Analysis: Longhorns defense shows life during second half rally

Local Sports

AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the first 30 minutes Saturday, it looked like the same Texas defense.

Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson carved up the secondary like most other Big 12 QB’s on his way to back-to-back touchdown passes. Late in the first quarter, Texas already trailed 14-0.

The game settled down and so did the Longhorns defense — particularly in the second half. UT’s defense allowed K State just 73 yards of total offense in the final 30 minutes giving up three points.

The Wildcats did return a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown which eliminated one of their offensive possessions, but it was still an encouraging performance for Todd Orlando’s crew.

Kansas State prides itself on running the football, but couldn’t find much room against the Longhorns’ front. They finished with 51 rushing yards. It was Texas that won the point of attack creating holes for the running backs. Sophomore Keaontay Ingram finished with 139 yards and two touchdowns.

On offense, Sam Ehlinger relied on his senior receivers, Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay. Both receivers finished the day with 110 yards.

Duvernay needs 200 yards in the final three games (plus the bowl game) to go over 1,000 receiving yards for the year. Johnson eclipsed 2,500 career receiving yards Saturday with his seven catch performance.

Next, the Longhorns face another “do-or-die” contest in terms of the Big 12 race going to Iowa State. The season will ultimately be defined by the outcomes over the next two weeks on the road at Iowa State and Baylor.

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