Collin Klein, Junior Quarterback: Kansas State is last in the Big 12 in passing offense and is No. 109 in the nation, ahead of only two other BCS conference teams. Klein’s abilities aren’t as a passer but as a rusher. He leads the team in rushing and is fourth in the conference in rushing, with just more than 100 yards per game. He has five 100-yard rushing games, compared to only two games with more than 200 yards passing. However, he is coming off of his two best passing performances of the season in back-to-back games and is averaging 256 yards passing over the last two games on 60 percent passing. He is averaging more than 379 total yards over the last two games in which he got at least 200 yards passing and 100 yards rushing in each. Against the best rush defense in the conference, he will need to be able to pass on the Texas defense to take some defenders away from the line of scrimmage.
Arthur Brown, Junior Linebacker: A transfer from Miami, Brown has made an immediate impact on a Kansas State defense that lacks some playmakers. In Kansas State’s win over Baylor, he led the team in tackles with one sack, and the big interception of Robert Griffin to set up the Wild Cats’ game-winning drive. Brown leads the team in tackling with 7.8 tackles per game. Against a team that runs as much as Texas, he will have lots of opportunities to add to his tackling total. His playmaking ability will also be on display here. Like he did against Baylor, he will have to make the Texas offense get off the field and make sure to contain the Texas running game to make the Longhorns one dimensional and rely on a shaky passing attack.
Tyler Locket, Freshman Wide Receiver: Locket is the second leading receiver on the team, with 18 catches for 246 yards and three touchdowns. But where he is most dangerous is in returning kicks. He currently leads the nation in kick returns and has two touchdowns this season. He is averaging more than 35 yards per return this season, and his two touchdowns came in a close game against Texas Tech and a blowout win over Kansas. He also has an 80-yard return in the shootout against Oklahoma State. Texas is giving up 111 yards per game in returns on just under five returns per game. Plus, the Longhorns have already given up a 100-yard return touchdown to Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert. In a game dominated by rushing and defense, special teams will dictate field position, and a single big play in special teams could make the difference in a game.