Week 8: Iowa State at Texas

    Iowa State (2-4) at Texas (2-4) Oct. 18, 8:00, Longhorn Network Here’s The Deal: When we last saw Iowa State and Texas, the Cyclones were screaming about

    October 17, 2014

    Iowa State (2-4) at Texas (2-4) Oct. 18, 8:00, Longhorn Network 

    Here’s The Deal: When we last saw Iowa State and Texas, the Cyclones were screaming about a controversial call that led to a 31-30 Longhorn win. That kicked off a seven-game losing streak, and now ISU needs to come up with the payback. There’s a chance to make a decent run, with Kansas coming up soon along with home games against Texas Tech and West Virginia, and coming off a win over Toledo, there’s life in a team that started out 1-4 and screaming about another strange call in the loss to Oklahoma State. Can the Cyclones take advantage of a Texas team coming off an emotional loss to Oklahoma? 

    There are two ways the Longhorns can look at what happened in the Red River Showdown. On the one hand, the comeback attempt showed that there’s some semblance of an offense to hope for, but on the other side, it’s a 2-4 start with losses in four of the last five games with the lone victory coming against Kansas. With three of the next four games on the road, and the easiest remaining date at Texas Tech, Texas desperately needs a win to get back in the hunt for a bowl game. 

    Why Iowa State Might Win: Forgetting for a moment the wild comeback attempt against OU, the Texas offense still isn’t moving the ball. The banged up offensive line isn’t paving the way for the running game, and again, while Tyrone Swoopes did a nice job of bombing away late, this is a painfully inefficient passing game. Iowa State has to be able to convert on every chance and every opportunity, and it has to be able to get its own air show going – it hasn’t been that bad. It’s inefficient, and there aren’t a slew of big plays, but if the Cyclones can move the chains a bit and come up with around 250 yards through the air, they have to hope that their defense can take care of the rest. 16th in the nation on third downs, ISU has to own the clock. 

    Why Texas Might Win: Texas has to start slamming the running game and don’t stop. Whether it’s Swoopes taking off, or any one of a number of good backs, the Longhorns can’t be afraid to control the game from the start by trying to get physical on a Cyclone defensive front that’s getting pounded on. On the other side of the ball, the secondary has been one of the few bright spots, and it’s not all of a sudden going to be lit up by the Iowa State receivers. 24 points should get it done – can Texas get there? 

    Who To Watch Out For: The Texas offense took on a different tone without starting quarterback David Ash and with star center Dominic Espinosa around, and the talented running backs have nowhere to go. Malcolm Brown came up with his best day of the year against OU, running for 78 yards, but he hasn’t scored since the North Texas game. Johnathan Gray hasn’t done much of anything since starting out the year with 82 yards in the opener, but he came up with 89 yards and a very key touchdown last year against ISU. Swoopes is starting to show improvement, but he needs his backs to help out. 

    What’s Going To Happen: 10-1 all-time vs. Iowa State – with the one loss coming at home in 2010, Texas will keep the streak going because of its defense. The secondary will stop the Iowa State passing game cold, and the run defense won’t get pushed around and should come up with a gem. The UT offense might not be a thing of beauty, but it’ll take advantage of a few breaks to slug out a desperately needed win. 

    Prediction: Texas 26 … Iowa State 13 
    Line: Texas -12.5 o/u: 46 
    Must Watch Factor: 5: Birdman – 1: The Voice (now that the blind auditions are over) … 2.5 

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