MANHATTAN — There isn’t much Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown can do now about what happened two weeks ago in Waco.
But if you think Brown and the rest of the Wildcats’ defense didn’t learn anything from the gashing they received from the Baylor offense in a 52-24 loss, well, you’d be wrong.
“Time heals those wounds, you get over the frustration and the disappointment and the anger,” Brown said. “But I didn’t forget about it. The time off gave me some time to relax and reflect on what went wrong and what we can do about it.”
Coming off a bye week and headed toward a showdown with Texas on Saturday night in Manhattan with the Big 12 title and a Fiesta Bowl bid on the line for K-State (10-1, 7-1 Big 12), there’s plenty Brown can do moving forward, and that starts with stopping the Longhorns’ running attack.
Against Baylor, K-State gave up a season-high 342 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground. The Bears put up 580 yards of total offense.
Brown, a Butkus, Bednarik and Lombardi Award semifinalist, had 11 tackles against the Bears but, like the rest of his teammates, spent most of the Wildcats’ first loss on his heels, chasing Lache Seastrunk (185 rushing yards) and Glasco Martin (113 rushing yards) on big runs.
“We need to take full advantage of the time we have to prepare,” Brown said. “We’ve got a great opportunity.”
Texas (8-3, 5-3) averages 183 rushing yards per game and has scored 30 touchdowns on the ground. The Longhorns attack is varied — 5-foot-11, 207-pound freshman Johnathan Gray leads Texas with 654 rushing yards, and 6-1, 230-pound sophomore Joe Bergeron isn’t far behind with 562 yards and leads the team with 16 touchdowns.
“(Texas) has a powerful, explosive offense,” said Brown, who leads K-State with 80 tackles. “They like to run, but they have the ability to pass as well. We’ve got to maintain focus with all the shifts they do. We need to make sure we play assignment, detail-oriented football.
“All the movement can be confusing, like I said they shift a lot, but eventually they’re going to end up in a familiar formation.”
The familiarity between the teams isn’t something the Wildcats are going to count on, either. Even if they have beaten Texas four times in a row.
“They’re so varied in what they do,” K-State coach Bill Snyder said. “I can’t tell you that we know any more about them than we do about anybody else.”
Big brother is watching, kind of — Brown took in younger brother Bryce Brown’s record-setting performance on Monday Night Football in bits and pieces. He was at his apartment, going back and forth from his bedroom to the living room, where his roommates were watching the game.
Bryce set Philadelphia’s single-game rushing record for rookies with 178 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-22 loss to Carolina.
“I watched here and there because I had some work to do, but I’m tremendously proud of him,” Arthur said. “I’m definitely looking forward to his future.”
Arthur and Bryce, who played two games at K-State last season before quitting the team, kept with their routine of texting each other while one of them is playing and one of them is watching — messages of encouragement and praise that they receive after the game.
“I really don’t like to sit and watch a whole game, but I did because Bryce was playing,” said K-State wide receiver Chris Harper, a fellow Wichitan and one of Arthur’s roommates. “Arthur would hear us yelling and screaming, then would come out of his room and be like ‘what happened?’ ”
Arthur is notorious for his aversion to mainstream media, television, movies and music, so it’s understandable that an NFL game, even one featuring his brother, might not hold his interest.
“We’re talking about a guy who has never really watched TV or games or anything like that,” Harper said. “One time, I asked him if (Houston Texans All-Pro wide receiver) Andre Johnson ever came and worked out with the team when he played for Miami and he was like ‘Who is Andre Johnson?’ ”