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Kicking the Tires: Texas Longhorns

A very belated preview of today's matchup with Texas.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

K-State travels to soggy Austin today to take on the Texas Longhorns. It's a matchup of two teams who are headed in opposite directions. After a brutal early schedule and a quarterback change, Texas is trending up after beating Oklahoma two weeks ago. K-State handled its non-conference slate, but has lost three straight to start Big 12 play, including last week's historic 55-0 loss to Oklahoma.

Players to Watch

K-State

Passing: Joe Hubener, 56-123-4, 866 yards, 4 TD, 7.0 yards/attempt, 144.3 yards/game

Rushing: Justin Silmon, 60 carries, 285 yards, 4.8 yards/carry, 2 TD, 47.5 yards/game

Receiving: Deante Burton, 15 receptions, 222 yards, 14.8 yards/reception, 2 TD, 37.0 yards/game

Texas

Passing: Jerrod Heard, 50-87-2, 714 yards, 8.2 yards/attempt, 3 TD, 119.0 yards/game

Rushing: D'Onta Foreman, 53 carries, 328 yards, 6.2 yards/carry, 2 TD, 54.7 yards/game

Receiving: Daje Johnson, 14 receptions, 201 yards, 14.4 yards/reception, 0 TD, 40.2 yards/game

Heard is also Texas' leading rusher and by far its best offensive player. K-State's defensive line must keep him contained today, especially if Elijah Lee can't play.

Of course, if the field is as wet as is projected, then all bets are off about how this game will go. Rain should blunt Texas' speed advantage, including at quarterback. This could be a bar fight defined by the width of the tackle box.

Advanced Stats

The charts are below for you. Make of them what you will. To steal from Scipio's post earlier this week, the stat profiles for both K-State and Texas could be lagging indicators. In opposite directions.

Texas Offense vs. Kansas State Defense
Kansas State Offense vs. Texas Defense

Conclusion

It's hard to have optimism in the middle of a three-game losing streak. To say nothing of 55-0. Bill Connelly's S&P+ picks favor K-State in yet another tossup game. But again, consider lagging indicators. Vegas favors Texas by around a touchdown. With Heard's athleticism and K-State's depleted defense, I'll take the Longhorns.

Longhorns 24, Wildcats 20