MANHATTAN, Kan. (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns dismantled Kansas State in Manhattan on Saturday 69-31 with an overpowering rushing attack and three turnovers.
The Longhorns totaled over 600 yards of offense with running backs Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson running for 172 and 139 yards, respectively. Texas scored 35 points in the third quarter to turn a two-score game into a blowout.
This is Texas’ fourth straight win over Kansas State and second straight in Manhattan. The Longhorns have won six of the last eight meetings with the Wildcats, dating back to 2013.
Texas coach Tom Herman was able to silence some of his critics with the win, but his job security will remain a question until university leaders say something publicly about the fourth-year Longhorns coach.
“Great team win, obviously. It wasn’t pretty at time defensively but I think we got three takeaways and got timely stops. Our special teams…that is a very talent special teams unit and I thought we at least neutralized that and a couple big kickoff returns. To have the patchwork offensive line, I’m just so proud of the way they played. Thank you to the fans in Manhattan. In 2020, it’s not hard to hear the fans that are here. These guys played their guts out…down multiple starters. They played their tails off and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Jared Wiley (TE) – reaggravated shoulder injury
Derek Kerstetter (OL) – dislocated ankle, which was reduced at the hospital
How team handled Kerstetter’s injury
“It’s exactly what I told the team at halftime. We were in total control, we had released the pressure off ourselves. We were bouncing around and having fun like we’ve never had here. At the pyramid of Longhorns, he’s at the top. When Derek goes down, everybody’s head just sunk. I said ‘guys, Derek is going to be OK and he would be so angry if we were playing like this because we were sad for him.’ The guys responded. They knew that took an emotional toll on them…they gathered themselves at halftime.”
Is Bijan Robinson feeling comfortable at college level?
“The speed of the game has finally slowed down for him. We phased Ezekiel Elliott in his freshman year. You’re either too fast to the hole or too slow to the hole. He would be the first to tell you that he needed that phasing in process to understand the speed of the game.”
How was team able to handle distractions of previous with speculation about Herman’s future?
“They’ve been at Texas for four years or three years and those that haven’t we leaned on the older guys to tell them to ignore the noise and they did a great job of it. I know you guys may or may not believe me but it was very much business as usual because these guys are experienced at playing at Texas.”
How did Herman handle speculation about his job security?
“I don’t hear it. I don’t listen to it and I believe what our administration and our bosses tell me. We don’t get on the internet. We stick with Yahoo News and Words with Friends. It was not too difficult.”
On performance of young players that stepped in for opt outs
“Extremely proud of them and proud of the coaches for getting them ready and they delivered. We knew Jerrin Thompson was continuing to improve throughout practices. He did a great job and he wasn’t perfect. We had two true freshmen playing on the offensive line and rushed for over 300 yards. All of those guys deserve the credit. It is definitely a testament to the young guys and the way they performed but the older guys continue to lift them up.”
What did Texas do well to dominate after struggling to win convincingly this year?
“I would argue we played to the competition last week. We got beat on a last minute drive and got beat by three points. Two of our three losses…I would argue we played right to the level. We found a way to have fun and play for the joy of just playing football and play for the joy of playing for each other. I was really proud of our team for seeing it through.”
Is Herman aware of the criticisms and conversations about his job?
“I’m not oblivious…I don’t get into the specifics. I’m not oblivious to the general chatter. I tell our team all of the time…control what you can control. I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t do that.”
Evaluation of freshman offensive lineman Jake Majors
“We’ve seen it for a while leading up to today. We think the sky is the limit for Jake. Understands the game and to play that position as a true freshman…he did a phenomenal job today. I think the future is very bright for Jake.”
On Roschon Johnson’s performance
“I told him after the game. He’s going to be a captain here. What a tremendous leader. He’s a phenomenal leader and worker because of his work ethic. He’s a hard worker and the way he plays. They’ve got two speeds…off and full. He has really grown in that position. You can see him develop along the way.