Kansas State is the Big 12’s only program that sports an all-time winning record vs. Texas, having won eight of their 13 meetings — including five in a row. What happened the last time they played?
Kansas State 42, Texas 24 — Dec. 1, 2012.
The Longhorns lost their fifth straight to the Wildcats, this time in Manhattan, ending their regular season at 8-4 despite outgaining Kansas State in total yards, 413-362.
Quarterback David Ash missed the game, with injured ribs suffered in the Thanksgiving loss to TCU. Case McCoy, making his first start of the season, completed 26 of 34 passes for 314 yards — hitting on 17 in a row, at one point.
But McCoy also threw two interceptions. Both of them, picked off by Nigel Malone and Allen Chapman, set up Kansas State touchdowns.
McCoy’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Jaxon Shipley gave Texas a 10-7 halftime lead over the Wildcats, who were ranked No. 7 in the country but who had earlier in the season been ranked No. 1.
But Kansas State came to live in the second half, assembling touchdown drives of 75 and 67 yards in the third quarter, each one capped off by a 2-yard run by tailback John Hubert. Then the Wildcats scored three more times in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Collin Klein found Tyler Lockett for a 55-yard touchdown. Then Hubert scored his third of the night, on a 1-yard run. Klein added a 9-yard touchdown run with less than two minutes left.
Klein, who would finish third in the Heisman Trophy voting, rushed for 103 yards and the two touchdowns. He also threw for 184 yards and the touchdown, with only eight completions in his 14 attempts.
McCoy was sacked four times. Klein, of course, is gone, but Hubert and Lockett are back this season.
Identity crisis: Coaches had hoped the team had developed a strong measure of toughness during the Alamo Bowl, when the Longhorns outscored Oregon State 14-0 in the fourth quarter in the 31-27 win.
Now there’s been a relapse; Texas has lost consecutive games to BYU and Ole Miss by an average of 20 points, having been outscored 40-7 in the second half of those two games.
Co-offensive coordinator and playcaller Major Applewhite was asked this week about the program’s identity.
“It’s always gonna be based on the last game,” Applewhite said. “Coming off the Alamo Bowl, it was that we fought for 60 minutes and found a way to win. After the last two games, all that’s questionable. We have to put it together for 60 minutes. That’s the bottom line.”
Walters’ streak: The 2010 season opener against Rice featured a redshirt freshman — Mason Walters — starting at right guard. He has been the Longhorns’ offensive line mainstay since, having started those past 41 games.
It’s a streak that’s the second-longest in the country among offensive linemen who have made consecutive starts; only Mississippi State’s Gabe Jackson (42) has a longer one.
But Walters’ streak is in jeopardy. He left last week’s Ole Miss game with a knee injury and was replaced by backup guard Sedrick Flowers. On this week’s depth chart, Walters is still listed atop the two-deep at right guard, but it’s as an “or” starting option with Flowers.
The Longhorns are hoping Walters will be able to play Saturday, and he apparently is recovering better from his injury than right tackle Josh Cochran is with his; Cochran, who left the Ole Miss game with an injured shoulder, is listed below Kennedy Estelle as the “or” starter.
Ash returned to practice on Wednesday.