It's been 3,345 days since Texas fans have known what it feels like to defeat Kansas State in football. Since then, Mack Brown's Longhorns have been outscored 152-90 across four straight losses to the Wildcats. Bill Snyder's squad had their title dreams crushed three weeks ago in Waco, but K-State has defeated every other team its schedule, overwhelming opponents with a powerful ground game anchored by all-conference QB Collin Klein, and a disciplined defense that tackles well, denies big play opportunities, and forces offenses to sustain drives to move down the field and score.
I don't know a single Texas fan who is predicting a win, and it's easy to understand why. The Longhorns' rush defense has ranged between poor and unwatchable this year, by far the worst unit in that regard that I can recall watching. (If Mackovic ever fielded a worse rush defense, I've succeeded in erasing it from my memory. I suspect the same will prove true for most fans with this year's forgettable performance.) There is literally no rationale basis for expecting Texas to slow down K-State on the ground tonight, nor any sound reason for the Wildcats to try to do much other than ground and pound us into submission. This Texas defense hasnt been able to slow down the run even when we've been expecting the run.
Barring a sloppy day by Kansas State's offense, the pressure will be on UT's offense to avoid turnovers, maximize every red zone opportunity, successfully flip the field even when they don't score, and connect on some plays downfield to give the running game some room to breathe. That task falls on Case McCoy tonight, making his first start of the season and hoping to do for this year's team what he did in his start in the series finale at A&M last year. He likely won't have the luxury of strong defense this year though, and if he intends to be the hero this time around, he probably shouldn't count on being able to wait until the 4th quarter like a year ago.
Kickoff tonight is at 7:00 pm, broadcasting on ABC.