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Iowa State vs. Texas: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Texas

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 game in our Texas vs. Iowa State preview and prediction. 

Game Info

2:30 p.m. Central Time, Saturday November 16th, 2019, Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, Iowa. 

TV: FS1

Texas Radio: Longhorn Radio Network

Iowa State Radio: Cyclone Radio Network

Spread: Iowa State (-7)

Fun Fact: Texas is the only team that Matt Campbell has not defeated since taking over Iowa State back in 2016. 

 

Key Players

Texas Longhorns

QB Sam Ehlinger

Sam is quietly having a good season. Outside of the West Virginia and TCU game, Sam has put together a nice year so far as he has thrown for 24 touchdowns on 8 picks as well as completing 66.6% of his passes. While he hasn’t scored nearly as many rushing touchdowns this season (Just 5 compared to 16 in 2018), he still has been very effective on the ground as he has racked up over 400 rushing yards on the year. On the road in a hostile environment, Sam Ehlinger must put on one heck of a show if his team is to leave Ames victorious. 

LB Joseph Ossai

While the sack numbers aren’t there with just two sacks, Ossai still remains to be the top pass rusher off the edge that Texas has. Not only will he have to put pressure on Brock Purdy from the edge, he will also need to play a role in pass coverage because the Cyclones love using their tight ends. 

Iowa State Cyclones

QB Brock Purdy

Outside of his performance against Oklahoma State, Brock has been having a solid season thus far. He has thrown for 20 touchdowns on 7 picks and he is completing 68.0% of his passes this season which is incredible for a true sophomore. Not to mention, he has added seven rushing touchdowns as well with over 250 yards rushing. He is going to need a huge performance on Saturday to beat Texas. 

DT Ray Lima

While he has had a quiet year, Ray is still one of the best interior defensive linemen in the Big 12. He is a guy who can eat up blocks and let other make plays but unlike your average interior player, he can create havoc on his own to disrupt an offense. He will need to help control the line of scrimmage against a Texas offense that loves to control the game on the ground. 

 

Key Storylines

Texas Longhorns

Texas loves to control games on the ground and chew clock. In fact, Texas is third in the Big 12 in average time of possession per game. While they are a middle of the pack rushing and passing offense, the one thing Texas usually does well is be efficient on offense. The big plays may not come often but they way the control and dictate the game is their strength. Expect Texas to be balanced and not afraid to take some shots in this game to test out that Iowa State secondary with their talented wide outs. On defense, they must do a better job in the passing game. They have been fine stopping the run, but they remain dead last in pass defense in the Big 12. 

Iowa State Cyclones

Much like Texas, they love to control the game as well, but you know what Iowa State has been good at the season? Thanks to Brock Purdy, it has been throwing the football as they are second in the Big 12 in passing offense. That’s good news because like I mentioned in the Texas portion, the Longhorns passing defense has been atrocious this season. I know Texas is getting healthy in the secondary, but I am still not sold on their play in the back end of that defense. For the Cyclone defense, it’s simple. Stop the run and contain Sam Ehlinger. Texas has given up the most sacks this season in the conference and the Cyclones will need to use that talented defensive line to get some pressure or have defensive coordinator Jon Heacock to be creative with some blitzes. 

Prediction

Iowa State 28, Texas 27

It’s going to be cold up in Ames on Saturday. Texas isn’t used to that type of weather and I am sure with the cold to freezing temperatures along with the wind, it is going to be a factor. I am not sure what to make of Texas and that defense right now. Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy can carve up that bad Texas secondary and with running back Breece Hall emerging as a superstar for Iowa State, I think the Texas defense will have too much to handle on the road. Not to mention, the Longhorns haven’t been great at protecting their quarterback either and with the talent Iowa State has on defense, I think the Cyclones find a way to win this game at home. This game will come down to the very last possession. It’s a coin flip kind of game for me and with Iowa State being at home, give me the Cyclones.

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