AUSTIN (KXAN) — There’s still a chance for the Longhorns to pick themselves up off the mat and find the swagger and attitude from the first few games of the 2019 season.
It feels like so long ago. The attitude needs to change quickly.
Texas hosts No. 20 Kansas State at the crossroads of the season with a 5-3 record and the hopes of a Big 12 Championship appearance dwindling.
The Longhorns and Wildcats kick off at 2:30 p.m. at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Currently, Texas owns a two-game winning streak over K State.
Texas coach Tom Herman said earlier this week his team can either fight their way off the ropes or throw in the towel. If the Longhorns intend to last a few more rounds this season, the defense better have learned a counter punch.
Todd Orlando’s crew should get a boost from a healthy secondary. The pass defense can’t get much worse, but Caden Sterns, B.J. Foster and DeMarvion Overshown are ready to play and should be able to rejuvenate a bad unit.
Like every other offense, Kansas State would be crazy not to test one of the worst secondaries in the country, but the Wildcats do most of their damage on the ground. They want to control the clock with the run — it appears not much has changed from Bill Snyder to Chris Klieman.
The heart and soul of the team had one of his worst games of the season two weeks against TCU. Sam Ehlinger threw a career-high four interceptions in the loss to the Horned Frogs. Herman said only one of those four picks was an error by the QB, but it’s hard to imagine the junior doesn’t feel like he has something to prove.
Ehlinger should have the services of a standout freshman athlete Jordan Whittington. Whittington has been cleared following sports hernia surgery and is expected to play. Texas still boasts one of the more efficient offenses in the country, but Whittington could give them a more explosive element.
According to oddsmakers, Texas opened as a 5.5 point favorite and moved up to a touchdown favorite throughout the week.