No. 7 Texas and No. 25 Kansas State meet in big clash of leaders in the Big 12

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

No. 25 Kansas State (6-2, 4-1 Big 12, No. 23 CFP) at No. 7 Texas (7-1, 4-1, No. 7), Saturday, 12 p.m. ET (FOX)

Line: Texas by 4 1/2 according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series: Texas leads 13-10.

WHAT'S AT STAKE?

Both teams are among the five sharing first place in the Big 12 and seeking a pivotal win toward a berth in the league championship game. Texas is also keeping an eye toward the College Football Playoff and can't afford another loss.

KEY MATCHUP

Kansas State punt team vs. Texas return man Xavier Worthy. The Longhorns wide receiver leads the Big 12 in punt returns and finally had his breakthrough moment with a 74-yard touchdown for the Longhorns' first score last week against BYU. It was also Texas' first punt return touchdown since 2018 against Kansas State.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Kansas State: The Wildcats haven't been shy about using two quarterbacks: Will Howard and Avery Johnson. Howard is more likely the passing threat, although he's proven he can break the long touchdown runs as well. Johnson brings an element of speed as a runner — he scored five touchdowns against Texas Tech — that will challenge Texas' defensive discipline.

Texas: The Longhorns need another solid game from quarterback Maalik Murphy as he once again gets the start in place of injured Quinn Ewers. Murphy had two touchdown passes against BYU but also had two early turnovers. Steady and mistake-free is what Texas wants this week.

FACTS & FIGURES

Texas has won six in a row against the Wildcats. ... Kansas State boasts the best scoring defense in the Big 12 and hasn't allowed a touchdown over the last two games that the Wildcats won 41-3 and 41-0. ... Texas defensive back Michael Taaffe is the latest playmaker for the Longhorns. The former walk-on has two interceptions in the last two games. ... Johnson's five TD runs against Texas Tech are the most by any player nationally this year. ... After four consecutive 100-yard rushing games, Texas running back Jonathon Brooks has 98 and 95 in the last two.

___

Get alerts on the latest AP Top 25 poll throughout the season. Sign up here ___

AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football