For a time there, it looked like Texas would manage to pull off the upset. The offense was productive and the defense was holding up against Heisman hopeful Collin Klein. But to pull off he upset, Texas needed to play perfect because Kansas State wouldn't make mistakes and is unquestionably the better team. But sure enough, Texas made mistakes and Kansas State maximized on those opportunities. That's what good teams do. Maybe someday we can get back to being one of those teams.
3 - 21: Texas turnovers - Kansas State points off turnovers
The difference in this ball game is very simple: turnovers and what each team did with their opportunities. Kansas State forced two Case McCoy interceptions (both essentially pick sixes, with the first "fumbled" at the 1 and the other returned to the 10 yard line) and recovered a muffed Quandre Diggs punt. All three opportunities were converted into easy TDs on drives totaling 50 yards. You just can't make it that easy on a team that thrives on efficiency. On the other side of the ledger, Texas forced one KSU turnover, an Adrian Phillips interception of Collin Klein at the goal-line, but was only able to convert a 5 play, 60 yard drive into a FG. A quick application of the mathematics shows a difference of 18 points off turnovers. And yes, 18 points ended up being the margin of the game. Funny how that works.
12, 1: Kenny Vaccaro solo tackles, forced fumble
Hell of a game from the senior leader of the secondary. In his final regular season game of his career, Kenny Vaccaro was everything for the Texas defense, leading the team with 12 tackles, all solo. The next best tacklers for the defense were Steve Edmond and Peter Jinkens (Jinkens had a hell of a game as well, battling through a back injury and showing real promise for the future) at 5 a piece. Vaccaro drew a couple of difficult assignments in coverage over the course of the game and was a constant presence in run support. Several of his shots on Collin Klein would have broken lesser men (Bo Wallace agrees), but Klein's robotic build and Purple Merlin wizardry allowed him to pop up after every shot. Vaccaro has been my favorite Horn in his time here, and I really appreciate his effort.
1 - 46; 2 - 10; 140: DJ Monroe rushes - rushing yards; receptions - receiving yards; kick return yards
1 - 14; 5 - 85: Daje Johnson rushes - rushing yards; receptions - receiving yards
A week after DJ Monroe didn't see a single touch on senior night, he finally had his opportunities to make a difference. His lightning quick 46 yard carry in the 3rd quarter set Texas up at the 4 yard line, where it would take a 17-14 lead following a Malcolm Brown TD. Late in the 4th, Monroe went down swinging with a 72 yard kick return to set up another late Texas TD. Daje Johnson also figured into the gameplan, chipping in a 14 yard carry and a 5 catch - 85 yard performance, highlighted by a 70 yard flip from McCoy in the second quarter to set up Texas at the 10 yard line, where the Horns would settle for a FG. In all, Monroe and Johnson's 9 offensive touches went for 155 yards, a pretty little 17.2 yards per touch. I don't know if I'll ever understand how "flow of the game" means you keep the ball out of your most dynamic players' hands, but when 2 guys contribute 37.5% of your team's offensive output in only 13.8% of its plays, you might want to flow the game their way.
7 - 40 - 1; 6 - 43 - 1: Malcolm Brown rushes - rushing yards - rushing TDs; receptions - receiving yards - receiving TDs
Also filed under "dudes we haven't seen in awhile," Malcolm Brown made an appearance against Kansas State. On a night where Joe Bergeron was injured on his only carry and Johnathan Gray struggled for 29 yards on 12 carries, Brown stepped up and looked fresh. I won't pretend to know what he's gone through this season, but it was sure nice to see him on the field and making plays.
26 - 34, 314, 2-2; 4 - -33: Case McCoy completions - attempts, passing yards, passing TDs-INTs; sacks - yards lost
After an early near pick six that could have set a bad tone for the Texas offense, Case McCoy came back and completed 17 straight passes on his way to a 76.5% completion and 9.24 yards per attempt night. Solid overall performance for McCoy, who was best when throwing over the middle and made some impressive throws on 3rd down. The problems on the night for McCoy were the same that he's had throughout his career. Both of his INTs were thrown outside the hashes, throws that turn into pick sixes when corners jump those routes. Additionally, McCoy's pocket presence didn't help a Texas OL that has struggled of late, adding 4 sacks for 33 yards lost. In all, McCoy stepped up admirably for the injured David Ash on the road in a difficult environment.
24 vs. 42: Texas starting field position vs. Kansas State starting field position
On a night where Texas held a slight advantage in total yards (413 for Texas vs. 352 for Kansas State), that hidden yardage that well coached and experienced teams like Kansas State thrive on made all the difference. 18 yards closer to the end zone on every possession is an easy way to win a football game.
8 - 14, 184, 1-1; 23 - 103 - 2: Collin Klein completions - attempts, passing yards, passing TDs-INTs; rushes - rushing yards - rushing TDs
Collin Klein didn't have a huge night, but he had the kind of night typical of his career. He pounded out 103 yards on 23 carries (with only a long rush of 18 yards) and 2 TDs, while throwing for 8 completions on 13.1 yards per attempt. The throws were of the easy variety the offense is structured to create: a few post ups to the big bodied Chris Harper, a jump pass to a wide open Travis Tannahill over the middle, and a huge play action heave to a wide open Tyler Lockett to blow the game open. Klein was typically tough and efficient, and accounted for 287 of his team's 352 yards (81.5%) and 3 of the 6 TDs. Its hard not to admire the kind of player he is.
25 - 114 (4.56), 7 vs. 34 - 233 (6.85), 35: Kansas State 1st half vs. 2nd half plays - yards (yards per play), points
4 - 10, 72, 0-1; 6 - 19 - 1: Collin Klein first half completions - attempts, passing yards, passing TDs-INTs; rushes - rushing yards - rushing TDs
4 - 4, 112, 1-0; 17 - 84 - 1: Collin Klein second half completions - attempts, passing yards, passing TDs-INTs; rushes - rushing yards - rushing TDs
For the first half, it looked as if the Texas defense would stop the Kansas State offense and make a victory in Manhattan possible. The first half had K-State running 25 plays for 114 yards, only 4.56 yards per play. 3 possessions ended in punts, the only sustained drive ended in a goal line INT, and the only score came on the one yard plunge following Case McCoy's near pick six. The first half had Texas holding Collin Klein to 7.2 yards per pass attempt, 3.17 yards per carry, and one INT to one rushing TD.
Turns out, Purple Merlin was simply biding his time. The second half had Kansas State running 34 plays for 233 yards, or 6.85 yards per play. 5 possessions ended in TDs, the final two covering 49 yards following the Quandre Diggs muffed punt and Case McCoy near pick six number 2. The first two drives were a 7 play, 75 yard TD score and an 11 play, 67 yard TD score. The third drive was the one play, play action TD bomb to Tyler Lockett. In that half, Klein completed all 4 of his pass attempts for 112 yards and the TD, an average of 28 yards per attempt. He added 17 rushes for 84 yards and another rushing TD, for an average of 4.94 yards per carry. The second half for Kansas State featured 5 TD drives and a single punt.
5: consecutive Kansas State wins over Texas
Kansas State owns us.