Iowa State is 1-10 against Texas, but the good news about that one victory? It came in Austin back in 2010. Here’s what the Cyclones can do to make it a second victory in the last five years.
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1. Sorry for the broken record, but passing will open up the offense.
I feel like I put this in the keys to victory every week, but it holds true. Sam Richardson completed 70 percent of his passes, set a record for completions in one game in Cyclone history, and they found themselves up by two touchdowns late in the game. For Iowa State to be successful on offense, they have to pass successfully. When that happens, the running game will open up.
2. Shut down another passing attack.
Force Texas to rely on their running game offensively. Tyrone Swoopes is becoming a better passer, and I believe the Longhorns are better than 90th nationally in pass offense. But the Iowa State secondary is good enough to shut things like they’ve done in their two victories and against multiple Big 12 opponents in the first half.
Oct 3, 2013; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones coach Paul Rhoads reacts to a call by the officials during their game against the Texas Longhorns at Jack Trice Stadium. Texas beat Iowa State 31-30. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
3. Defense needs to create more possessions.
The Cyclones are right at zero in turnover margin after six games this season. They’ll have to finish in the positive if they want to win this game. Texas is improving each week on offense, and not only do they need to get some picks like they accomplished against the Cowboys two weeks ago, but they have to capitalize with touchdowns. Not field goals.
4. Prepare for the toughest opponent atmosphere this season.
This will be toughest road game for the Cyclones in terms of atmosphere. No other place will match the attendance of Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium, and if things start getting out of hand early, it’s going to be a long day.
5. Stray away from using the up-tempo offense.
On the heels of playing in a tough place, it’s going to be even more important to establish an offense and cool off the opposing fanbase. The defense can’t sit out there for 35-plus minutes of game time or Iowa State will get rocked like they did two years ago.