Iowa State vs Texas football: Five players to watch on offense


Texas has plenty of skill players that will be a big threat to the Iowa State defense including a new quarterback that’s gaining momentum, a star receiver coming off one of his best games of the season, and two running backs that could wreak havoc.

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On the flip side, the Cyclones must have their quarterback and receiving threats deliver in the biggest challenge of the year.


  • Tyrone Swoopes (Texas; #18, 6-foot-4, 243 lbs., So)

The improvement continues for the new era under center with the Longhorns. Swoopes had his best day yet against Oklahoma with career highs of 334 passing yards and 50 rushing yards. Interceptions are starting to pop up, but there shouldn’t be any real complaints for a new guy that’s completing nearly 60 percent of his passes.

  • Sam B. Richardson (Iowa State; #12, 6-foot-2, 221 lbs., Jr)

Richardson looks most comfortable when the team is in hurry-up mode — all it takes is the offense to press the gas pedal and get there. With how good Texas’ pass defense is (3rd nationally), it’s a complete night-and-day difference from Toledo. Hopefully there’s enough confidence from last Saturday that carries over into next week.

Backs and receivers

  • WR John Harris (Texas; #9, 6-foot-2, 218 lbs., Sr)
  • RB Malcolm Brown (Texas; #28, 5-foot-11, 222 lbs., Sr)

Nov 10, 2012; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns running back Malcolm Brown (28) runs the ball against the Iowa State Cyclones in the fourth quarter at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Texas defeated Iowa State 33-7. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

You’d think Jaxon Shipley would be the star receiver on offense after his brother’s accomplishments, and he currently does lead the team in catches, but Harris, the former tight end, has been the deadlier threat receiving the ball. He has 31 catches for 460 yards and 6 touchdowns. Harris was made famous by giving Baylor bulletin board material before their game against the Bears, but the Longhorns competed well in the game until things started unraveling in the 3rd quarter.

In the running game, the tandem of Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray lead the way with a combined 8.4 yards per carry and 3 touchdowns. Iowa State’s rush defense will certainly have its biggest test of the season, especially with Swoopes also being a running threat. It will have to be much better than it was against Toledo’s prolific rushing attack.

Looking back at last season, Harris had one catch — a 44-yard touchdown — against the Cyclones, while ISU actually held Gray and Brown under 100 yards combined (Brown had just eight yards).

  • WR Allen Lazard (Iowa State; #5, 6-foot-5, 221 lbs, Fr)

Lazard finally broke through against Toledo with career highs of 8 catches and 96 yards, and tacked on his second touchdown of the year. Iowa State’s big targets must deliver against one of the toughest pass defenses in the nation, and this should be a fun matchup to watch along with D’Vario Montgomery and tight end E.J. Bibbs.