4 reasons why Texas football can dominate K-State in Manhattan

Bijan Robinson, Texas Football (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Bijan Robinson, Texas Football (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /
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Bijan Robinson, Texas football
Bijan Robinson, Texas football /

Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson can find room to run up the middle

Kansas State hasn’t faced a running back duo yet this season quite to the level of what Bijan and senior Roschon Johnson bring to the table for this Texas offense. Bijan and Roschon could very well be the best one-two punch at running back in all of college football this year.

Both Bijan and Roschon rank among the 15 highest-graded running backs in the FBS this season. And that’s not to mention what Texas has at running back with other guys like redshirt junior Keilan Robinson and sophomore Jonathon Brooks.

It won’t help Kansas State’s cause in this game that this defense hasn’t fared too well when it faced top-10 rushers in the Big 12 this season. In fact, here are the results for Kansas State this season when it faced the top 10 rushers in the Big 12 thus far:

  • Kendre Miller, TCU: 29 carries, 153 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns
  • Eric Gray, OU: 16 carries, 114 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns

Clearly, Kansas State has struggled to bottle up some of the leading rushers in the Big 12 so far this season.

And it goes without saying that, while Miller and Gray are talented and productive, they’re not Bijan.

This Kansas State defense knows all too well what Bijan and Roschon can do thanks to what this running back duo showed at different times in the last couple of seasons against the Wildcats.

Some might forget how good Bijan was against Kansas State a couple of seasons ago. He was absolutely dominant, posting more than 19 yards per carry, three rushing touchdowns, and more than 200 total yards on just a dozen touches.

And Texas fans won’t so easily forget how good Roschon was last season against the Wildcats. He essentially carried this team to a one-score win over Kansas State last season.

The last point I want to make here about the success that Texas’ ground game could find against Kansas State’s defense has to do with the gap matchups. In the loss to Oklahoma State, Texas was finding a lot of success in the first half with the counter and inside zone running up the middle.

Texas should be able to set the tone in this game by running the counter and inside zone given some of the struggles Kansas State had in limiting the success of rushing plays in the A-gap. Here’s an approximation of yards per carry allowed between rushing directions for the A-gap compared to all other gaps on the field in three of the last four games:

  • Oklahoma State: A-Gap YPC-4.5, Other directions-2.3
  • TCU: A-Gap YPC-7.6, Other directions-4.2
  • Texas Tech: A-Gap YPC-7.7, Other directions-4.8

The most similar defense that Texas has faced so far this season compared to Kansas State is probably Iowa State’s 3-3 stack. Iowa State also probably boasts the best run defense in the Big 12.

And Bijan still managed to find success against that three-down front and loaded box a few weeks ago to the tune of more than 140 rushing yards. He should be set for a big day on Nov. 5 against Kansas State.