I do think this is the week Texas puts it all together. Maybe that's naive. Or maybe that's me thinking there is no way Texas can play self-inflicted-fatal-wound football at home for another game!
With or without Steve Edmond, Jason Hall or Daje Johnson, this team is now bigger than a player missing from a position group. See Swoopes moving on at QB; the offensive line moving on without three starters; the WR group moving on without Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander; the RB room moving on without Joe Bergeron.
There has to be gold as everyone in a burnt orange jersey mines deep down to find new riches. That was never a doubt when they reached the 2005 and 2009 national championship.
Minimal special teams mistakes. No fumbles at the goal line. Swoopes keeps turning the corner. Someone gets 100 yards rushing. John Harris gets another TD reception.
And Texas wins ....
Texas 27, Iowa State 0
Something tells me the Longhorns are going to open a can on Iowa State. And that same “something” tells me it’s going to start, of all places, with Texas’ running game.
ISU’s run defense is shaky at best giving up 212 yards per game on the ground this season. Texas should have its way.
Defensively, the Longhorns will again put their best foot forward and slow a struggling Cyclones offense. QB Sam Richardson will have his moments – he leads the team in rushing at 283 yards (123 more than the next closest player) – but those moments will be few and far between.
Even though Texas is coming into the game 2-4 I think UT is starting to figure things out and its best football is in front of them. There are no givens with this program right now, but I do think Texas is going to easily cover the 12 ½ point spread I saw earlier this week.
Texas 34, Iowa State 13
The battle of the 2-4 teams takes place Saturday as the Texas Longhorns will host Iowa State. For the Longhorns, the Cyclones can’t arrive in Austin fast enough. Iowa State opponents on average are scoring 33 points per game. This is the exact kind of defense Texas needs to see to gain some confidence. On the other side of the ball, the Cyclones can put up some points but this will be the best defense they have faced all season.
The Longhorns will overwhelm the Cyclones on both sides of the ball. Offensively, look for Texas to get the ground attack going early which will set up some big plays in the passing game during the second half.
Defensively I expect to see Texas physically beat Iowa State up from the first whistle of the game. When the dust settles, Texas will improve to 3-4 on the year with a 37-21 victory.
Texas 37, Iowa State 21
Nick Castillo’s Pick
Iowa State comes into town this weekend. Last time the Longhorns met with the Cyclones it wasn't pretty.
Although both teams enter Saturday’s match with a 2-4 record, I think it'll be different than last year’s game. Despite losing to Oklahoma, Texas put up a valiant fight which I think will carry over into Saturday’s game.
The defense will continue to play dominating football in the first half and will be given enough rest to succeed in the second half. I expect for the pass rush to give Cyclones quarterback Sam Richardson trouble all night. This will give the linebackers and defensive backs and opportunity to create turnovers.
Offensively, sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes will continue to build off of his impressive performance against Oklahoma. While Swoopes through a pick-six in the Red River Shootout, I think he’ll be able to use the bright spots in that game to improve as a whole. Swoopes will have a great night versus the Cyclones throwing for 250 yards and two touchdowns and he’ll have 30-50 rushing yards. Additionally, the offensive line will continue to get better which will allow for the Longhorns to have more success on the ground. Together senior running back Malcolm Brown and junior running back Jonathan Gray will rush for 150 yards.
It might not be a blowout in the true sense of the term but the Longhorns will take down Iowa State with ease.
Texas 28, Iowa State 10
*****Longhorns 2015 QB commitment Zach Gentry's junior highlights
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