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Texas uses defense, run game to beat K-State

Kansas State v Texas Getty Images

This was just what Mack Brown needed.

With his starting quarterback out of the game due to a head injury and the pressure on to beat Kansas State for the first time since 2003, his Longhorns (2-2) came through with a much-improved defensive effort and a solid running game to defeat the Wildcats, 31-21.

“The defense played much better. We’re 1-0 in the Big 12 and moving forward,” Brown said afterward.

The previous two games saw the Texas defense allow a combined 822 yards on the ground, but the Wildcats (2-2) were held to just 124 yards on Saturday night. The Longhorns ran for a combined 256 yards and averaged just 3.3 yards per carry in those games, but they rushed for 226 yards and 5.3 yards per carry against K-State.

In other words, Texas seems to have fixed what had been ailing it the most. At least for now.

The game certainly didn’t end up like Texas thought it would. Up 17-7, the Longhorns looked like they might roll, but they lost starting quarterback David Ash to a head injury at half time. Case McCoy came on in relief of Ash and Texas decided to play things close to the vest. McCoy attempted just nine passes so the Longhorns fed the ball to sophomore running back Johnathan Gray, who rumbled for a career-high 141 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries.

Texas held a 31-14 lead with nine minutes to play, but Kansas State came storming back. A Jake Waters one-yard touchdown dive put the Wildcats to within 10 with seven minutes to go. Then Waters again drove K-State inside the Texas seven-yard line, this time with two minutes left. However, Waters fumbled the ball away on a keeper and the Longhorns recovered. K-State penetrated as deep as the Texas 11-yard line in the closing moments thanks to a 40-yard punt return by Tramaine Thompson, but Waters fumbled again to seal the game for Texas.

It wasn’t a particularly pretty win, but it snaps a five-game losing streak by Texas to K-State and keeps the Longhorns alive in their quest for a Big 12 title. Plus, it gives Brown a brief reprieve from the torrent of criticism coming his way.

The bright side for Kansas State was the play of Waters. The junior college transfer had his best game of the season, completing 19 of 30 passes for 275 yards, while also rushing for 26 yards and a score. If he can cut down on his turnovers, he has a chance to develop into one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12. It doesn’t get any easier for the Wildcats defense, which must face Oklahoma State and Baylor in its next two outings.

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8 Responses to “Texas uses defense, run game to beat K-State”
  1. goodfieldnohit says: Sep 22, 2013 12:23 AM

    And Mack saves his job for another week, while A&M owns the state of Texas.

  2. wkb2texans says: Sep 22, 2013 1:39 AM

    “…but Kansas State came storming back. A Jake Waters one-yard touchdown dive put the Wildcats to within 10 with seven minutes to go. Then Waters again drove K-State inside the Texas seven-yard line, this time with two minutes left. However, Waters fumbled the ball away on a keeper and the Longhorns recovered. K-State penetrated as deep as the Texas 11-yard line in the closing moments thanks to a 40-yard punt return by Tramaine Thompson, but Waters fumbled again to seal the game for Texas.”

    THAT does not sound like a defense that “seems to have fixed what had been ailing it the most.” Only fumbles kept K-State from winning the game. WAKE UP!!

  3. Anoesis says: Sep 22, 2013 1:48 AM

    Mack Brown “saves his job” for another two weeks, since next Saturday is a bye.

    Two fumbles by the Wildcat QB negating two possible TDs, the ‘Horns hold on to win by 10, and this article makes it sound like Texas has righted the ship.

    Hard to get a handle on Brown’s next opponent, Iowa State, after they lost to Northern Iowa (a pretty good FCS team) yet came within a TD of beating Iowa. A probable win that puts Texas at 3-2, but they’ll be right back at .500 the following week when Oklahoma comes to visit.

  4. Anoesis says: Sep 22, 2013 1:52 AM

    wkb-

    I had the same thoughts as you about the tone of this article.

    They DID stick their finger in the running game hole, but I’m reminded of the little Dutch boy and the dike. Might be too many holes and not enough fingers. Jeez, that sounds kinda dirty…

  5. amosalanzostagg says: Sep 22, 2013 9:17 AM

    Kansas State lost 22 seniors from last year’s team. They are rebuilding. Conversely, Texas returned 19 starters coming into the season. Texas SHOULD have blown KSU away at home. KSU doesn’t lose those fumbles and the talk around Austin would be about the sales of “Saban 2014″ shirts in burnt orange.

    Texas SHOULD dominate Iowa State. That is the design of the Big 12, two dominant teams in OU and Texas, and the rest along for the ride. The real test will be the RRR
    in Dallas. Mack either shows up or the grumblings become louder and louder, because
    Baylor, Tech and OSU await.

    RTR

  6. be4bama says: Sep 22, 2013 9:25 AM

    Have y’all seen UT’s desperate campaign of SABAN 2014? They’ve got a Facebook page, petitions, tee shirt sales, etc. A new low for UT football. Not only is TA&MU laughing at you but all of college football is too.
    ROLL TIDE

  7. goodfieldnohit says: Sep 22, 2013 12:10 PM

    Two weeks ago, David Ash left a game with a concussion. Last night, Mack Brown and “The Major” kept sending Ash up the middle on QB draws, until he suffered his second concussion in 14 days. Conclusion? The health of the players is secondary to beating a bad K State team.

    That should play well in the homes of potential recruits out there on the recruiting trail…

  8. tgaustin says: Sep 22, 2013 12:54 PM

    Nobody is arguing that changes will be made at years end here in Austin and deservedly so. But, I crack up at Aggie. You guys have beat Rice, Sam Houston State and SMU and lost to Alabama. Soak it up while you can Aggie…and thank you for watching our Horns! Appreciate that. Sounds like you guys have been hanging out with Von Miller on the weekends!

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