Texas looks for rare win over “purple kryptonite” Kansas State

Nick Castillo

The sounds of ‘we own Texas’ echoed through Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas, during Texas’ 23-0 loss to Kansas State last year. The joyous chants from Wildcats fans weren’t just elations from beating the Longhorns — they’re a proven fact. Kansas State has owned Texas. The Wildcats have a 9-6 record all-time against the Longhorns and have won six of the last seven meetings. Even Texas’ best have fallen to the purple kryptonite.

The 23-0 loss still lingers in the players’ minds. But senior cornerback Duke Thomas said the Longhorns have to match the Wildcats’ intensity Saturday.

“It was a tough loss,” Thomas said. “I hate losing, period. Stuff like that I don’t really think much about it. I can’t remember much about that game anyway. But moving forward, we got to know what K-State is capable of.”

If there was a year Texas could overcome its struggles with Kansas State, it’s this year. The Wildcats started off hot with three consecutive wins but have plummeted back to earth after three losses in Big 12 conference play. Kansas State’s worst was a 55-0 loss to No. 17 Oklahoma last weekend.

Despite the Wildcats’ recent struggles, the Longhorns know they’ll get a better effort from their opponent Saturday.

“[Kansas State was] unlucky with that score on Saturday,” head coach Charlie Strong said. “I know that’s not who that football team is. It’s a very well-coached team, a team that doesn’t make many mistakes … [so we’ve] got to be ready for a team that’s going to be ready to come and play, a team that’s mentally and physically tough.”

Although the Wildcats only average 161 yards a game, which has them ranked No. 81 out of 127 FBS schools, they’ll bring a tough rushing attack to Austin on Saturday. Kansas State will use freshman running back Justin Silmon and junior quarterback Joe Hubener in their run game. The duo has rushed for combined 525 yards and eight touchdowns. The Longhorns will have to guard Kansas State’s run-pass option that it’s found success running. Thomas said he still sees a dangerous opponent, despite their shutout loss to the Sooners.

“K-State is still a formidable opponent,” Thomas said. “They’re still a very good team. They’re fundamentally sound. They don’t make many mistakes. They’re going to hold on to the football. That’s K-State – they’re going to make things happen.”

Sophomore wide receiver Lorenzo Joe said he expects the Wildcats to come out blazing after last week’s loss.

“Kansas State, they’re going to be hungry,” Joe said. “After the TCU game we were hungry for a win, went out against OU and got that win, so they’re going to come in here and they’re going to fight hard … They’re going to be hungry for a win. We’ve just got to hit them in the mouth first.”

The Longhorns look to overcome their purple kryptonite and avoid hearing ‘we own Texas’ chants again.