(Photo: USA Today)
It wasn't pretty in the second half and caused Longhorn fans a lot of heartburn, but Texas found a way Saturday night to secure a key road victory in Manhattan. The win, coupled with an Oklahoma State loss to Kansas earlier in the day, means Texas controls their own destiny the rest of the season as they chase an appearance in the Big 12 championship game.
- As usual, Texas was extremely hot coming out of the gates. The Longhorns quickly built up a 21-10 lead and seemed poised to run away with things in the second quarter until a Roschon Johnson fumble deep in Kansas State territory prevented the Longhorns from going up 3 scores early. Texas was still able to head into halftime with a 31-10 lead, but points were left on the field and it ultimately almost came back to bite the Longhorns.
- The second half followed the usual script. No need to continue to harp on it because everyone knows at this point. Kansas State was able to string together several quality drives, several of which were helped out by penalties, to cut the Texas lead to 34-27. They appeared to be on their way to tying the game until.....
- Keondre Coburn made the biggest play of his career to seal the game, stripping Adrian Martinez around midfield on a sack. The fumble was recovered by Jaylan Ford, who also finished the game with 10 tackles and an interception.
- The inability for Texas to recover fumbles is almost funny at this point. The Longhorns stripped Kansas State ballcarriers 3 different times, with the first two somehow finding their way back into the hands of a Wildcats player or bouncing out of bounds. The third time was finally the charm as Ford wasn't going to let another one slip away.
- The story of the game offensively was Bijan Robinson, who carried the ball 30 times for 209 yards and a touchdown. He had over 150 yards in the first half and had the Kansas State defense on its heels. Another outstanding game from #5.
- Quinn Ewers had a relatively quiet night, finishing 18 for 31 for 197 yards and 2 TD's. He only threw 8 passes in the second half.
- His two touchdowns were beautiful throws to Xavier Worthy in the endzone. Worthy finished with 4 catches for 42 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also had a costly fumble to open the second half on a 3rd down catch that would have been a first down.
- JT Sanders led all Texas pass catchers with 5 catches for 54 yards and had a solid all-around game.
- The Texas OL had a decent night, opening up plenty of holes for Robinson and Johnson in the first half. Kansas State started loading the box in the second half and inflicting negative plays, but the unit as a whole did a solid job.
- This game should not have been as close as it was. Texas did a poor job protecting their second half leads and it falls both on the players and the coaches. The Longhorns just seem to stack up uncharacteristic mistakes as games go on and it makes things more difficult than it needs to be.
Texas controls their own destiny. If they win their final 3 games, they will play for a Big 12 championship. The next test is a tough one as they welcome undefeated TCU to DKR. The Longhorns continue to have all their goals in front of them, and that's all you can ask for with 3 games left in the season.