Culpepper's Commentary: Iowa State Game

Make no mistake, Texas is playing with a huge chip on its shoulder. The Horns showed the nation last week against Oklahoma and again this week versus Iowa State what a strong-effort team they could have been. It is really a shame that they were in such a funk against Kansas State two weekends ago.

But Rice could beat Iowa State, that's how bad coach Gene Chizik's first Cyclone team played on an overcast day Saturday. The stands began to empty early as a reborn Longhorn team began to bring a relentless offensive and defensive attack to the home team.

Offensive coordinator Greg Davis was in heaven since the Cyclone secondary was as confused as the Texas secondary was a year ago in Manhattan, Kansas. There was no need to run the football and in the tradition of U.S. Air Force General Curtis "Bombs Away" LeMay the Longhorns "firebombed" Iowa State.

Colt McCoy completed 23 of 31 passes for 298 yards and four touchdowns. There were no interceptions. Interceptions? Are you kidding; the Cyclone secondary couldn't pick one off if you told them where you were going to throw the ball!

In my opinion, the best chance for any running game whatsoever for Texas lies in the hands of Vondrell McGee. Jamaal Charles seems to have lost whatever he had as a freshman and Chris Ogbonnaya does not appear to have the acceleration needed to become a legitimate threat.

If you got to watch any other of the big ball games Saturday, like Missouri versus Oklahoma, it is easy to compare the running backs. The Sooners' Allen Patrick (6-0, 191) and Chris Brown (5-10, 190) attack the line of scrimmage and take pressure off quarterback Sam Bradford. The Longhorns specialize in running backs headed toward the sidelines. It makes me sick, but like it or not it's what Texas does for a running game.

There are no doubts about the Longhorn receivers Quan Cosby, Nate Jones and Billy Pittman being the real deal. They will take a hit to make a catch and Cosby had a leaping jewel in the back corner of the end zone.

Jordan Shipley might have enough speed to make up for the huge loss of Limas Sweed. In retrospect, you have to applaud Limas for his downfield blocking and attempting to play with an injury. He made some great plays wearing Burnt Orange.

Derek Lokey has played two memorable football games in a row. Against Oklahoma he was jamming the middle and fighting his way through the Sooner linemen to pressure Bradford and disrupt Oklahoma's running game. In Ames, he was all over the field and played some at defensive end. Twice he chased a play to the sidelines. He is a one-man army at this point.

I have no idea how Texas coaches evaluate their linebacker play but just watching the ball game the two that impress me are Jared Norton and Sergio Kindle. They can make things happen and somewhere in the next five weeks one or both of them will make plays that determine the outcome of games.

The Texas secondary came to play and shut down two talented players – quarterback Bret Meyer and wide receiver Todd Blythe. Brandon Foster and Ryan Palmer were excellent in coverage, recovery and hitting.

Just take the improvement in tackling. The same players that played two-below versus Kansas State have made lockdown stops against Oklahoma and Iowa State.

It was good to see the Longhorns plug in younger players in the lineup when able.

The way Texas is playing, the Horns deserve the chance to go 10-2. It will take the same effort they have put into these last two games to end up that way.

Baylor and Nebraska might well be in disarray after the 58-10 and 45-14 slaughters they were involved in this last weekend but Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Texas A&M are roadblocks of sizeable proportions. I believe those last three games will not be decided until late in the fourth quarter.

Do the Longhorns want that 10-2 record or will they be undone by late night arrests, mistakes in the kicking game, sloppy tackling and breakdowns in protection for Colt McCoy?

It will take sacrifice, dedication, hard work and game day commitment by every Longhorn in uniform to get the job done.

Baylor will experience full emersion this Saturday. Texas 48, Baylor 6.

Pat Culpepper played for The University from 1960-62 and graduated from UT with a B.A. degree with honors in history. He coached college football for 12 years as an assistant at Texas, Colorado, Tulane, Baylor and Memphis State and was head coach at Northern Illinois from 1976-79. He also spent 16 years as a high school coach in Texas at Midland, Lufkin, Galveston Ball, Westfield and his hometown of Cleburne. He was selected to the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1991. His commentary appears regularly in the Inside Texas magazine and at

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