the toughest teams in the Big 12, next Saturday. Stay tuned for a full preview of this game coming at the end of this week.