Kansas State football: Can Wildcats pull off massive win at Texas?

Kansas State football enters Austin as a seven-point underdog in Week 11 riding a three-game winning streak. Can the Wildcats pull off a road upset?

No. 16 Kansas State and Texas are two football teams that seem headed in different directions. The Wildcats (6-2, 3-2) have won three consecutive games, including a 48-41 win against No. 9 Oklahoma and a 38-10 victory against in-state rival Kansas in Week 10.

The Longhorns (5-3, 3-2), on the other hand, have lost two out of their last three games. They are coming off a bye week after a 37-27 Week 9 loss to TCU in which Horned Frogs freshman quarterback Max Duggan had a career day, throwing for 273 yards and two touchdowns.

Texas, despite its struggles in recent years, has beaten Kansas State in three of the teams’ last four meetings. The Longhorns have also won the last three consecutive meetings as the home team against the Wildcats.

Kansas State’s recent success under first-year coach Chris Klieman can partially be explained by its prowess in the ground game. The Wildcats average 217 rushing yards per game, which is fourth-best in the Big 12. Kansas State rushed for a combined 555 yards in its last two wins against OU and Kansas, including quarterback Skylar Thompson’s three rushing touchdowns against the Jayhawks.

Here’s how you can watch:

Date: Saturday, Nov. 9
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Austin, Texas
Venue: Royal Texas Memorial Stadium
TV: ESPN
Live StreamWatchESPN

Keys to Victory

The Kansas State rushing attack vs. Texas’ front seven will be crucial in determining the outcome of this game. How Thompson can dictate the game will be important, too — the junior signal-caller has thrown for seven touchdowns and rushed for 10 more this season. Against Kansas in Week 10, Thompson had 17 rushing attempts for 127 yards.

For Texas, establishing solid pass protection for quarterback Sam Ehlinger could be the difference between a win and a loss. Against OU, Ehlinger was sacked nine times and had only 5.5 yards per completion in the 34-27 loss. In the loss to TCU, Ehlinger threw two touchdowns and four interceptions while completing only 22-of-48 passes. If Ehlinger doesn’t have time to make big plays for the Longhorns, UT will be severely restricted on offense.

Betting Odds

Odds courtesy of The Action Network

Spread: Texas -7.0
Over/Under: 58

Prediction

Coming off a bye week and a disappointing loss to TCU, head coach Tom Herman will have the Longhorns hyped up and ready to play. The Longhorns’ defensive struggles of late, though, have been alarming: they surrender 465 total yards per game (second-worst in the Big 12) and have regressed significantly.

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Against Kansas three weeks ago, the Jayhawks gained 569 yards and scored 48 points in a last-second lost to Texas. For the Longhorns, setting the tone early on defense and containing Kansas State’s Thompson will determine the outcome of the game.

Final Score: Kansas State 30, Texas 27