K-State will be a true barometer game for these 'horns. Given how the game turned out last year, I'm not concerned about the 'horns mindset heading into this week. However, the k-state passing game, misdirection, and their quick, hard-hitting defense will pose a challenge. Here's how I see the matchups this week:
Texas offense vs k-state defense: K-State's recipe for beating Texas will have to be blitzing Colt and stacking the box to take away the run. Colt will need to recognize the blitz and get rid of the ball quickly, and I expect we will be mixing in plenty of screens to keep the defense off-balance. Rice can't cure all ills, and I expect we will have some trouble getting the running game going, so Colt's efficiency will be pivotal. If Texas limits turnovers and is effective in the red-zone, this one is a no brainer. Keys: Colt McCoy & Limas Sweed
k-state offense vs Texas defense: K-State's offense outside of Freeman was an abomination week 1 versus Auburn. No running back ran for over 15 yards, and the team mustered 27 yards on the ground. Through the air, however, they collected 289 yards. Their lone offensive TD came on-you guessed it- a lateral pass to a WR who threw to a wide open man in the endzone. K-state's offense has been more balanced against their last two opponents (bad San Jose State and awful Missouri State), and they've had an extra week to prepare. I expect they will try to exploit our secondary time and time again and utilize play action and misdirection once again. To me, this is the token game for Duane Akina and his defense. They will have to apply constant pressure on the QB and the LBs and safeties will need to make the correct read on trick plays. If the defensive line wins the battle up front, Freeman has been shown to make poor passes under pressure.
Keys: Okam/Lokey & Marcus Griffin
x-factors: k-state is on pace to become one of the most penalized teams in college football. Their defense has a tendency to hit guys late (especially QBs) and grab plenty of facemasks.
John Chiles - without giving too much away for the OU game, Chiles can be a difference maker in this game.