Yesterday we left off with the question of whether Texas’s defense had a shot at slowing Collin Klein given its rash of injuries and general ineffectiveness this year. Up next is Chris Flanagan of Hook’em Horns:
Chris (Hook’em Horns): I think Okafor will be ready to go. Mack doesn’t like to sit defensive players unless he really has to. Okafor is needed.
Now since the Kansas game, the Texas defense has been much better and if it wasn’t for the offense collapsing in the TCU game, it would have been a win. But Texas has only given up 16 ppg and while the Texas defense has given up yards, it’s third down and redzone conversions are much better.
In the month of November, Texas is 14th in the country at Opponents Redzone Touchdown conversions at 40%. Only TCU’s numbers are better in the month of November in the Big 12 (Watch out Oklahoma). Texas is 9th in the country in the month of November in 3rd down conversion at 28%, which is 1st in the Big 12. And Texas Tech is 14th in the country in 3rd down conversions at 48%. They only converted 28% of their 3rd downs against Texas. So Texas is getting stops on 3rd down and forcing field goals.So to look at the overall stats of the defense and think they are bad and Kansas State is going roll right over Texas hasn’t seen the improvements this defense has made in the month of November.So let’s focus on Kansas State’s defense. Oklahoma State and Baylor were able to air out the ball. Case McCoy loves to throw the ball. 1. Will Ty Zimmerman play? 2. How can Kansas State stop Mike Davis who has one of the top YPC for Wide receivers in the country?
Dave (Jug Of Snyder): This game may hinge on Ty Zimmerman’s presence. The junior safety had been making tackles and interceptions all year until being injured against TCU and missing the Baylor game. Unlike Mack Brown, Bill Snyder treats injury information as double top secretly classified material, which infuriates fans, opposing teams, and the media, but can’t be discounted for its strategic value. Zimmerman was in a boot and relying on crutches during the Baylor game, so even if he is able to play he’ll likely be a step slow. This is the most banged up K-State’s been all season, and their bye week came at an opportune time to gets kids healthy and make adjustments for the players that won’t be able to suit up.
As far as WR Mike Davis is concerned, he’s unlikely to be shut down. Both Wildcat cornerbacks – particularly Nigel Malone – give up yards in sometimes disturbingly large chunks. The key for this season has been using the front four to generate pressure, keeping everyone at home in the secondary and swarming to the ball to limit any yards after the catch. The CBs are also great at sniffing out the ball and won’t hesitate to break on a pass they believe they can intercept, leaving the safety to clean up if they come up short. I feel much more comfortable predicting two McCoy interceptions on Saturday than I do attempting to predict the final score.
Since I mentioned final scores, it looks like prediction time. I don’t know what it is about the University of Texas, but it seems absolutely confounded in attempting to figure out how to beat K-State. Looking at the history of the past decade, I have to believe K-State bounces back and secures another win against the Longhorns. Additionally, it’s a home game, they’ve had an extra week to stew about the Baylor loss, and, with the exception of Oklahoma, Baylor was the only team that Kansas State didn’t look dramatically superior to. I say when the dust settles on the regular season, the scoreboard reads K-State 38, Texas 28. Thoughts?
Chris: I think Kansas State is Mack Brown’s kryptonite but when Texas is a highly ranked team and Kansas State is not. Kansas State is the favorite in this game. The Longhorns have improved since the Oklahoma game. But Texas has done great with good defenses but I am not sold on Kansas State being a dominant defense like Oklahoma and TCU.The key to this game will be if Coach Bryan Harsin gets the ball into their playmakers’ hands. DJ Monroe, Marquis Goodwin, and Daje Johnson need to test that perimeter and get runs to the outside. The problem is Coach Harsin is stubborn and will run in right now the middle against that great Front 7, get into 3rd and 7 and 3rd and 8 and rely on Case to make a play. That’s the problem with this Texas team and it’s the coaches refusal to play to the defense’s weaknesses on the other team and just run in up the middle when we don’t have the offensive line to actually do that.Texas should be able to compete and win this game on talent alone but considering the obvious advantage Kansas State has in coaching, I think Kansas State wins by 2 possessions.
So there you have it folks, straight from the Longhorn’s mouth: expect Kansas State to win this game. There may be some underrated talent on this roster that people still don’t believe in, but the quality of the team is undeniable. Looking forward to Saturday night. EMAW!