Revenge is at the top of everyone's mind for this game. Last year this game was on November 11th, and the Longhorns led by freshman phenom Colt Mccoy were 9-1 with their only loss to the #1 team in the land way back in week 2, and had a national ranking of number 4. Number 3 Louisville had just lost to Rutgers, #1 vs. #2 was the next week, so one of them would lose, while Texas was playing a rejuvenated but still less talented A&M squad in Austin, then it all came tumbling down. On the first drive of the game, Colt Mccoy led the Longhorns on a fantastic 14 play 80 yard drive that ended with him sneaking in from the one while injuring himself at the same time. Longhorn fans were scared, but had heard of Jevan Snead and knew it was a tight battle between he and Colt in the off-season. Long story short, our backup QB leads Texas to 35 more points, KSU passes for 323 yard and 4 scores on a defense that includes two first round draft picks in the secondary, including the Thorpe award winner, and another that was selected in the 5th round for the NFL, and outscores the #4 team in the nation by three. The game ultimately cost us against A&M as Mack Brown did not get his team prepared for what was going to be an emotional game, and then during the game made even more questionable calls that led to A&M showing us up at home and winning in Austin for the first time since 1994.
Josh Freeman returns as the K-State QB, who as a freshman last year, went 19/31 323 3 against a veteran Longhorn secondary last year, and is every bit capable of putting up those kind of numbers this year with a less talented group on the field. Freeman is off to an ok start so far this year averaging 275 yds a game, but has only thrown for 2 touchdowns along with 4 picks. To Texas's advantage WR Yamon Figurs (6 catches 123yds 2tds-2006) is gone, but senior WR Jordy Nelson has become the new favorite and shows good size and athleticism at 6'3" 217lbs. No clear rushing threat is available to Kansas State as they have only put up 400 yards in their first 3 games good for 77th in the nation. Senior running back James Johnson lead the team, and has rushed for over 100 yards in his last 2 games (San Jose St, Missouri St.) but had only 7 carries for 14 yards against Auburn in week 1.
The Wildcats defense has been good so far allowing just over 250 yards a game (190 pass/68 rush) and 13 points a game with 1 offensive fumble that led to 6 points for Auburn. The defense can keep them in the game as they showed in Auburn, taking a 13-9 lead into the 4th, and holding Auburn until giving up a touchdown with about 2 minutes to go. This will be Kansas State's toughest challenge thus far, especially if Texas comes out like they did against Rice (trying to forget about Jamaal Charles's fumble on his first carry) passing and running at their will.
The Texas offense is fairly balanced with 269 passing yards (39th nationally), 187 yards rushing (36th nationally), all while averaging 37 points (21st nationally) a game. Colt Mccoy, who after three sluggish starts, hopes to have gotten some of his confidence back after a 20/29 333 3 game performance against a bad Rice team. Most importantly though has to be that he, for the first time this year, did not throw an interception. Jamaal Charles had his streak of 100 yard rushing games ended last week at 3, but made up for it with 3 touchdowns on 14 carries for 72 yards. Limas Sweed had his best performance last week with 5 catches for 139 yards and 2 tds.
If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that I had to worry about the Texas front seven I would have laughed at you, but 2 key players getting arrested and suspended took so much needed depth away and made find ways to exploit younger players. All players have returned and better numbers are expected. So far the defense is giving up over 300 yards a game (223 passing/87 rushing) with the only legitimate player they have faced is Kevin Smith of UCF. Look for a young secondary to give Freeman problems as they continue to gain confidence being led by Marcus Griffin and Brandon Foster.
Texas is favored by 15 going into this one, but I think they win they only win by 10. Texas front seven is able to keep pressure on Freeman forcing more turnovers that touchdown passes. 30-20 Texas who starts practicing for a top-5 showdown with OU October 6th.