MANHATTAN, Kansas — In an era of high-octane offenses producing gaudy statistics and prodigious point totals, it makes sense that Kansas State's old-school coach can appreciate an old-school defensive performance.
The No. 11 Wildcats shut down Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, made a couple of key stops deep in their own territory and put together the first shutout of the Longhorns in nearly a decade with a 23-0 victory Saturday that kept Kansas State the lone unbeaten team in Big 12 play.
"It means a great, great deal," said Wildcats coach Bill Snyder, who turned 75 this month. "It just doesn't happen in this day and age."
Especially to the Longhorns. They were last shut out by Oklahoma on Oct. 9, 2004.
"You don't ever want to be shut out. You want to get some points," Texas coach Charlie Strong said flatly. "We just didn't make the plays that we should have made."
Matthew McCrane kicked three field goals, and DeMarcus Robinson and Charles Jones each ran for a touchdown to lead the Wildcats (6-1, 4-0). Jake Waters threw for 224 yards, and Tyler Lockett had eight catches for 103 yards to climb another notch in the school record books.
The shutout was the first by the Wildcats since beating Kent State 37-0 three years ago, and the first in conference play since routing Iowa State 45-0 on Nov. 8, 2003.
Meanwhile, Swoopes was just 13 of 25 for 106 yards for the Longhorns (3-5, 2-3), who were blanked one week after putting up 524 yards of offense in a 48-45 victory over the Cyclones.
The Longhorns managed 196 yards in losing to Kansas State for the fifth time in six meetings.
"We just didn't execute," said Swoopes, who had more than 400 yards himself last week. "That's the bottom line. We didn't execute and it puts you in a really tough position to win."
Texas only had two good scoring chances in the game.
The first came early in the second quarter, when it marched to the Kansas State 16. A holding penalty pushed the Longhorns back on the next play, and Swoopes threw an incompletion and then was sacked by Elijah Lee to take them out of field-goal range.
The second chance came with the Wildcats leading 16-0 early in the fourth quarter.
Texas had again marched deep into Kansas State territory, but the drive stalled at the 15-yard line. Strong elected to go for it on fourth-and-1, and running back Johnathan Gray was stood up trying to dive over the left side of the line. The officials reviewed the spot but the video was inconclusive, and the ball went over to the Wildcats on downs.
"That was a key play in the game," Kansas State linebacker Jonathan Truman said.
The Wildcats promptly drove 86 yards the other way, Waters twice picking up third downs with long passes to Lockett and Deante Burton. Jones finished off the drive by dancing through a cloud of defenders for a 1-yard touchdown run and a 23-0 lead with 9:31 left in the game.
Earlier in the game, Lockett moved past Michael Smith for the third-most receptions in school history. The latest Lockett to star at Kansas State has 186 catches in his career.
The Wildcats moved the ball most of the game, but had to keep settling for field goals.
McCrane hit the first, a 19-yarder, midway through the first quarter. He connected from 30 yards on the next season, and the freshman added his third late in the third quarter.
By that point, Robinson had also scored on a short TD run and the Wildcats led 16-0.
Swoopes struggled to find open receivers all afternoon. And when he tucked the ball and ran, he usually had more than one purple jersey on his heels. The sophomore quarterback finished with 31 yards on the ground.
Gray had just 24 yards on 10 carries. Malcolm Brown ran six times for 21 yards.
"I just don't think we played like we've been playing for the past three weeks," Texas wide receiver John Harris said. "I don't know what happened. We just couldn't get anything going and it's frustrating. Watching what we did the last three weeks, moving the ball, scoring points and now getting shut out, I have no answers."