FACTS & STATS: Site: Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (100,119) —
Austin, Texas. Television: Longhorn Network. Home Record: ISU 1-3, Texas 1-2.
Away Record: ISU 1-1, Texas 1-0. Neutral Record: ISU 0-0, Texas 0-2.
Conference Record: ISU 0-3, Texas 1-2. Series Record: Texas leads, 10-1.
GAME NOTES: Two of the Big 12 Conference’s most disappointing teams will try
to get their seasons back on the right track on Saturday night, as the Texas
Longhorns welcome the Iowa State Cyclones to Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial
Iowa State was able to notch a 37-30 homecoming victory over Toledo last
Saturday to put an end to a two-game losing skid. The Cyclones’ season has
still been underwhelming at 2-4 overall, which includes losses in all three of
their Big 12 matchups.
Texas has gone through some growing pains during the first season under coach
Charlie Strong, as it too is just 2-4 overall. The Longhorns fought hard to
the wire against Oklahoma last Saturday before suffering a 31-26 setback. It
was their second straight loss to a nationally-ranked team after losing at
home to Baylor on Oct. 4 (28-7).
The Longhorns have defeated the Cyclones in 10-of-11 all-time meetings, most
recently edging out a 31-30 victory in Ames last season.
In a Big 12 filled with high-scoring offenses, Iowa State has dragged behind
the curve, as it ranks in the bottom third of the league in both scoring (24.5
ppg) and yardage (337.3 ypg). The unit is carrying with it some momentum,
however, after a season-best 37 points its last time out.
Sam Richardson has taken nearly every snap under center and has performed
well, completing 60.1 percent of his passes for 225.7 ypg with 10 touchdowns
and just four interceptions. The quarterback is also the team’s leading
rusher (283 yards, TD).
The Cyclones haven’t gotten much production out of their running backs, with
both DeVondrick Nealy (160 yards, TD) and Aaron Wimberly (158 yards, three
TDs) averaging less than 3.5 yards per carry.
E.J. Bibbs (190 yards) leads the team with 22 receptions and four touchdowns.
Allen Lazard is also in the midst of a solid campaign with 21 catches, 304
yards and two scores.
In addition to Iowa State’s problem on the offensive side of the ball, it has
also underperformed defensively in allowing 33.2 ppg and 446.3 ypg while
creating just five takeaways through six games.
Jevohn Miller is one of the few bright spots on the defense with 61 tackles
and a sack. T.J. Mutcherson (42 tackles) has a pair of interceptions and Cory
Morrissey has generated a solid pass-rush with 5.5 TFL and 4.0 sacks.
Texas is one of just two teams in the league with a worse scoring offense than
Iowa State, as it scores only 19.7 ppg. It hasn’t put up more than 26 points
since its season-opening win at North Texas (38-7).
Tyrone Swoopes has taken over the starting quarterback role after David Ash
retired earlier in the year with lingering concussion issues. Swoopes is
completing just shy of 60 percent of his throws for 1,068 yards with nine
touchdowns (two rushing) and four interceptions. He played very well in the
loss to Oklahoma last week (27-of-44, 334 yards, two TDs, INT, 50 rushing
The Longhorns have a commitment to the run, but neither Malcolm Brown (84
carries, 324 yards, two TDs) nor Johnathan Gray (71 carries, 321 yards, TD)
have burst onto the scene this season.
Swoopes has a reliable receiving duo to count on, with Jaxon Shipley (38
receptions, 360 yards) the possession guy and John Harris (31 receptions, 460
yards, six TDs) coming up big in the red zone.
One positive to take away from Strong’s first season at the helm for Texas has
been the impressive play of the defense, which allows just 21.2 ppg and 316.7
Jordan Hicks (80 tackles, 7.0 TFL, two INTs) and Steve Edmond (72 tackles, 8.0
TFL, 3.5 sacks) anchor one of the nation’s best linebacking corps. Malcom
Brown is stout along the defensive line with 37 tackles, 9.0 TFL, 3.5 sacks
and a forced fumble.
Neither team can light up the scoreboard with much regularity, but that will
likely play into the hands of the defensive-minded Longhorns, especially on
their home field.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas 27, Iowa State 17