Kansas State will be looking to improve its bowl resume when it travels to Texas to wrap up the regular season on Friday afternoon. The Wildcats had their four-game winning streak snapped in a loss to No. 11 Baylor last week. Texas is amid one of the worst seasons in program history, losing its last six games—the Longhorns are not going to be bowl eligible this year.
Wildcats could be without ThompsonKansas State has been one of the streakiest teams in college football this season. It opened the year with three consecutive wins prior to losing its next three. The Wildcats bounced back with a four-game winning streak that included victories over Texas Tech, TCU, Kansas and West Virginia. They had only failed to cover the spread three times this season heading into their game against Baylor last week. Kansas State came up short as a 2.5-point underdog, as the Bears notched a 20-10 win. Wildcats quarterback Skylar Thompson injured his ankle in the closing moments of the loss, which has him listed as questionable for this game.
The sixth-year senior seems more unlikely than likely at this point, which means sophomore Will Howard would make the start. He has only thrown 42 passes this season, completing half of them for 267 yards. Sophomore Jaren Lewis would also be available if Thompson winds up on the sidelines. Kansas State’s offense is ranked No. 96, averaging 361.4 yards per game. Running back Deuce Vaughn has rushed for 1,115 yards and 14 touchdowns, notching 5.9 yards per carry. He will have an increased workload if Thompson is out. Vaughn is facing a Texas defense that is No. 107, allowing 437.6 yards per game.
Long season coming to close for LonghornsTexas thought its 7-3 record last season was disappointing. Well, the Longhorns have reached a new level of disappointment. They opened the 2021 campaign with a 4-1 record, beating No. 23 Louisiana, Texas Tech and TCU along the way. The tide completely turned after that point, though. Texas has now dropped six straight games in Big 12 action, including losses to unranked Kansas, Iowa State and West Virginia in its last three games. The Longhorns have been favored or less than a one-touchdown underdog in all six of those losses. Their offense is ranked No. 46, averaging 428.4 yards per game.
Final Score: Texas - 23 | WVU - 31— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) November 20, 2021
Starting quarterback Casey Thompson completed just 4 of 14 pass attempts against West Virginia before leaving with a thumb injury. Head coach Steve Sarkisian said Thompson is ‘day-to-day’ for this game. Freshman quarterback Hudson Card is the backup, but Sarkisian said Card is also ‘day-to-day’ with an undisclosed injury. The Longhorns are already without star running back Bijan Robinson, who has been out since the Kansas game with an elbow injury. Wide receiver Xavier Worthy has caught a team-high 56 passes for 916 yards and 12 touchdowns. They are going up against a Kansas State defense that is No. 37, allowing 344.7 yards per game.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
While it is crazy to see Texas as just a 3-point favorite against Kansas State, I think you have to throw most factors out the window in this game. The Longhorns have completely given up on the season and they have nothing to play for on Saturday. They are not going to be able to play in a bowl game and they are amid one of the worst losing streaks in team history. Kansas State can improve its resume going into the bowl season and it can also pick up a win over one of the brand names in the Big 12. I think motivation is the biggest factor in this game that is happening the day after Thanksgiving.
Full-Game Total Pick
There appears to be a pretty good chance that neither starting quarterback will be on the field for this game. Texas could be without its top two quarterbacks and its star running back, which would leave the offense decimated. Kansas State has been a solid defensive team, so I expect them to shut down the Longhorns on Friday. Meanwhile, the Wildcats’ offense will be predicated upon their rushing attack, which will lead to a running clock for most of this game. The total has gone under in four of the last five games for both teams.