#24 Texas vs #13 Kansas State (11/5 @ 7:00 PM EST)
Spread: Texas -2.5
Money Line: Texas -139 / KSU +121
Overview and Betting Info
We will be treated to a Big 12 battle Saturday night as the #24 Texas Longhorns visit Manhattan to visit the #13 Kansas State Wildcats. The Longhorns lead the overall series 12-10 and have won their previous five meetings, but this Kansas State team is built differently and will be aiming to reverse this trend.
Texas is 5-3 versus the spread this year, but they are 1-6 in road games dating back to last season (worst in the Big 12). They’ve gone over the point total three times and gone under in three of their previous four games.
KSU is 5-2-1 versus the spread and is 4-1 at home. They’ve covered in four of their last five games. Like Texas, they’ve only hit the over three times this year.
The Texas offense has been dealing with some injuries at the quarterback position, with sophomore Hudson Card and freshmen Quinn Ewers missing time. Ewers was able to recover last month and has regained the starting job. He had great stat lines in his first two games back (Oklahoma and Iowa State) but struggled last week against a good Oklahoma State team (38% completion, 2 INT).
Ewers will be looking for his receiving core to get back on track, led by Jordan Whittington (510 yards, 7 TD) and Xavier Worthy (404 yards, 1 RD). Ewers seems to be reconnecting with Worthy, but Whittington’s production has taken a hit in the last two weeks. They’re joined by a dangerous tight end in JaTavion Sanders, who is second on the team with 24 catches and five touchdowns. The KSU secondary is beatable, but they’ll need better play from all their pass-catchers.
The talented Bijan Robinson leads the Texas run game. He’s the lynchpin for this offense, with 920 rushing yards, 280 receiving yards, and a combined 13 touchdowns. The back has played a critical role all year and has gone for over 100 yards in his last six games. Keep an eye on backup Roschon Johnson, too, as he has been finding ways to make an impact despite limited touches. He’s only averaging 7.63 carries per game but has turned it into 367 yards and two touchdowns.
The defensive side of the ball has not been the Longhorn’s strong suit most of the year, allowing 370 yards per game. They are not a top-50 defense, despite only allowing 4.87 yards per carry. The unit has been struggling, particularly in the second half of games. This includes blowing a double-digit lead last week against OSU. The good news is that they should get safety Anthony Cook and defensive back Ryan Watts back this week and should drastically improve this secondary. With two weeks off, this defense could be ready to take a big step this weekend.
Kansas State Wildcats
Like Texas, the Wildcats have struggled with injuries at the quarterback position. Senior Adrian Martinez had a great season but went down with an injury early against TCU. He was replaced by junior Will Howard, who capitalized by playing the best football of his career. In their last two games, Howard has 521 passing yards, six touchdowns, and just one interception. He’s struggled with accuracy early, only completing about 59.6% of his attempts. We still need to find out if Martinez will be healthy enough to get the start, but even if he does, we can expect to see them use both of these signal-callers to confuse this Longhorns defense.
Whomever the quarterback is Saturday, the Wildcats have a great core of playmakers. This includes three senior receivers in Malik Knowles, Philip Brooks, and Kade Warner. Knowles leads the group with 32 receptions for 447 yards, but Brooks (3 TD) and Warner (4 TD) have found more success in the red zone.
Kansas State has one of the top running backs in FBS in Deuce Vaughn. He has 154 carries on the year for a total of 902 yards. He had a few poor showings recently against Iowa State and TCU but bounced back against Oklahoma State to top the 100-yard mark again. Martinez is likely the better pairing for Vaughn, but he should be in for a big night regardless of who is at the helm.
Their defense is surrendering 413 yards per game, but they’re filled with aggressive playmakers. The Wildcats are top 25 in sacks, led by defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah with seven. They also have a secondary that’s generating turnovers, with four players registering two interceptions for eleven on the year (9th best in FBS). While they’ve struggled giving up yards and points, they’re coming off an incredible effort against an Oklahoma State team that put up 41 against Texas.