Notes from the opponent: Sitting down with Kansas State football reporter Landon Reinhardt

Nathan Han, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the November 23 Double Coverage flipbook.

The Daily Texan spoke with Landon Reinhardt, football beat reporter at The Kansas State Collegian, ahead of the Longhorns’ Black Friday matchup against the Wildcats.

The Daily Texan: What’s the general vibe around the program after last week’s loss to Baylor?

Landon Reinhardt: There was so much hype coming into the week … (Kansas State) had the longest winning streak in the Big 12. The vibes around the program were immaculate. Everyone was excited. This was gonna be a big game — we had a chance to finish with 10 wins but it was very not good for us.

So, the vibe right now is very low after such a high past month. But I think with Texas coming up, we’re still excited to finish the regular season with a win.

DT: What makes quarterback Skylar Thompson so special to Kansas State and what’s his status for the upcoming game against Texas?

LR: In the past decade or so, K-State’s been blessed with some really good quarterbacks. In 2012, Collin Klein was a Heisman finalist, and then the following years up until 2014, we had a quarterback, Jake Waters, who might be one of the most underrated college quarterbacks of all time. Then, we got Skylar Thompson and because we got used to those very high profile players, no one really liked him at first. But after he had played some games and then got injured last year, we brought in the backups and that’s when we saw how much (he) meant to the team.

It’s one of those “(you) only know you love them until you let them go” type of things. Yesterday, he went down with an injury and you could just feel the air let out of the stadium.

DT: If Skylar doesn’t suit up, what is the quarterback situation? Who suits up behind him?

LR: It’s unsure who’s going to be at quarterback because we may be trying to keep a redshirt (freshman) on (sophomore) Will Howard. I think it might be Jaren Lewis if Thompson can’t go. He split time with Howard when Thompson went out earlier this year, and it’s just not the same as Thompson.

Jaren is gonna throw the ball up more than Will. Both of them are strong running quarterbacks. I would definitely expect some ground and pound if Thompson is not in there.

DT: Switching to the defensive side of the ball, who or what should Texas fans be watching out for on Kansas State’s defense?

LR: Felix Anudike-Uzomah. He’s the nation’s leader in sacks or at least was (last) week, and in forced fumbles as well. That’d be one thing I’d tell (Texas’) coaching staff. (They) better double Felix because that guy’s a monster. Then, our secondary is kind of the lifeline of our team. We brought in a bunch of transfers in the secondary and they’ve really accepted Manhattan into their hearts.

DT: What’s your prediction for what’s going to happen on Friday?

LR: The game against Texas last year did not go well at all. It was a horrible way for K-State to end their season … so, I think for a lot of the seniors at K-State, (it) seems like they want revenge from that, just because it was embarrassing for them to go out and lose that badly.

If Thompson’s playing, let’s say 31-23, Kansas State. And then if Thompson’s out, then let’s say 24-23.