Nov 10, 2012; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns linebacker Peter Jinkens (19) tackles Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Jerome Tiller (11) in the fourth quarter at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Texas defeated Iowa State 33-7. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Texas hasn’t been the same Texas that we’ve known in recent years, but that didn’t stop them demolishing the Iowa State football team last season in Austin. They were young, and both the defense and play at quarterback can only improve. That won’t bode well for the Cyclones who, outside of a shocking upset three years ago, hasn’t played well at all against the Southern powerhouse.
2012 Texas Quick Recap
It’s crazy to think that a 9-4 season is considered a failure in Austin, but that’s the expectations they set every season. Considering who they recruit and how much money athletics brings in, they should reach at least a BCS bowl every year. That hasn’t happened recently, but they were able to scratch out a decent season outside of another blowout loss against the Oklahoma Sooners, barely squeaking by against the Kansas Jayhawks, and losing to the TCU Horned Frogs in their traditional Thanksgiving night game.
The Longhorns didn’t excel well in any category, but David Ash did show flashes of having what it takes to be consistent passer — Texas was ranked 10th in passing efficiency. Unfortunately the defense barely stopped the running attack all season, giving up 192.2 yards on the ground per game.
Projecting the Longhorns
One problem for the Longhorns recently has been experience. When you take a step back, this team has accomplished a lot offensively with nearly all of the skill players being freshmen and sophomores. Ash will be a junior with plenty of targets like wide receiver Mike Davis who’s returning for his senior season and Jaxon Shipley.
Defensively, Jackson Jeffcoat was missed after suffering a season-ending injury in the game against the Sooners. Cornerbacks Carrington Byndom and Quandre Diggs will provide senior leadership to help improve the defense that shouldn’t have many problems defending the pass and should at least get better at stopping the running attack.
Too Early Prediction
Iowa State’s depth at running back is the only shot at taking down Texas, and luckily health shouldn’t be a factor this time around as this will be the Cyclones’ Big 12 opener. Jack Trice Stadium will be on a big stage as it’s the second consecutive Thursday night game for Iowa State and it will be televised on ESPN.
Perhaps that’s a good omen, as the Cyclones took down the second-best team in the nation the last time they were on one of the major ESPN networks. Maybe that’s wishful thinking considering how this team has played against Texas in the past, but it is a great opportunity to start conference play on an extremely high note.