SWOOPES COMES OF AGE ... JUST IN TIME

For once, the Texas offense picked up the defense in a wild, watch-through-your-fingers, 48-45 victory over Iowa State Saturday night. Tyrone Swoopes came up huge in the fourth quarter, including two dramatic passes to set up the game-winning field goal.

* Tyrone Swoopes did some big-time growing up tonight. His final two passes to Jaxon Shipley and John Harris, setting up Nick Rose's 21-yard, game-winning FG with :03 left. That was a nuts-dropping moment ... or two.

* Charlie Strong said he was going to play for overtime but wanted to wait and see how many yards Texas could get on the kick return (after ISU tied the game at 45 with 28 seconds left.

Roderick Bernard returned the ball 26 yards to the UT 28, so Strong signed off on the deep pass to Shipley ... and then the deep pass to Harris.

"I was going to say take a knee for overtime, because I didn't think they could stop us on offense," Strong said. "But once we ended up where we did with the kickoff return, I said, 'Let's take a shot.'"

* Offensive play caller Shawn Watson said the 39-yard pass to Shipley and 29-yard pass to John Harris were the exact same play, a wheel route down the left sideline.

"Those were plays we obviously thought we could hit, because it was open earlier in the game and just missed it," Watson said. "Those are also a couple of Tyrone's favorite throws to make. He's come so far."

* Charlie Strong joked on the post-game press conference that he thought about moving Swoopes to another position after a somewhat lackluster spring from Swoopes. 

"I go back to spring practice, and the spring game was like, wow, can he play quarterback?" Strong said. "I was going to tell him to move to another position. 

"Now, we're seeing him get better and better. He's fun to watch now."

When Strong was pressed about if he really thought about moving Swoopes to another position, he laughed and said, "No, I'm joking. I wasn't going to switch him. Who else was going to play quarterback? No, I'm joking."

* Shawn Watson was asked about a possible position switch for Swoopes, and Watson said he had a heartfelt conversation with Swoopes after the spring.

"At that point, Tyrone totally committed himself to becoming a quarterback, and I think we're seeing that work pay off. He's something special right now," Watson said.

* Swoopes was 24 of 36 passing for 321 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT and he ran 14 times for 95 yards (6.8 ypc) and a TD on the ground with a long run of 24 yards.

Swoopes said it didn't feel like he was close to becoming Texas' first 100-yard rusher of the season.

"I was just out there playing," said Swoopes, who carried 6 times for 55 yards in the 4Q alone.

* Charlie Strong said after the Baylor game he and Shawn Watson sat down with Swoopes and talked to him about using his legs more.

"We said, 'You have to understand you're not a pocket quarterback,'" Strong said. "'If something breaks down, you're going to have to use your legs. You're big, you're strong, you're physical, you're fast, you're athletic - and maybe with a body like yours, you don't want to overthink it.

"So don't be afraid to take off running with the ball. That week he was off (against Baylor), at first he kind of stood in there and acted like he was afraid to release the ball.

"But now with bringing the pressure, you look at what happened tonight, they brought pressure and he was able to get the ball to the outside."

John Harris said Swoopes "basically took over the fourth quarter with his feet.

"That's the first time I've seen him do that. You can see he's grown up, and he has to step up and make plays, and he's going to do that."

* Charlie Strong said this game will serve as a big confidence boost for the offense.

"It's really great to see that happen for our offense because our defense has been getting all the press," Strong said. "Everyone has been talking about how bad our offense is. 

"And for them to come back and score the points that they scored, it's going to help them more than anything. You think about how they're going to start feeling about themselves, and even last week against Oklahoma, we were able to move the ball."

* Unreal that the game came down to Iowa State's attempt at a Cal-Stanford lateral-a-thon. 

* But credit a great game called by Iowa State OC Mark Mangino executed by QB Sam Richardson, both of whom totally worked the Texas defense, which got next to nothing out of its four-man rush.

"We'll go back and get things corrected," said linebacker Jordan Hicks, who led Texas with 13 tackles. "This game was not inidicative of how well our defense can play. It's great that our offense could make the plays at the end of the game to give us a lift and that Nick (Rose) came through with the field goal."

* Charlie Strong said he was "not very pleased with our defense."

* Strong added his defense "needed a wake-up call, because I think our defense was feeling too good about themselves, and this will get them back down to earth."


* Tough nights in the secondary for Adrian Colbert and Mykkele Thompson.

* Big nights in the secondary for Dylan Haines (pick-six), CB Duke Thomas (INT that UT converted into a TD drive) and CB Quandre Diggs, who had some big stops late, including two after ISU had first-and-goal from the Texas 7 (forcing a FG).


* Where is Ced Reed? Other than an illegal hands to the face personal foul that helped ISU's final scoring drive, you didn't hear his name. Where is that long-arm rush of Reed's?

* Iowa State outgained Texas 524 yards to 512. ISU had 345 yards through the air and 179 on the ground (4.7 ypc).

* ISU's Allen Lazard is 6-5 and 221 pounds and just muscled Mykkele Thompson tonight ( 8 catches 88 yards, including an 8-yard TD catch against Thompson).

* TE E.J. Bibbs muscled/worked Colbert for 2 TD receptions (10 catches for 73 yards).

* After Iowa State tied the game at 14-14, Steve Edmond replaced Dalton Santos at LB and Josh Turner replaced Adrian Colbert at S, because the middle of the D had been giving ground. Colbert later returned to the game.

(Hassan Ridgeway leaving the game briefly  in the 2Q didn't help either.)

* Dylan Haines helped ease the pain with his 74-yard INT return for a TD. He read the play, jumped the route and made two sick, cutbacks to get into the end zone. That. Was. Huge.

"I think it helped change the momentum," Haines said. 

* Tyrone Swoopes got off to a great start (14 of 19 passing 227 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT in the first half) with the exception of one play - his INT from the Texas 8 on first-and-goal with :54 left in the 1Q.

"Before I could really get into him about burning that play by throwing the ball away, Ty said over the headset, 'Coach, I know, I know, I know,'" Watson said.

"I think he had had some success up to that point and got greedy, and we can't have a decision like that on first-and-goal. But he knew it, so we moved on, and he played a clean game the rest of the way."

* Swoopes continuing to make plays with his legs tonight  was huge.

"They were blitzing us on almost every play, and one of the ways to negate that was to have Tyrone run it more, and that's what we did," Watson said. 

* Camrhon Hughes started at RT and played the whole game with mixed results. (He had a ridiculous holding penalty that helped kill a drive  after he tried to tackle a DL while laying on his back after being run over. But he's huge.) 

Charlie Strong said he jokingly nicknamed Hughes, "N-C-A-A." Strong then explained that N-C-A-A stands for "no contact at all, because my man never blocks anyone in practice."

* Overall, the offensive line appeared to play pretty well.

* RB Malcolm Brown got off to a great start with 5 carries for 40 yards in the 1Q, and then got 1 carry the rest of the half.

* John Harris had 6 catches for 102 yards in the first half, but he also got stripped of the ball on a speed sweep, and ISU LB Jevohn Miller scooped it and scored with 14:37 left 2Q, tying the game 14-14. 

* Harris finished with 9 catches for 147 yards. Shipley finished with 6 catches for 92 yards.

Of Texas' final two pass plays involving Shipley and Harris

* The Texas defense needed to realize they were in a fight with an in-rhythm QB throwing to big, physical, fast receivers. And ISU did it all without any help from playmaker Jarvis West, who had minus-1 yard of offense on a punt return.


* Texas better get its defensive issues solved in a week, because they get a carbon copy of this next week ON THE ROAD against a better team in K-State.

* But, in the end, special teams was a positive (thanks to NICK ROSE), Texas finally scored points in a third quarter (a NICK ROSE FG) and UT improved to 3-4 after winning a game Texas had to have.



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