Texas hands Kansas State its fourth straight loss, 23-9

AUSTIN, Texas -- (AP) — During the second quarter Saturday, 76-year-old Kansas State coach Bill Snyder was knocked on his back as he stood on the sideline at the end of a Wildcats' kickoff return.

Snyder, hit by return man Morgan Burns, popped back up and kept coaching.

"Well, what were my other options?" Snyder asked.

Maybe he could have feigned injury. That way, Snyder wouldn't have witnessed another defeat.

In the latest one, Tyrone Swoopes, Texas' backup quarterback, ran for three touchdowns as the Longhorns defeated Kansas State 23-9 in a heavy rainstorm.

The Wildcats (3-4, 0-4 Big 12) have lost four straight games for the first time since 2005.

The Wildcats committed only one turnover, an interception late in the game, yet Snyder said "we made so many mistakes that were critical in the outcome of the ball game."

The one turnover extracted a severe price.

Trailing 16-9, Kansas State took possession at its 20 with 4:22 remaining in the game. On the fourth play, quarterback Joe Hubener's pass was intercepted by Texas safety Dylan Haines at the Longhorns' 48.

Swoopes entered the game and ran three times for all 52 yards of a drive that secured victory. He made a 10-yard touchdown run with 1:47 left.

Swoopes, the starter in 2014, was demoted one game into this season but reinvented himself by becoming a 244-pound situational player employed by coach Charlie Strong primarily in short-yardage situations.

"I've always told Tyrone, even when we made that change. 'listen, there is no reason for you to hang your head,' " Strong said. " 'You're still going to be part of it, and you never know when you're going to show up.' "

Swoopes, a somewhat timid runner last season, now plows over defenders. His package of short-yardage plays is named 18 Wheeler; he wears jersey No. 18.

"I enjoy it," Swoopes said. "It's fun."

Kansas State began the day ranked first in the Big 12 in rushing defense, having allowed 126.3 yards a game. But before facing Texas, the Wildcats allowed four straight opponents to pass for more than 300 yards each.

Even so, Texas (3-4, 2-2) is more confident with its running game. When the Longhorns upset Oklahoma on Oct. 10, they rushed for 313 yards and threw only 12 passes.

Texas rushed for 274 yards against Kansas State. Tailback Johnathan Gray led the Longhorns with 103 yards.

The Longhorns made their intentions known right away, running the ball on nearly every play while building a 16-6 halftime lead.

Texas gained 188 yards on the ground in the half, including 89 by Gray and 73 from quarterback Jerrod Heard. Gray set up one touchdown with a 46-yard burst along the right side in the second quarter.

Swoopes scored both touchdowns in the half, from 1 yard and 2.

Texas dominated the half until Kansas State responded with a 78-yard touchdown drive that the Wildcats finished with 32 seconds remaining. Dominique Heath scored on a 7-yard pass from Hubener.

The touchdown snapped a streak in which Kansas State was outscored 78-0 by TCU, Oklahoma and Texas.

Hubener completed 10 of 22 for 97 yards. He was sacked five times.

The Wildcats did have one star on offense. Junior Charles Jones rushed for a career-best 122 yards — 89 in the second half.

Heard completed 10 of 15 for 99 yards, but only a few of his completions were downfield.

Heard and Hubener said they had difficulty throwing through the storm.

"I have played in one rain game ever," Hubener said. "This was No. 2 and it was really tough."

The loss to Texas wasn't nearly as bad as the 55-0 smack down Oklahoma gave Kansas State a week earlier. That did not provide much comfort.

"Losing sucks," wide receiver Deante Burton said. "I think this team is just about tired of losing, as we should be."