Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 match up in our Texas vs. Iowa State preview and prediction.
11:00 a.m. Friday, November 28th, 2020; Austin, Texas; Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium
TV: ABC (Matt Barrie, Mike Golic Jr.)
Radio: Longhorn IMG Radio Network (Craig Way); Cyclone Sports Network (John Walters);
Spread: Texas -2
Fun Fact: The Longhorns are 14-3 against the Cyclones all-time, and 8-1 when the teams face off at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
Iowa State Cyclones
RB Breece Hall
Hall is the best running back in America right now. And don’t @ me! Hall leads the Big 12 with 1,169 rushing yards on the season, nearly 300 more rushing yards than the No. 2 rusher in the conference (Leddie Brown, WVU). He has a Big 12-best 6.5 yards per carry, along with 15 touchdowns, six more than Brown. The guy has been on an absolute tear and he will look to continue that on Saturday in Austin.
LB Mike Rose
Rose has, as the cliche goes, a nose for the ball. He has had interceptions in two-straight games in and three of the last four. His 7.9 tackles per game rank in the top 5 in the conference as well, along with 1.5 sacks. Against a Texas team that has several options with Sam Ehlinger leading the way, Rose will play a huge role in trying to slow down the Longhorns offensive attack.
QB Sam Ehlinger
It’s always about Ehlinger on the offensive side for the Longhorns. Tom Herman said RB Keontay Ingram is questionable for the game this week, meaning more emphasis on Ehlinger to be the team’s stud QB, while also being used on the ground. Ehlinger is completing 59% of his passes for 1,834 yards with 22 touchdowns and five interceptions, while rushing for 323 yards and seven scores.
DE/LB Joseph Ossai
Iowa State QB Brock Purdy does a great job avoiding sacks, as he’s only been sacked nine times in eight games. But that doesn’t mean Purdy isn’t under pressure, he is, but avoids the sack. That may be tougher with Joseph Ossai breathing down his neck. Ossai is ninth in the Big 12 with 7.0 tackles per game and leads the Big 12 with 13.5 tackles for loss on the season.
Iowa State Cyclones
The Cyclones need to make Sam Ehlinger’s life miserable. He IS the Texas offense and that will continue on Saturday. Texas goes as far as Ehlinger will take them. Iowa State has had success getting to the QB with 22 sacks in eight games, the third most in the Big 12 this season. Meantime, Texas hasn’t done a great job protecting their star QB, giving up 17 sacks in seven games, the 6th most in the conference. If Iowa State’s front seven can get behind the line of scrimmage consistently, it will be a long afternoon for the Longhorns.
The Longhorns need to take advantage of the Cyclones through the air. For all the Iowa State defensive prowess, the passing defense has had its holes, allowing 229 passing yards per game, which is 5th in the conference. Their passing defense efficiency also ranks 6th in the Big 12 this season. Joshua Moore, Brennan Eagles and Co. at wide receiver need to have themselves a game on Saturday to pull off the win.
Iowa State 31, Texas 27
The Cyclones are coming off their best and most complete game of the season in a rivalry match up against Kansas State. Normally, one might consider this to be a letdown game. But I don’t see that happening in this game as the Cyclones look like they might be hitting their stride, which they have yet to do this season (even though they’re in first place in the conference). Breece Hall is a Heisman conteder at RB, the offensive line is gelling and I believe Iowa State’s D will find itself in the Texas backfield more often than not.
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