The Texas Longhorns stampede into Ames, Iowa in a BIG-12 showdown with the Iowa State Cyclones for some Thursday night college football action. The game is scheduled to start at 8:00 p.m. EST and can be viewed on the ESPN network. Coming into this battle at Jack Trice Stadium, the Longhorns are a -6.5 point favorite. The contest’s total also sits at 63.
The Longhorns are coming into this match-up off a heartbreaking 27-24 defeat to the USC Trojans in the Coliseum. In that contest, the Longhorns used a stout defensive effort to push the match into overtime. Unfortunately, Texas’ offense could not provide enough punch to upset USC.
The Iowa State Cyclones crushed the Zips 42-14 in a non-conference game in Akron. It was an offensively balanced effort for Iowas State. As a result, the Cyclones tallied over 300 yards of offense through the air and almost 200 on the ground. Altogether, they racked up over 500 yards and never were really challenged by the home team.
The last time these two programs faced-off, Texas recorded a 27-6 road win against Iowa State last season. Both of these schools should be prepared to head into this game because both had a week off to rest up and get ready for this conference opener.
Texas Longhorns (1-2)
The Texas Longhorns may be somewhat disappointed they could not finish off the fourth-ranked USC Trojans in a 27-24 overtime loss on the road. However, it was a very encouraging performance in a game they were expected to lose by two touchdowns.
Backup quarterback Sam Ehlinger was decent playing in place of starter Shane Buechele. Altogether, he completed 21 of 40 passes for 298 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The freshman quarterback also played well in week
The freshman quarterback also played well in week two and has recorded a total of 520 passing yards with three scores and two picks in two games thus far. Shane Buechele is not expected to play against the Cyclones so Sam Ehlinger will once again start under center for the Longhorns.
Texas could not get a whole lot going on the ground against the Trojans. Consequently, they only rushed for 68 yards on 35 carries. Running back Chris Warren was shut down, rushing for only 15 yards on four carries. In 2017, the junior running was much better the week before, running for 166 yards against San Jose State. As of now, Warren has 212 total yards on the year.
The Longhorns’ big weapon in the air Collin Johnson, had a huge game against USC. bringing in seven catches for 191 yards. The sophomore wide receiver brought in seven balls for 191 yards. Since the start of the season, he has tallied at least 125 receiving yards in two of three games and leads Texas with 366 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Teammate Armani Foreman is also doing his best to give the Texas quarterbacks plenty of other options when they want to pass the rock. The red zone target has also caught 15 balls for 146 yards and three scores.
The Longhorns’ defense played well considering they were facing USC’s elite quarterback Sam Darnold. They did allow 468 total yards in the overtime affair. Even still, they were able to make two interceptions and three sacks. Overall, the Texas defense has already shown improvement from their 51-41 loss to Maryland in week one.
Iowa State Cyclones (2-1)
The Iowa State Cyclones flexed their offensive muscle in their convincing 42-14 road win over Akron on September 16th. Starting signal-caller Jacob Park was tremendous, connecting on 24 of 33 passes for 317 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. So far, the junior quarterback is off to a fantastic start to the year. He has accumulated 935 yards with eight endzone tosses and two picks.
Tailback David Montgomery had his biggest game of the year in the Cyclones’ victory. All told, he racked up 127 rushing yards on 22 carries and a score. The sophomore running back is looking very dangerous, averaging 5.7 yards per carry and has 321 yards in three games and four trips to pay-dirt.
Against the Zips, wideout Allen Lazard made five grabs for 47 yards with a touchdown in the triumph. Lazard is first on the team with 19 receptions for 178 yards and three scores. Iowa State now features three receivers with at least 150 receiving yards. Overall, the Cyclones’ offense has been very consistent in all three games and are looking very tough to handle heading into their first conference game of the year.
Defensively, Iowa State was strong in the win over Akron, holding them to only 331 total yards. Furthermore, Akron could only muster up 38 yards via the ground game. Linebacker Willy Harvey made 1.5 of six Cyclones sacks on the night. Coming into this match-up with the Longhorns, Harvey now has 2.5 quarterback takedowns on the year. The Iowa State defense rebounded nicely against Akron after conceding 41 points to the Hawkeyes the week before.
Coming into this match-up with the Longhorns, Harvey now has 2.5 quarterback takedowns on the year. The Iowa State defense rebounded nicely against Akron after conceding 41 points to the Hawkeyes the week before.
I am must admit that I’m pretty impressed with the play of quarterback Jacob Park. The Cyclones’ passing attack has been superb, ranking 17th in the country passing for 311 yards per game. Also, Iowa State is finding enough ways to get the chains moved on the ground, which keeps them balanced and opposing defenses guessing.
Furthermore, the Iowa State rush defense has been very strong, conceding an average of only 107 rushing yards per game. That tells me that they should be able to contain the Longhorns running game.
Realistically, the Longhorn’s secondary hasn’t been all that great. Even after their match-up with the Trojans, they still are 86th in the nation versus the pass. Mr. Park could be in for a big night at home.
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger has been okay, but he still is prone to make mistakes in the passing attack. I don’t think that the Longhorns can afford to have any of those in this conference battle. I’m not saying he’s not getting better but that is enough of a concern for me to not feel froggy about the Longhorns as a road favorite here.
Another thing to consider is that the Cyclones have put up over 40 points in all three games. Including, a 41 point output against a tough Iowa Hawkeyes defense. Therefore, Iowa State should be able to keep this one close.
Las Vegas has Iowa State as a +6.5 point dog and I suggest taking advantage of that before it drops any further. Buy it up a point and get the +7.5 while cheering for the Cyclones in this BIG-12 opener.
The Longhorns are 1-4 ATS .vs. a team with a winning record.
The Longhorns are 1-4 ATS in their last five Thursday games.
The Under is 4-0 in their last four road games.
The Under is 9-1 in the Longhorns last 10 games overall.
The Cyclones are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 home games.
The Cyclones are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
The Over is 4-1 in the Cyclones last five games at home.
The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
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