Welcome to the party, defense. In the previous two games against BYU and Ole Miss Texas gave up 882 rushing, on Saturday night they looked like a team with something to prove. Texas clamped down on the Wildcats’ run game — including quarterback Daniel Sams — to win its first game against K-State in 10 years.
“Execution was not good, we got penalized, had the turnovers,” K-State head coach Bill Snyder said. “You can’t beat good football teams turning the ball over and getting penalties. It’s that simple.”
Not only did the defense show up to the party, but Johnathan Gray had the best game of his college career racking up 142 yards on the ground and rushing for two touchdowns.
"You always want to start the conference off right," Gray said. "We wanted to prove a point and hit them in the mouth."
Gray's first touchdown in the second quarter came after he made two dazzling cuts on a 21-yard run. His second put Texas up 24-7 in the third. Malcolm Brown ran for Texas' last touchdown after the Wildcats had pulled within 10 points early in the fourth quarter.
Texas quarterback David Ash went 14 of 25 with 166 yards and a touchdown in the first half to help the Longhorns take a 17-7 halftime lead. Ash had concussion symptoms and didn't play after the halftime break, giving way to senior Case McCoy who played last week vs. Ole Miss.
"With the new concussion rules, if they have symptoms pop back up, they take you out, period," said Mack Brown. "He had symptoms at halftime. (The medical staff) said he couldn't play the second half."
McCoy did a great job managing the game in the 2nd half. McCoy led the Longhorns to touchdowns on two of his first three drives.
However, this night was about the defense. The unit that has received the harshest of criticisms over the past few weeks showed up big time. "We came out fired up," Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat said. "This was a team we hadn't beaten in a while." With his father in the stands, Jeffcoat was unstoppable, registering two fourth-quarter sacks and pressuring Jake Waters throughout the night.
Also unstoppable was junior Steve Edmond who had a team high 11 tackles and 1 sack.
When Tramaine Thompson returned a punt 40 yards inside the Texas 15, the Texas defense really clamped down to seal the victory. Waters was sacked twice and fumbled with 17 seconds left. Game over.