There are plenty of marquee matchups to be found on the Week 11 NCAAF slate, but there’s also value to be found in matchups that are flying slightly under the radar. That includes in this meeting of Big 12 squads, both of whom have surprised for different reasons in 2019.
The Kansas State Wildcats head to Texas to take on the Longhorns, a meeting of two teams which bring matching conference marks of 3-2 to the table. However, the visitors have a better overall record at 6-2, while the hosts check in at 5-3.
This is Chris Klieman’s first year at the helm for Kansas State after a successful run at North Dakota State. The program has already made impressive strides under his watch. There was a lot of optimism about the Longhorns prospects heading into 2019, but they haven’t materialized as of yet.
That said, this is still a program that is just on the outside looking in at the latest AP Top 25 poll, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them return to the land of ranked teams before the season is through. Kansas State checks in at 20th in the latest rankings.
This should be an entertaining tilt between two clubs who still have plenty to play for. Let’s take a look at the matchup in full detail, starting with the current lines.
Kansas State vs. Texas, 3:30 PM EST, Sat. Nov.9, ESPN
Betting odds provided by Sportsbetting.ag
Kansas State vs. Texas Pick:
The Wildcats were last in action on Saturday for a road date with rival Kansas. They were 4.5-point favorites at kickoff and took control of the game from the outset. Kansas State held a 17-3 lead at the half, and they kept it up in the second half while cruising to a 38-10 win. Skylar Thompson ran for three scores in the convincing victory.
The Longhorns had last weekend off. The week prior to that, they paid a visit to TCU, who entered the game favored by 1.5 points. It was a close game at the half with the Longhorns holding a 17-13 lead. The game remained that way through the second half, but the Horned Frogs were able to pull away in the fourth quarter for a 37-27 win.
|Kansas State||6-2||3-2||267||163||W3||3-Big 12||20|
Kansas State opened the year up strong with three consecutive wins. That span included a 31-24 road victory over Mississippi State, a game for which they were 7-point dogs. Two straight losses followed, but the team has bounced back in big league fashion with three straight wins. Included over the latest run is a huge home upset over Oklahoma as 23.5-point dogs.
The year for Texas began with a big home win over Louisiana Tech. They met their match the following week when LSU came to town, falling by a score of 45-38. The club rebounded with three straight wins, but they hit a rough patch right after that. The Longhorns have dropped two of their last three. The lone win over that span came by two points over Kansas.
Overall, the offensive approach at Kansas State has skewed towards the run. For example, the team racked up 342 rushing yards in the win over Kansas, but just 129 yards through the air. The defense has shown good balance in both facets. For the last game, the unit allowed a total of 241 offensive yards to the Jayhawks. The team doesn’t generate a ton of pressure, but they racked up four sacks last time.
Thompson has been efficient in the passing game with seven scores versus one pick. He has also added on 10 rushing TDs. James Gilbert leads the team in rushing at 100/558/5. Dalton Schoen has been the top threat through the air with a line of 25/389/3. Denzel Goolsby leads the defense with 36 tackles. Wyatt Hubert is tops with four sacks.
It’s a different story at Texas. The passing attack leads the way on offense, while the ground game leaves something to be desired. The same holds true on defense, albeit in the opposite fashion. The team has been decent against the run on an overall basis, but they’ve been atrocious versus the pass. The two offenses are somewhat of a wash with different approaches, but Kansas State gets the nod on defense.
Sam Ehlinger was a dark horse Heisman candidate entering the year, but he hasn’t quite met the mark. To date, he has 28 total scores versus seven picks. Keaontay Ingram leads the way out of the backfield at 98/494/4. Devin Duvernay is the leading receiver at 69/800/7. Joseph Assai and Brandon Jones are tied for the team lead with 55 tackles. Juwan Mitchell leads with three sacks.
Kansas State leads the all-time series over Texas by a margin of 10-9, but the Longhorns have won the last two meetings. Last year, it was a 19-14 road win for Texas.
For the season to date, the Wildcats are 6-2 against the spread and 3-5 on the Over/Under. The Longhorns are 4-4 ATS and 6-2 on totals.
Since the 2016 season, Kansas State is 5-10 straight-up as a road underdog and 9-6 ATS. Texas is 12-3 overall as a home favorite over that span and 7-8 ATS.
Kansas State has been a pleasant surprise in 2019. While there was optimism that Klieman would turn the program around, it was supposed to take a bit. Year one has been a success, but there remains plenty of work to do.
Texas entered 2019 with hopes of a Big 12 crown and thoughts of a playoff berth. Two losses in conference play and three overall defeats at this point is not what was anticipated. That said, there’s still time to turn it around and close the year out strong.
The Longhorns are the stronger team on paper, but the Wildcats have shown a ton this season. Kansas State plus the points is the call.