QB Thompson leads No. 20 Kansas State into Texas

No. 20 Kansas State (6-2, 3-2 Big 12, No. 16 CFP) at Texas (5-3, 3-2), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EST (ESPN).

Line: Texas by 7.

Series record: Kansas State leads 10-9.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The Wildcats are ranked and rolling under first-year coach Chris Klieman, and find themselves in the mix for the Big 12 championship game. Texas is just trying to hang on to its title dreams after losing two of its last three.

KEY MATCHUP

Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson against Texas safety Caden Sterns. Opposing quarterbacks have shredded Texas’ injury-depleted secondary this season. Sterns comes back after missing four games with a leg injury. He was All-Big 12 in 2018 and Texas desperately needs him in deep coverage and run support.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Kansas State: Senior cornerback Kevion McGee steps in for injured starter AJ Parker, the Wildcats’ best player in coverage. McGee will face immediate pressure stepping in for a 20-game starter as the Wildcats defend against a Texas offense that averages nearly 300 yards passing.

Texas: Quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw four interceptions in a loss at TCU and his completion percentage has dipped under 60 percent the last four games. Texas needs him to return to being the passer who set a Big 12 record in 2018 for most pass attempts without an interception.

FACTS & FIGURES

Thompson has seven rushing touchdowns over the last two games. … Texas ranks last in the Big 12 in sacks allowed (23) and sacks of an opposing quarterback (13). … How different are these offenses? The Wildcats’ leading receiver is Dalton Schoen with 25 catches. Devin Duvernay leads Texas with 69. … Kansas State has just three turnovers this season. The Wildcats have none the last three games.

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