1) Texas lost junior safety Nolan Brewster to a history of post-traumatic migraines and concussions. It won't hurt as much in the short term with the return this week of Christian Scott from suspension, though it does create a hole in the Longhorns' nickel situations and potentially a bigger one on special teams.
2) Texas linebacker Emmanuel Acho conceded that the Longhorns probably didn't take the Iowa State Cyclones seriously last year, and were dominated because of it. Multiple players, and Texas coach Mack Brown, admitted that the game was probably worse than the final scoreline.
3) Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said that ISU quarterback Steele Jantz presented a unique challenge because of his ability to extend a play with his legs, scrambling either for a run or for a pass. The important thing, he said, was to make sure that the Longhorns forced him into eight-yard scrambling gains, rather than 50-yard touchdown passes on broken plays.
4) Players talked about how hard last season's loss to Iowa State was. Longhorn safety Blake Gideon said that the team felt like it was rebounding after its big win against Nebraska, and felt like they were going to run the table, get 10 wins and go to a good bowl game. Instead, the game started a landslide that saw the Longhorns drop five of their final six games and miss the postseason entirely.
5) Speaking of which, last year's Iowa State game was a microcosm of last season's troubles. Texas had four early trips inside the Iowa State red zone, but came out with just six points. The Longhorns had four turnovers, three of which came on Garrett Gilbert interceptions. And the defense was inconsistent against the run.
6) The Longhorns are still searching for Gilbert's replacement at "emergency quarterback." The long-term option is John Paul Floyd, a walk-on quarterback who typically plays on the scout team. Texas offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin said that Floyd participated in all of the quarterback meetings and was able to manage some situations. Other options that the team may look at include former high school quarterbacks Miles Onyegbule and Mykkele Thompson, though Harsin said they would learn a small package of plays, rather than the whole offense.
7) Nobody seems worried about the team's lack of sacks to this point, including zero sacks from defensive ends Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat. "A quarterback decides whether he's going to be sacked or not," Gideon said. Diaz pointed at the team's pressures and hurries that turned into turnovers and incompletions as proof of the unit doing its job. Still, with an opposing quarterback who lives on extending plays, defensive tackle Kheeston Randall said the team could up its number of sacks this week.
8) Another decision that opposing teams make, according to Diaz, is who makes the tackle. Diaz said he didn't look at tackle numbers because his scheme was designed simply to create a wall against the run. At that point, he said, the running back chose who made the tackle by choosing which player to run into. Diaz said he looked more at team assisted tackle numbers, showing that there were a number of people swarming to the ball.
9) Brown reiterated that the best option for Texas was to stay in a "regional" conference, like the Big 12. At the same time, he admitted that the decision wasn't his to make. He just felt that it was better for the players, parents and high school coaches.
10) Brown said he wasn't sure the Longhorns' series against Texas A&M would continue on a regular basis. He pointed to discussions about the Oklahoma game and how it potentially could have been scrapped had the Sooners joined the Pac-12. It could be an issue of scheduling, he said.