Mandatory Credit: Photo by Stephen Spillman/AP/Shutterstock (13405254a) Texas running back Bijan Robinson (5) looks for more yards against UTSA during the second half of an NCAA football game, in Austin, Texas Texas Football, Austin, United States – 17 Sep 2022
Texas (4-2) v. Iowa State (3-3)
When: October 15, 2022
Gametime: 11:00 AM
What’s at Stake: After two quality wins Texas has returned to the top 25 and enters this week’s matchup with Iowa State riding momentum. The Longhorns should be focused and seeking to avenge last year’s loss to the Cyclones, which marked a low point in a 5-7 season. If Texas can continue the string of strong performances, they should earn another victory and continue climbing the Big 12 standings. However, at this fragile point in the rebuild, a subpar performance could lead right back to the wilderness Texas is trying to escape.
When the Longhorns have the ball: The return of quarterback Quinn Ewers should add a dynamic element to the Texas offense. In the limited action that he has seen, Ewers has proven to be an extremely accurate passer, completing 46 of 67 passes for 648 yards. In those 67 attempts he has only thrown two interceptions while tossing six touchdowns. Ewers also adds a spark to the offense that can’t be measured in stats. His swagger and confidence is contagious and elevates those around him. With #3 at the helm, an offense featuring Bijan Robinson, Xavier Worthy, and the emerging threat of JT Sanders becomes absolutely lethal.
The Iowa State staff has been one of the pioneers of the three-safety defense that has proliferated across the Big 12. The scheme is designed to take away big plays and the Cyclones specialize in bogging their opponents down, keeping games close to steal games in the fourth quarter. Iowa State will lean on its veteran defensive front to apply pressure and try to find a way to slow the Texas attack and frustrate Ewers. If the Horns offensive line can handle the pressure Texas will have a good day.
When Iowa State has the ball: Texas’ defense is much improved over recent years. They are fast, physical, and their confidence is growing. Leaders like DeMarvion Overshown and Jaylon Ford have anchored a linebacker corps that are featured in Pete Kwiatkowski’s multi-scheme designed to showcase their aggression and athleticism.
The Longhorns will have to contend with wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson who leads the nation in receptions with 57, but Cyclone quarterback Hunter Dekkers has had a hard time completing passes to anyone else in Big 12 play. If Texas can put the game on Dekkers’ shoulders, it should give them a good chance to win.
Key Horns to Watch: Ewers might be the most exciting player in the Big 12 and he should be hungry to make up for lost time. Expect a big performance from the Longhorns signal caller.
Bijan Robinson is the best running back in the nation. If Texas can neutralize Iowa State’s defensive front, Robinson should have a big game like he does every week.
The Bottom Line: It would take a vintage Iowa State performance for the Cyclones to win this game. They would have to force several Texas errors and play above their heads. Expect Texas to continue the run of strong play and put Iowa State away relatively easily.