Fact: Kansas State rushed for a season-high 329 yards in its victory over Massachusetts, an FCS school.
Fact: In its last two games, Texas has allowed a total of 822 yards rushing.
Those two facts collide Saturday night in Austin. Which fact will emerge is the question when Kansas State visits Texas at 7 p.m. in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams. The Wildcats (2-1) are defending league champions.
And the Longhorns (1-2) have dropped from the rankings following humbling losses at BYU and at home against Ole Miss. Both teams followed the formula of running the football.
"We knew that Ole Miss was going to take a page out of BYU's playbook, because we didn't stop it," UT safety Adrian Phillips said. "We knew that we had to come out there and if we wanted to be successful, we had to stop what we saw the week before. We couldn't get the job done."
Kansas State has won the last five meetings with Texas; the Longhorns' last victory in the series came in 2003 … ironically the season when K-State won its first and only other Big 12 championship.
"They have played better than us for sure and coached better than us," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "We haven't played very well against them. They've been more physical than we have."
The Wildcats won 45-42 in 2006, 41-21 in 2007, 39-14 in 2010, 17-13 in 2011 and 42-24 last season. That victory clinched the Big 12 championship for K-State.
If Texas wants to turn the tide in this series, it needs to win the turnover battle. In the Wildcats' five victories over UT, they've had a plus-13 margin in turnovers. That has allowed K-State to balance the fact that its offense has struggled against the Longhorns. The Wildcats are averaging just 274 yards in total offense but has taken advantage of field position and Texas mistakes to average 36.8 points in their five victories.
In 2010, K-State gave Collin Klein his first start and the Wildcats piled up 261 yards rushing and attempted just four passes. So far this season, Kansas State has used sophomore Daniel Sams (7.5 yards per carry) as a run-specialist reliever for starting quarterback Jake Waters.
"Daniel will certainly play. That is quite obvious," Snyder said. "There are certain things that you would like to be able to do. You have kind of a plan in place, but that will be dictated by the University of Texas as much as anything."
All time Central
Louisiana Tech at Kansas
Need to know: 11 a.m., Memorial Stadium, FS1.
Records: Louisiana Tech 1-2, Kansas 1-1.
Scouting Louisiana Tech: The Bulldogs' only victory is a 27-14 defeat of Lamar, which lost to Oklahoma State 59-3 last week. The offense was prolific last season, leading FBS in total and scoring offense but in three games is averaging just 349.7 yards and 18.7 points per game. Starting quarterback Scotty Young left last week's game with a rib injury but is expected to play against KU.
Scouting Kansas: The Jayhawks' passing game has struggled with dropped passes and coach Charlie Weis installed new starters at tight end and both wide receiver spots. KU's offensive line play has been spotty and that has limited the running game's production. The defense has shown vast improvement, led by junior linebacker Ben Heeney.
This and that: Skip Holtz is in his first season as the Bulldogs' coach and the program is playing its first season in Conference USA. … Louisiana Tech quarterback Scotty Young transferred from Texas Tech. … The Jayhawks will try to end their current streak of 21 straight losses to FBS opponents
West Virginia vs. Maryland
Need to know: 2:30 p.m., Ravens Stadium, Baltimore, ESPNU.
Records: West Virginia 2-1, Maryland 3-0.
Scouting West Virginia: Redshirt freshman Ford Childress performed well in his first start last week, throwing for 349 yards and three touchdowns against Georgia State. The Mountaineers' offense has been inconsistent but is getting a boost from senior running back Charles Sims, who is averaging 5.6 yards per carry. West Virginia's defense has been effective, allowing 13.3 points per game, but faces its toughest test so far.
Scouting Maryland: The Terps are averaging 40.7 points a game and quarterback C.J. Brown is emerging as a one of the nation's top dual-threat quarterbacks. Sophomore Brandon Ross keys a rushing attack that averages 262 yards per game. Maryland's defense is allowing 13.7 points per game which is tied for 18th nationally.
This and that: Maryland ran 50 plays in the first three quarters of last Saturday's game with Connecticut and 11 were for at least 20 yards. … In last season's 31-21 victory over the Terps, West Virginia had 25 rushing attempts that produced 25 yards. … This is the 50th meeting in this series and the Mountaineers hold a 26-21-2 edge.
Louisiana Monroe at Baylor
Need to know: 3 p.m., Floyd Casey Stadium, FS1.
Records: Louisiana Monroe 2-1, Baylor 2-0.
Scouting Louisiana Monroe: Warhawks senior quarterback Kolton Browning threw a career-high 68 passes, completing 43 for 315 yards with three touchdowns in UL-Monroe's 21-19 victory at Wake Forest. Browning is a mobile quarterback capable of evading the pass rush.In last Saturday's victory, the Warhawks' defense limited Wake Forest to 15 rushing yards on 15 attempts.
Scouting Baylor: After being idle last Saturday, the Bears hope their high-octane offense can maintain the pace set in the first two games. UL-Monroe will present Baylor with its toughest test thus far. The Bears lead the nation in total offense and scoring offense while junior quarterback Bryce Petty averages 20.3 yards per completion.
This and that: UL-Monroe opened the season at Oklahoma and managed just 166 total yards in total offense in a 34-0 loss. … Last season in a Friday night game at Monroe, Baylor fell behind 14-0 before rallying for a 47-42 victory. … This will be Baylor's only game in a 27-day stretch. The Bears will next play on Oct. 5 when they open Big 12 play by playing host to West Virginia.
Texas State at Texas Tech
Need to know: 6 p.m., Jones AT&T Stadium, FSN.
Records: Texas State 2-0, Texas Tech 3-0.
Scouting Texas State: The Bobcats, who opened with a solid 22-15 victory at Southern Miss, are seeking their first 3-0 start since 1983. Texas State's offense, though, has been ineffective. Sophomore running back Chris Nuttall has piled up some big numbers (averaging 9.4 yards per carry) but the Bobcats average just 311 yards per game in total offense.
Scouting Texas Tech: Freshman Baker Mayfield is expected to be back at quarterback for the 25th-ranked Red Raiders. He suffered a thigh bruise in the fourth quarter against TCU and was replaced by Davis Webb, who led the team on two clutch scoring drives. Texas Tech is averaging 400 yards passing, fifth in the FBS, but it was limited to just 293 by the Horned Frogs.
This and that: Texas State is an FBS team and member of the Sun Belt Conference. … The Bobcats' coach is Dennis Franchione, who has previously coached at TCU and Texas A&M. … This will be the second annual "Celebrate Cotton Game." Texas Tech is partnering with the Texas High Plains Cotton industry to put a national focus on West Texas - the world leader in cotton production.
Kansas State at Texas
Need to know: 7 p.m., Darrell K. Royal/Memorial Stadium, ABC.
Records: Kansas State 2-1, Texas 1-2.
Scouting Kansas State: The Wildcats have bounced back from their season-opening loss but have yet to show the complete-game consistency coach Bill Snyder demands. Jake Waters and Daniel Sams have both seen time at quarterback while junior Tyler Lockett has emerged as the go-to receiver. The rebuilt defense is led by linebackers Blake Slaughter and Johnathan Truman.
Scouting Texas: The Longhorns could be missing six starters due to injuries. Quarterback David Ash, who returned to practice Wednesday, and wide receiver Mike Davis are listed as questionable. Through three games, Texas' defense has faced 255 plays, more than any team in FBS. The Longhorns have allowed a total of 1,474 yards or 5.8 yards per play.
This and that: Kansas State has won five consecutive games in the series. Texas last defeated the Wildcats in 2003. … The last time Texas started 1-3 was 1956. That was one year before Darrell Royal took over the program. The Wildcats are 8-8 in Big 12 openers but have won their last four. … Texas is 13-2 in Big 12 Conference opening games under Mack Brown.