Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, wasn’t a normal day in Austin.
The rain poured on the 40 Acres that day, and it didn’t stop. Players and coaches were drenched as 4.79 inches of rain gushed from the sky during Texas’ showdown with Kansas State, an uncommon occurrence during a Texas October.
But the Longhorns still prevailed with a score of 23-9, possibly the most curious occurrence of them all given the team’s track record against the Wildcats. Kansas State is 8–4 against Texas since joining the Big 12.
Texas controlled the line of scrimmage and ran wild on Kansas State’s defense, beating the Wildcats at their own game when the conditions demanded it the most.
“It won’t be pretty today,” head coach Charlie Strong told his team prior to the game. “It may be sloppy out there, it’s going to be slushy, but we’ve just got to go out and just score when we have an opportunity to go score on offense.”
Strong and his team look to pick up back-to-back wins against Kansas State for the first time in a decade. Kansas State piled up five wins in a row over Texas from 2006–2012, and it got back in the win column against the burnt orange with a 23-0 shellacking two years ago in Manhattan, Kansas.
Strong takes his team north to the Little Apple, hoping to drown out the noise inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium for the team’s first win in Manhattan since 2002.
“That’s a tough place to play, because they don’t lose many games at home,” Strong said. “They always have a sellout crowd, and their fans are really into it.”
Texas failed to rush for 100 yards the last time it played visitor to Kansas State, and the offense only threw for 106 yards. Led by freshman quarterback Shane Buechele, the Longhorns bring a more equipped attack to the Sunflower State this weekend.
The true freshman has thrown for 250 yards per game and has 13 passing touchdowns, but he said junior running back D’Onta Foreman deserves much of the credit for the 38.7 points per game the Texas offense averages.
“That man right there is rolling right now,” Buechele said. “He’s really impressive, and he’s fun to watch. Just seeing what he can do with the ball, he’s a great player, and just being able to hand it off to him and seeing what he can do, it’s a lot of fun.”
Both Strong and offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert said they can rely on Foreman to carry the ball 25, 30 or possibly even 40 times a game from here on out. Texas may need Foreman to do so to beat the fundamentally sound Kansas State rush defense, which ranks No. 3 in the nation in rushing yards allowed.
Whether Foreman only gets 20 carries or Texas elects to run the ball 53 times like it did in soaking wet conditions last year, one thing’s for certain: Foreman is determined to make the most of his usage.
“I [only] worry about what’s going on in this locker room,” Foreman said. “[I’m] trying to get this team back moving forward in the right direction and me just going out there and being a leader and working hard everyday at practice, on the field, and in the game.”
The Longhorns and Wildcats kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday.