Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Notes from the Opponent: Kansas State

Courtesy of Madison Riebel/Collegian Media Group

Currently riding a three-game win streak, No. 23 Kansas State is cruising as they look for another berth in the Big 12 Championship Game. The Daily Texan sat down with Luke Lazarczyk, the sports editor of The Daily Collegian, to discuss Saturday’s pivotal game.

The Daily Texan: Kansas State has really turned it on in recent weeks after a 3–2 start, what has been the recipe for their success?

The Daily Collegian: Obviously there’s been the dual quarterback system with Will Howard and Avery Johnson, but even last game you saw basically just Will Howard. The rushing attack, it just really sort of kicked it into high gear, once Avery got in and then even against Houston last week with Avery not really playing at all. It’s just still continued and so, not too sure what the system will be like offensively, at least against Texas, since Will played a majority of the snaps. While the offense has been doing well in the running game, it’s really just been the defense shutting people down at all levels. It’s just a group effort, there’s not one star you can point to on the defense and say they’re playing, they’re leading the team like last year with Felix Anudike-Uzomah. It’s a full group effort on defense.

DT: Chris Klieman has yet to beat Texas as the head coach of the Wildcats, what should his game plan be to try and change that?

DC: I think just keep doing what they’re doing, keep running the ball. Defense needs to continue its success. Obviously, without (Quinn) Ewers, I would say force (Maalik) Murphy to beat you. Then just run the ball, keep the ball in your possession, and have to limit turnovers. I know at the beginning of the year Will Howard had a pick in his first five games, but I don’t think he’s thrown one since. So just keep playing how they’re playing and run the ball, take time out of clock and then at the end of the game, if it’s close and they have the ball, you need to make Murphy beat you and not let the Texas o-line push you back.

DT: Kansas State loves to run the ball, while Texas has the No.1-ranked rush defense in the Big 12, which side comes up on top and why?

DC: I feel like it can be a game where (it comes down to) play-by-play. I could see the Texas defense winning more plays you could say just because DJ Giddens is a good running back but he’s still learning. Then there’s a lot of quarterback runs, and those are open sometimes, but against a good defense like Texas, it can be shut down. I do think the key for K-State and where I could see them succeeding is that once in a while big run that they’ve been able to manage a lot. Even with Will Howard, who he may not be fast, he’s a great runner just viewing where to go and taking big runs, him or Avery. So I would say Texas wins more the play-by-play, but I think K-State pulls out a couple big runs that are sort of game changing.

DT: Are there any potential impact players that Longhorn fans should keep an eye out for?

DC: I’d say Austin Moore. He probably doesn’t get much or any recognition outside of Manhattan, but he’s just very consistent. He’s tied for team leader in tackles with Kobe Savage. He’s someone who just gets the job done. He’s not the greatest athlete but he gets good tackles. Then there’s Desmond Purnell, (who) has sort of picked it up next to him in (the) linebacker corps. I’d say Jake Clifton as well. Really the entire linebacker corps, but headed by Austin Moore. Then on offense, I would say Jayce Brown. He had a big game a couple games ago. He didn’t do much against Houston. He’s a freshman, so still working his way but he could have an impactful play somewhere. He’s probably the most talented receiver on the team at the moment, but he’s still a young guy and he still makes some mistakes. If he can make a big play, that can be huge.

DT: What’s your prediction for Saturday?

DC: I’ve been really bad at predictions all year. I’ve just been terrible. With Maalik Murphy at quarterback and without Quinn Ewers, I’m gonna say Kansas State wins in just a nail-biter. I think it’s one possession, final possession. Could just be K-State needs a field goal or Texas needs a field goal, but with how this defense is playing and the rushing attack, I think K-State edges it out. I think in my preview, my prediction is 24-23 K-State. If Quinn Ewers was playing I very highly likely pick Texas, but I’ll take K-State in a very close, tough-fought battle.

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