First glance: Kansas State Wildcats

A look at Kansas State, Texas’ first Big 12 opponent of the season. The Longhorns play at home Saturday (7 p.m. CT, ABC).

Campus location: Manhattan, Kan.

Nickname: Wildcats

All-time record vs. Texas: 8-5

Last game: Kansas State rolled to a relatively easy 37-7 win over Massachusetts on Saturday. The Wildcats put their final nonconference game away with a 21-point, 233-yard second quarter and got 118 rushing yards and a 43-yard receiving touchdown from John Hubert. Jake Waters threw for two scores and Daniel Sams rushed for 77 and a touchdown.

Last meeting with Texas: KSU clinched its 2012 Big 12 Championship with a 42-24 win over Texas at home on Dec. 1, 2012. Collin Klein secured his third-place finish in the Heisman Trophy voting by passing for 184 yards and rushing for 108. Case McCoy got the start and threw for 314 yards, but two interceptions were costly.

Key player: The tandem of Hubert and Sams will likely be happy when they get their Texas game plan this week. After how poorly the Longhorns have defended the run, it’s only logical that Bill Snyder will draw up a plan to highlight his two best rushers and get Texas sweating from the start. They’ve combined for 354 rushing yards in three games.

Why Kansas State might win: This is not as good a team as the one the Longhorns faced on the road last season, but they won’t have to be. Texas is dealing with plenty of its own problems this week and is still bringing its defense along under new coordinator Greg Robinson. Plus, you know, K-State has won five in a row against Texas. They’ll arrive in Austin with confidence, something the Longhorns are sorely missing.

Why Kansas State might lose: Mack Brown and his team have been backed into a corner. Lose and they go to 1-3, and that’s a good chance the season falls apart quickly from there. There’s no need to call this a must win for Texas. Everyone knows that, there’s no need for more motivation. If the Longhorns can make progress on defense, they’ll make this a fight.