BEVO BEAT

Texas 31, K-State 21: Horns win

Posted September 21st, 2013

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IT’S OVER.

Texas has beaten Kansas State, 31-21.

The Longhorns (2-2 overall, 1-0 in the Big 12) are off this next week. They return Oct. 3, at Iowa State. That’ll be an ESPN Thursday night game.

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The Wildcats also are 2-2, and now are 0-1 in the Big 12.

EARLIER UPDATES …

FOURTH QUARTER.

There’s 7:00 left.

It’s Texas 31, Kansas State 21.

The Wildcats have pulled back to within 10 points, on a 1-yard touchdown keeper by Jake Waters.

The big news on the drive, however, was a targeting penalty called on Steve Edmond. He was ejected from the game and now will have to sit out the first half of the Oct. 3 Texas-Iowa State game.

K-State’s drive: 6 plays, 74 yards.

EARLIER UPDATES …

FOURTH QUARTER.

There’s 9:11 left.

It’s Texas 31, Kansas State 14.

Malcolm’s Brown 1-yard touchdown run is threatening to put this game away.

Texas answered Kansas State’s touchdown drive with a touchdown drive of its own, this one 11 plays that went 66 yards and took 4:03 off the clock.

Brown scored from a yard out, one play after what appeared to be a 9-yard touchdown run from him was reversed by the booth after a review.

Brown’s run — he was hit at the 5, then spun and dived forward as he was going down — was judged to have been down just short of the goal line.

EARLIER UPDATES …

FOURTH QUARTER.

There’s 13:22 left.

It’s Texas 24, Kansas State 14.

Kansas State has cut the Texas lead to 10 points, scoring a touchdown on a 4-yard run by John Hubert.

It’s Hubert’s second touchdown of the night. He scored three touchdowns against Texas last year.

David Ash isn’t the only notable Longhorn to leave the game with an injury. Linebacker Jordan Hicks was carted off during K-State’s drive. He’s in the locker room.

EARLIER UPDATES …

THIRD QUARTER.

There’s 9:29 left.

It’s Texas 24, Kansas State 7.

Texas has scored a much-needed touchdown, a 15-yard run by Johnathan Gray.

The Longhorns needed (a) an offensive drive of some length and (b) some points. Quarterback David Ash is out for the second half; he’s being evaluated for another head injury, and Case McCoy is running the show.

Texas’ drive: 7 plays, 56 yards, 2:53 off the clock. There were three first downs.

Trey Hopkins and Donald Hawkins really produced a big hole for Gray on his touchdown run. The Longhorns’ front line is getting a decent push tonight.

The key play came on, of all things, a Texas punt. On fourth-and-1 at K-State’s 47, the Longhorns lined up for the punt. But Alex De La Torre converted the fake punt with a 19-yard run.

Texas’ drive was set up by a fumble. K-State, which got the kickoff to start the half, drove past midfield. But John Hubert fumbled an option pitch, and defensive tackle Desmond Jackson recovered for the Longhorns.

Gray has 17 carries for 113 yards and two touchdowns. He’s Texas’ first 100-yard rusher of the season.

EARLIER UPDATES …

IT’S STILL HALFTIME.

We’re about a minute away from kickoff, but they’ve just announced some big news.

David Ash is being evaluated for a head injury. He will not play the second half.

Case McCoy will take over at quarterback.

IT’S HALFTIME.

Texas is leading Kansas State, 17-7.

The Wildcats will get the ball to start the second half.

First-half storylines?

1. David Ash is back. He’s looked pretty effective in the passing game, he’s running the ball without hesitation, and he’s directed Texas on a couple of long drives, including one 18-play drive.

Ash is 14 of 25 for 166 yards and a touchdown. He’s also got 7 carries for 27 yards.

2. The defense seems to be responding.

Whether it’s Greg Robinson or just having listened for two weeks about how bad they’ve been playing, the Longhorns are playing more angry on defense than we’ve seen them this season.

Texas has given up 183 yards. That’s the fewest first-half yards allowed this season.

3. Making and missing tackles.

There’s been a bit of both.

Those who have made some notable tackles: Mykkele Thompson (a pair of 1-yard losses), Adrian Phillips, and Malcom Brown (a 2-yard loss on a third-and-5 play).

Those who have missed some notable ones: Steve Edmond (who whiffed on Daniel Sams runs of 23 and 15 yards), Jordan Hicks (who also missed on Sams’ 23-yarder, as well as what would’ve been a tackle forcing a punt). And Philips missed John Hubert at the 5-yard line on Hubert’s touchdown run.

4. No Mike Davis? No problem.

Kendall Sanders, with two catches for 66 yards and a touchdown, is taking advantage of his opportunity. With Daviis — who has been Ash’s favorite target this year — out with an ankle injury, Sanders’ 63-yard touchdown catch was a big one. Ash looked for him deep on another pass as well.

Jaxon Shipley, with four catches for 29 yards, also is maknig an impact. He’s not coming up with huge catches, just clutch ones. Every one he grabs seems to be for a first down.

Here are some first half stats:

PASSING: Ash is 14 of 25 for 166 yards and a TD. K-State’s Jake Waters is 8 of 13 for 115 yards. Daniel Sams has 8 runs for 48 yards, averaging 6 yards a carry.

RUSHING: Johnathan Gray could end up with his first 100-yard game of the season. He’s got 11 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown. Malcolm Brown has two carries for 21 yards. Sams is K-State’s leading rusher, though Hubert has added 22 yards and a touchdown.

RECEIVING: Shipley has 4 catches for 29 yards, Marcus Johnson has 3 quiet catches for 35 yards, Sanders has 2 catches for 66 yards and a score, and Gray has two grabs for 14 yards. K-State’s Tyler Lockett is having a big night; he’s got 7 catches for 117 yards.

TOTAL YARDS: Texas 295, K-State 183.

TIME OF POSSESSION: Pretty even. K-State’s had the ball for 15:32, Texas 14:28.

THIRD DOWNS: Texas is 6 of 11, K-State 3 of 7.

The second half kick is about 5 minutes away.

EARLIER UPDATES …

SECOND QUARTER.

There’s 1:01 left.

It’s Texas 17, Kansas State 7.

The Wildcats have answered Texas’ last touchdown with a touchdown drive of their own.

John Hubert — who scored three touchdowns against Texas last year in Manhattan — has put Kansas State on the board with a 15-yard touchdown run off the left side.

Adrian Phillips missed a tackle, at the 5.

Quarterback Jake Waters and wide receiver Tyler Lockett connected on two big pass plays to set up the score — a 47-yarder, followed by a 22-yarder on the very next play. Lockett beat cornerback Duke Thomas on both plays.

K-State’s drive: 4 plays, 82 yards, 1:56 off the clock.

EARLIER UPDATES …

SECOND QUARTER.

There’s 2:57 left.

It’s Texas 17, Kansas State 0.

The Longhorns have scored an important touchdown, going up 17-0 on a 21-yard touchdown run off the right side by Johnathan Gray.

With Kansas State receiving the second half kick, Texas’ drive started at its own 24-yard line, with 7:17 left and leading 10-0.

The Longhorns put together an 11-play drive that took up 4:14 on the score clock.

David Ash and Jaxon Shipley connected on an 8-yard slant route on a big 4th-and-2 at K-State’s 37.

EARLIER UPDATES …

FIRST QUARTER.

There’s 2:05 left.

It’s Texas 10, Kansas State 0.

Texas has gone up by two scores on a lightning-quick drive that looked like something the Longhorns did against New Mexico State.

It took the Longhorns all of 50 seconds to go 84 yards, the big play a 63-yard touchdown pass from David Ash to Kendall Sanders on a deep post route.

Sanders, playing for the injured Mike Davis, got behind K-State’s Dorrian Roberts on single coverage.

Of note before that big pass, however: Malcolm Brown, playing for the first time tonight, ran for 13 and 8 yards on back-to-back carries to start the drive.

EARLIER UPDATES …

FIRST QUARTER.

There’s 6:26 left.

It’s Texas 3, Kansas State 0.

The Longhorns have gotten on the scoreboard first — a 27-yard field goal from Anthony Fera.

It was an eventful drive. After going three-and-out on their first series, the Longhorns put together an 18-play, 75-yard drive. There were five first downs along the way, and it took up 4:56 off the clock.

The play of the drive?

It wasn’t the field goal . It was a third-and-1 run by Johnathan Gray off the left side; the ball squirted free as he went down after a tackle by K-State defensive back Dante Barnett. The Wildcats recovered at their own 11, but the play was reviewed.

The call — that Gray fumbled — was reversed. The ground caused the fumble. Gray was credited with a 3-yard gain and a first down.

David Ash answered two questions about himself on this drive: Yes, he’ll run the ball tonight. And yes, he can still be effective in the passing game.

On a third-and-7 from Texas’ own 32, Ash zipped a first-down pass to Jaxon Shipley, who beat K-State’s Randall Evans on a comeback route. Earlier, Ash converted a first down himself on a zone-read keeper run for 4 yards.

Later, on a third-and-6 from Texas’ 45, Ash kept it and converted a first down. But he was hit hard by a Wildcats linebacker. It was his first big hit of the game. Ash showed no effects. Later, on the failed third down from K-State’s 9-yard line, he was hit hard again on a delayed blitz.

EARLIER UPDATES …

FIRST QUARTER.

There’s 14:07 left.

It’s 0-0.

Texas got the ball first. The Longhorns went three and out.

Mason Walters was in the starting lineup.

That’s significant, not just because of his stabilizing presence on the Texas front and the impact he can make in the running game, but because it extended his consecutive starts streak to 42 games. That’s the second-longest streak going nationally among offensive linemen, second only to Nevada’s Gabe Jackson, who’s at 43.

Walters left last week’s Ole Miss loss with a knee injury. Sedrick Flowers replaced him. Walters was questionable all week and was considered a game-time decision.

His next-door neighbor on the Texas front, right tackle Josh Cochran, didn’t start. He re-aggravated a shoulder injury that’s been a problem since preseason workouts. Kennedy Estelle, who finished for Cochran last week, got his first career start.

How did David Ash look?

A little shaky. There was a delay of game penalty on the first snap. Maybe that was his fault, maybe not. But we’re all watching him tonight to see how he responds to his first game back from the concussion.

Texas’ first play was an Ash pass to Kendall Sanders (starting for Mike Davis) on the right sideline. The pass could’ve used a bit more zip, and the Kansas State defender had a shot at it.

Johnathan Gray then carried for 5 yards, and on third down, Ash threw incomplete.

EARLIER UPDATES …

FIVE MINUTES TO KICKOFF.

The stadium’s filling up. The student section’s a bit late in arriving, though. But that’s happened before.

The national anthem has been sung. The giant state flag has made its on-field appearance. And the Longhorns are about to take the field.

Things to watch for tonight:

1. Will Texas bounce back? The Longhorns, at 1-2, haven’t started a season 1-3 since 1956. That was the season before Darrell Royal was hired. The fanbase is grumbling. There are rumors about Mack Brown’s job security, the defense has been beaten up two weeks in a row, etc., etc. Lots of issues with the team.

2. Is a Big 12 title realistic? As rough as the season has started, Texas finds itself with a blank canvas in its conference opener. Players and coaches have made it a point that despite what’s happened these last two weeks, the Big 12 remains a wide-open race this season. Kansas State isn’t the Kansas State we’ve known the past two years. What’s the tone that Texas will set in Big 12 play?

3. Will Texas cover? The Longhorns are 5 1/2-point favorites. Texas covered against New Mexico State despite being 42-point favorites, but was a 7-point favorite at BYU and was a 2 1/2-point favorite against Ole Miss.

4. Will Malcolm Brown be a factor? Because he hasn’t been all season, save for that big 74-yard touchdown catch in the season opener. He’s got only 11 carries through three games, and has rushed for only 15 yards. He’s averaging 1.4 yards a carry. And he doesn’t have a rushing touchdown yet.

5. How will David Ash look? He missed last week’s game after suffering a concussion in the fourth quarter in Provo. Will he be rusty? Will Texas’ offense be balanced? Will he still run? And will he be healthy enough and play well enough for Case McCoy not to be needed?

EARLIER UPDATES …

TEN MINUTES TO KICKOFF.

There was a noticeable lack of buzz this afternoon, walking into DKR.

There’s also a new website — Saban2014.com — and corresponding burnt orange SABAN 2014 T-shirts being spotted.

This is a big, big game. For Texas and Mack Brown.

Injury updates:

The offense is hurting.

Quarterback David Ash will start. He returned to practice Wednesday. It’ll be his first game since his fourth-quarter concussion at BYU two weeks ago.

But the good news ends there. Wide receiver Mike Davis — Texas’ leading receiver, with four touchdown catches through three games — will not play. He sprained his ankle last week against Ole Miss. Starting right tackle Josh Cochran is out as well. He re-aggravated a shoulder injury last week. Tight end Greg Daniels, who has an injured foot, also is out. And we already knew that slot receiver/tailback/playmaker Daje Johnson would miss the game as well, with a sprained ankle.

Starting right guard Mason Walters, with an injured knee last week, is questionable.

On defense, middle linebacker Dalton Santos also is questionable, with a leg injury.

So what’s that all mean?

Getting Ash back is huge. It means Texas can return to its full playbook, which was limited in last week’s loss to Ole Miss with Case McCoy running the offense. But Ash will be minus his two biggest playmakers in Johnson and Davis.

Cochran’s out, and if Walters can’t go either, the running game really suffers. Especially with Daniels — Texas’ best blocking tight end — ruled out. Running to the right side might be a problem.

Not having Davis, who leads the team with 20 catches and four touchdowns through three games, would hurt. But Jaxon Shipley (19 catches, 228 yards) will be there and looking for his first 2013 touchdown catch, and Kendall Sanders is coming off nice back-to-back performances, tying Davis for the team-lead in receptions last week.

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