Kansas State at Texas
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: KCSP (610 AM)
Line: Texas by 3 1/2
The Lowdown: Kansas State and Texas have both had their moments this season, but each team is still working to prove itself. The Wildcats dropped out of the top 25 following a loss to Vanderbilt, but could win back some doubters with a win in Austin. The Longhorns lost their opener to Maryland, but have played well and won twice since. This game will say a lot about both teams.
K-State key to success: Catch the ball. Texas has one of the nation’s best run defenses, allowing 96.5 yards per game. It will be hard for the Wildcats to beat the Longhorns if they can’t move the ball through the air. K-State receivers have dropped 10 passes over the past two games, while Jesse Ertz has completed 37.8 percent of his passes. Byron Pringle, Isaiah Zuber and the rest of K-State’s receiving corps need to be much sharper on Saturday.
Texas key to success: Make K-State work for its touchdowns. This game is unlikely to turn into a shootout, which means every mistake could be costly. Few teams are better at finding ways to score on defense and special teams than the Wildcats, and Texas needs to be cognizant of that. A cheap touchdown on either side could easily be the difference in this one.
Texas player to watch: Malik Jefferson. The junior linebacker from Mesquite, Texas is one of the best defenders in the Big 12. He has 33 tackles and a sack through four games.
Key matchup: K-State receivers vs. Texas defensive backs. The Wildcats have struggled to catch the ball in their past two games, and they will be hard pressed to turn things around against the Longhorns’ physical secondary. DeShon Elliott will be a particularly challenging matchup, as he already has four interceptions this season.
Kellis Robinett’s prediction: Texas 23, Kansas State 20. If the Wildcats play up to their potential on offense, they can pull the road upset. But it’s hard to expect that given their recent struggles. Texas has a strong defense and a capable offense. The home team has won five straight in this series. Give the Longhorns a slight edge in a low-scoring game.
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett