We are past the halfway point in the season, and Iowa State will arguably face the easier part of the schedule. Didn’t think you’d ever be able to say that with Texas and Oklahoma back-to-back, huh?
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Texas is in an interesting predicament. Their hated rivals, Texas A&M, are no longer on the schedule after moving to the SEC, and the Aggies are thriving. The hiring of Kevin Sumlin and the recruiting of Johnny Manziel was a perfect scenario, and recruiting is showing that they are the most sought-out school in the state of Texas
Obviously, the Longhorns are looking to right the ship. Bringing in head coach Charlie Strong is what the doctor ordered, and better talent could follow. None of their players were drafted in the NFL this year. Shocking considering the “pro-caliber” talent they had on defense.
Maybe Texas thrived off of a terrible Big 12 last year, having a chance to win the conference in the final game of the season. Instead, they got thwarted 30-10 by Baylor. Another sign that things in their own state haven’t been going so hot. The Bears had all the attention with their high-flying offense while Texas continued to get overlooked.
Sep 7, 2013; Provo, UT, USA; Texas Longhorns quarterback David Ash (14) throws the ball over Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Kyle Van Noy (3) and into the hands of Texas Longhorns wide receiver Mike Davis (1) for a touchdown at Lavell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
Questions surround Texas all over the place heading into this season. Gone is the underwhelming Case McCoy, but now there’s the curious David Ash who tends to get as banged up as Sam Richardson. Ash was out in the Longhorn’s BS victory over the Cyclones last year, and both the foot and concussion injuries are likely to effect his play again this season.
Texas almost has to go into the season expecting Tyrone Swoopes to make an impact early. Maybe freshman Jerrod Heard, a 4-star recruit, could surprise some people. According to those close to the Longhorns, they see Heard as a very mature freshman and Strong has said he has no problem burning a redshirt and starting the true freshman. But it would be incredibly hard to lose a valuable year of his eligibility if they do believe he’s the future.
In turn, it might be better for Texas to sort of regroup this season. Strong and his staff can get their feet wet with the players and try to impress those that have completely turned away from the Longhorns. Maybe once they find out Manziel was all Texas A&M had and can’t stand to watch one of the most miserable defenses in the nation, Strong can lure them back in.
That win in 2010 is the only time the Cyclones have beaten the Longhorns (1-10). Ever.
Paul Rhoads has won in Austin before and this is probably the best chance to do it again — before Strong really rebuilds the Longhorns back to a national title contender. But it’s hard saying what this team will look like at the halfway point.
Unfortunately, even with questions surrounding the team, this is still a bad matchup. The running back tandem of Malcolm Brown, Johnathan Gray, and Joe Bergeron is incredibly dangerous. It’s a shock the Longhorns just got 119 rushing yards against Iowa State, their lowest rushing total in a game last season. Of course, they had McCoy throwing it all over the place instead and were able to pull out a wild, lucky victory at Jack Trice Stadium.
Outside of the 28-21 victory in Austin back in 2010, it’s hard to say that Iowa State will come out of there with a victory by looking at the matchups and the overall history. That win in 2010 is the only time the Cyclones have beaten the Longhorns (1-10). Ever. There certainly should be another victory on there, but it won’t happen this year. Iowa State falls to 3-4 on the season.
TEX 39, IAST 22