Kansas St.-Texas Preview
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Bill Snyder had to say something. The situation demanded it.
The Kansas State coach known for sending personal notes to opposing players this time directed one to Wildcats students.
”Please accept my apology,” Snyder wrote this week after Kansas State (3-3, 0-3 Big 12) was blown out 55-0 at home by Oklahoma. ”I know you are pained by the outcome, as am I.”
Kansas State’s next opponent can relate. Texas was that team just two weeks ago. Routed 50-7 on the road at TCU, Texas rebounded with a resounding upset win over Oklahoma.
The Longhorns (2-4, 1-2) are the perfect example of how a team can keep their season from falling apart. They expect to get a much better effort from Kansas State than the Sooners did.
”I know that’s not who that football team is,” Texas coach Charlie Strong said. ”We were able to bounce back …So you’ve got to be ready for a team that’s going to be ready to come and play, a team that’s mentally and physically tough.”
Strong has spent this week urging his young players to not get lazy after a big win. After beating the Sooners, the Longhorns also had a week off.
”They’ve got to become mature. That was last week, or two weeks ago,” Texas senior running back Johnathan Gray said. ”Got to get ready for K-State. They’re going to come in with their best.”
Kansas State players are trying to refocus their anger after the loss to find their own turnaround.
”The whole team is upset about what happened,” Wildcats quarterback Joe Hubener said. ”It was embarrassing … and isn’t something we want to be known for.”
A few things to watch for Saturday when Texas hosts Kansas State:
FIRST QUARTER: Whether Kansas State really can fight back could likely be decided within their first 15 minutes in front of a hostile crowd. The Wildcats gave up 14 points in the first quarter to Oklahoma and were down 35 by halftime. A similar slow start could bury any hopes of a rebound.
QUARTERBACKS: Texas freshman Jerrod Heard hardly threw against the Sooners but ran for 115 yards, including several key third-down conversions. Kansas State will have to manage Heard on read-options and misdirection plays that he used to scamper around the Sooners. Hubener must have a better effort that his last game when he was 4 of 14 passing for 39 yards and two interceptions.
BIG PLAY DAJE: Texas senior wide receiver Daje Johnson is still regarded as the Longhorn’s most explosive player who isn’t Heard. But he was knocked out of the first offensive series against TCU and didn’t play against Oklahoma. He’s expected to return Saturday and gives Heard a true scoring threat in the passing game.
TYRONE SWOOPES: The Longhorns’ former starting quarterback has a new role as the ”18 Wheeler” in Texas’ power run game. Swoopes added an extra wrinkle with a pop pass touchdown against Oklahoma.