UT safety Dylan Haines (14) reacts to a missed field goal by OU in the first quarter at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas Saturday October 8, 2016. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Football

Texas vs. Kansas State: Five key matchups

Posted October 21st, 2016

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Here are five key matchups to watch Saturday:

Texas #33 D'onte Foreman goes down with the ball Texas #18 Tyrone Swoops celebrates after scoring the second TD of the game during the second quarter of the UT game against Kansas State Saturday, October 24, 2015. Deborah Cannon/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Texas #33 D’Onta Foreman goes down with the ball against Kansas State Saturday, October 24, 2015. Deborah Cannon/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

D’ONTA FOREMAN VS. KANSAS STATE’S RUN DEFENSE

Foreman, the Big 12’s leading rusher, is averaging 146.2 yards per game, which ranks second nationally. And only Earl Campbell has bettered Foreman’s active run of seven straight 100-yard games (Campbell did it 11 times in a row). But can Foreman keep that streak alive against a Wildcats defense that’s allowing a Big 12-low 90.3 rushing yards per game? Last year against the Wildcats, Foreman ran 10 times for 43 yards.

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EDGE: Texas

Texas offensive lineman Patrick Vahe (77) and offensive lineman Connor Williams (55) block Iowa State's JaQuan Bailey (19) for Texas quarterback Shane Buechele(7) in the third quarter at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)
Texas offensive lineman Patrick Vahe (77) and offensive lineman Connor Williams (55) block Iowa State’s JaQuan Bailey (19) for Texas quarterback Shane Buechele(7) in the third quarter at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

SHANE BUECHELE VS. KANSAS STATE’S DEFENSE

Kansas State allowed 320 passing yards over its three non-conference games, but its best showing in Big 12 play so far has been holding West Virginia’s Skyler Howard to 298 yards. In the past two weeks, Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes II and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield have combined for 850 yards. Buechele is looking for his first 300-yard game of his career — he finished four yards shy of that last week — but can he do it against a team that’s recorded 12 sacks and six interceptions?

EDGE: Texas

UT safety Dylan Haines (14) reacts to a missed field goal by OU in the first quarter at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas Saturday October 8, 2016. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
UT safety Dylan Haines (14) reacts to a missed field goal by OU in the first quarter at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas Saturday October 8, 2016. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

KANSAS STATE’S JESSE ERTZ VS. UT’S DYLAN HAINES

Kansas State has attempted 42 fewer pass attempts than Texas, but the Wildcats are expecting to have Ertz back from a shoulder injury.  Kansas State quarterbacks have been intercepted once in the last three games against Texas, one nabbed by Haines last year. The senior safety has both of Texas’ picks this season, and he’s 23 yards shy of Texas’ career record for yards off interception returns.

EDGE: Kansas State

Kansas State wide receiver Dominique Heath (4) scores during an NCAA college football game between Kansas State and Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Kansas State wide receiver Dominique Heath (4) scores during an NCAA college football game between Kansas State and Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

KANSAS STATE KICK RETURNERS VS. UT KICK COVERAGE

Kansas State sophomore Byron Pringle is averaging 31.6 yards per kickoff return while Dominique Heath is logging 15.9 yards per punt return. Those two Wildcats have combined for three Big 12 special teams player of the week awards. Texas has Michael Dickson, who’s averaging 47.9 yards per punt, to counter Heath, but Iowa State did record 47- and 32-yard kickoff returns in last year’s game at Royal-Memorial Stadium.

EDGE: Kansas State

 

Texas Trent Domingue(17) kicks for a field goal against Iowa State with quarterback Trey Holtz(15) in the second quarter at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)
Texas Trent Domingue(17) kicks for a field goal against Iowa State with quarterback Trey Holtz(15) in the second quarter at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

KICKER VS. KICKER

This game features two kickers who should compete for All-Big 12 honors. No other kicker in the conference has booted more field goals than Texas’ Trent Domingue and Kansas State’s Matthew McCrane. Domingue has converted nine of his 12 field goal attempts, his longest kick a 43-yarder against UTEP. McCrane also is 9 of 12, with a long of 42.

EDGE: Even

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