Kansas State has run over Texas en route to five consecutive wins in the series dating back to 2006. The last three victories under head coach Bill Snyder have seen dominant rushing performances from the Wildcats, especially from former quarterback Collin Klein (234 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns in those three games).
With the Longhorns struggling to stop the run this season -- especially the read-option -- all eyes are on Wildcats redshirt sophomore QB Daniel Sams. The 6-foot-2, 207-pound Sams leads Kansas State with three rushing touchdowns and is averaging a team-high 7.5 yards per carry as a change-of-pace runner to complement junior-college transfer quarterback Jake Waters, but Sams would seem set for a greatly expanded role this Saturday when the Wildcats visit hte Longhorns.
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"Daniel will play this week. I think that is quite obvious," Snyder said during his weekly press conference Tuesday. "There are certain things that you would like to be able to do, and you have a plan in place, but that will be dictated by the University of Texas as much as anything. Any opponent has the ability to take away what they want to take away and force you to do some other things."
But Texas hasn't been able to take away the option the past two weeks. BYU quarterback Taysom Hill rolled up 259 of the Cougars' 550 rushing yards, the most Texas ever allowed in a single game on Sept. 7. That game led to the ouster of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. Texas allowed half the rushing yads it did to BYU with new coordinator Greg Robinson making his debut against Ole Miss last week, but quarterback Bo Wallace (57 rushing yards, one touchdown) and running back Jeff Scott (164 rushing yards, one touchdown) still ran wild in a humiliating 44-23 loss. Texas players admitted that they had no answers for the handful of package plays Ole Miss ran over and over again.
Until that changes, Texas head coach Mack Brown knows his defense is going to see every kind of quarterback run imaginable.
"I think anybody right now will try to run the ball against us," Brown told the Kansas City Star. "We haven't stopped it yet. We feel like we will see a very similar game plan to what we have seen the last two weeks. We will see option, we will see power, we will see quarterback runs.
"That is what Bill Snyder has been so good at. We are not stopping it well at this point."
Sams will run the ball and Texas knows it. Whether they can stop it may determine the embattled Brown's job status.