Each week, with the help of ESPN Stats and Info, HornsNation takes a look inside some of the stats that might shape the outcome of Texas’ next game. This week the focus is on No. 6 Kansas State, a team that has won four straight against Texas.
That’s the number of turnovers Texas has had in four games at Kansas State during Mack Brown’s 14 previous seasons. Texas is 1-3 in those games with the one win coming in 2002 when the Longhorns had just one turnover. They had five in their last trip in 2010.
What does not bode well for Texas is that it had four turnovers in its last game against TCU. So the ability to turn the ball over certainly is there for the Longhorns. Added to that is that Kansas State leads the nation in turnover margin. The Wildcats have 28 takeaways this season. They are much like Oklahoma State was last year. The Cowboys led the nation in turnover margin and forced three turnovers in their win against Texas.
Texas threw two interceptions in its loss to KSU last season. The Longhorns also fumbled three times but did not lose one.
During Texas’ four-game win streak it was +3 in turnover margin and only had two turnovers in those four games. Both were interceptions at Kansas. In the loss to TCU there were four turnovers by Texas and only one by TCU.
That will be the number of starts for Case McCoy this season. It also happens to be the number of picks he has thrown. Overall this game will be McCoy’s sixth career start and his fourth on the road. In the previous four road games McCoy is 3-1, completed 63.4 percent of his passes, threw for eight yards per attempt and have five touchdowns against four interceptions. All four of those interceptions came against Baylor in what was McCoy’s only road loss.
The three road wins were against UCLA, Iowa State and Texas A&M in 2011. None of those teams finished the year with better than seven wins.
Coming on in relief this season, McCoy has completed 67 percent of his passes and has four touchdowns against one interception. He was 11 of 17 for 110 yards and led the only touchdown drive against TCU. He also led the only two touchdown drives against Kansas in Texas come-from-behind win. McCoy’s other two touchdown passes were late against Oklahoma when he replaced an injured David Ash.
Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has continually said the game in the Big 12 is not about yards but points. Texas can give up yards, but when it gets down the red zone, the Longhorns have to not allow points.
Texas has allowed opponents to score 91.5 percent of the time they have reached the red zone. That’s the worst percentage in the Big 12. But there is a rather large caveat to that stat. Opponents have only scored touchdowns 55.4 percent of the time. That’s fourth in the Big 12.
Kansas State is the fourth best red zone offense in the Big 12 and has scored 38 touchdowns in 62 trips inside the 20. Quarterback Collin Klein is a big reason for that. Klein has 47 rushing touchdowns over the past two seasons. The only player in FBS with more is Wisconsin’s Montee Ball.
Baylor, the 119th rated defense in FBS, did stop Klein on four straight rushing attempts after KSU had a first and goal at the six.