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


Texas strolls in with the 3rd-best defense in the Big 12 (Baylor, Kansas State ahead of them) and it’s ranked 17th nationally. With so much great talent at linebacker and in the secondary for the Longhorns, Sam Richardson needs to pitch a great game.

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Morrissey stepped up his game against Toledo with a career high of eight tackles (5 solo, 3 assists). He’s the most explosive guy the Cyclones have at the line right now, and he’ll need that kind of a game again to slow down Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes and the dual threat of Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray at running back.


Oct 11, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Samaje Perine (32) is tackled by Texas Longhorns linebacker Steve Edmond (33) in the first quarter at the Cotton Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Both Hicks and Edmond are king of the defense, and Iowa State’s offensive line is going to have to put more focus on defending these guys than the offensive line. Hicks has recorded a team-high 80 tackles this season and Edmond is second with 72. The only guy close to them is defensive tackle Malcom Brown at 37 total tackles.

Those three guys are also responsible for 24 of the team’s 52 tackles for loss. Edmond also has 3.5 sacks, which ties Brown with a team high. Hicks also has picked the ball off twice. The trio also have 5 passes defended, 7 QB hits, and 2 forced fumbles.


Diggs is the all-around freak athlete that can do everything defensively. Basically, he’s a smaller version of their linebacker, Hicks. Diggs has 31 total tackles, but 23 of those are solo shots and he’s also recorded 3 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 picks, and 3 defended passes.

While Texas may have the third-best passing defense in the nation, the stats don’t defend how well Iowa State has done it. All Toledo could do was run the ball, and both Kamari Cotton-Moya and Jared Brackens led the way finishing with a tie at 12 total tackles. Cotton-Moya is one of the most exciting young safeties in the Big 12. He hasn’t had too many freshman mistakes when it comes to tackling his guy and making sure he doesn’t get far.