The dominant storyline to emerge from Kansas State’s 35-6 loss to No. 12 West Virginia was Bill Snyder‘s insertion of Alex Delton for Skylar Thompson at quarterback without telling the rest of his staff or Thompson. Delton started Saturday’s game, and one has to wonder what would’ve happened if he didn’t.
No. 18 Texas used scores in all three phases to take a 19-0 halftime lead, but a second half replacement of Delton for Thompson breathed life into K-State. The Wildcats took the field in the fourth quarter with a chance to take the lead, but the Longhorns got the stop they needed and held on for a 19-14 win.
Texas (4-1, 2-0 Big 12) accepted the ball to open the game and ended it scoreless after Sam Ehlinger missed a wide open Devin Duvernay for what would have been a 55-yard touchdown pass, but D'Shawn Jamison bailed out his quarterback by returning a punt 90 yards for a touchdown to open the scoring at the 5:25 mark of the first quarter.
The Texas offense got on the board with an 11-play, 89-yard drive, keyed by a 21-yard throwback from running back Tre Watson to Ehlinger to set UT up with a 1st-and-goal at the K-State 4. Ehlinger found Collin Johnson one play later to put the visitors up 14-0 57 seconds into the second frame.
Texas’s defense got into the action on the ensuing drive when Charles Omenihu sacked Alex Delton in the end zone for a safety. After the safety, Texas went 53 yards over 13 plays to set up a 28-yard Cameron Dicker field goal.
Kansas State (2-3, 0-2 Big 12) had a great opportunity to get on the board just before the end of the half with a 1st-and-goal from the Texas 6, but three straight Delton runs got them to the 2 and a fourth down pass inside the end zone was dropped, leaving the Wildcats scoreless at the break.
The Wildcats accepted the ball to open the second half and, with Delton out after hitting just 3-of-7 passes for 14 yards, Thompson immediately led them 82 yards in 10 plays, covering the final seven himself to put K-State on the board.
After a punt and a missed Dicker field goal, Kansas State moved 70 yards in 10 plays — converting two third downs and a fourth-and-goal, as Alex Barnes leaped into the end zone to pull K-State within 19-14 with 9:55 to play.
Texas moved into K-State territory on the ensuing possession, but Ehlinger threw wide of Collin Johnson on 3rd-and-7, and the Wildcats took the field at their own 20 with 7:12 to work with knowing a score would hand them the lead. After Barnes ran for four yards on first down, Thompson threw incomplete to Dalton Schoen on second down and his third down pass was batted down at the line of scrimmage by Breckyn Hager.
After a punt, Texas then took over at its own 20 with 6:31 to play and, leaning on Ehlinger and Ingram (15 touches for 95 yards), expired the remainder of the clock. A 12-yard Ehlinger rush on 2nd-and-6 with 2:20 remaining allowed Texas to kneel out the clock. The sophomore closed the day hitting 29-of-36 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown while rushing eight times for 26 yards.
The win sets up a showdown with No. 6 Oklahoma next week in Dallas. This will be the first time Texas heads to Dallas with one or fewer losses since 2012.