The road hasn’t been kind to Texas.
The Longhorns are riding momentum after beating Oklahoma and Kansas State. Now, they face the challenge of a true road game at Iowa State on Saturday.
Texas has struggled this season in road games. Fans adorning burnt orange and white flocked to South Bend and Fort Worth to watch the Longhorns take on Notre Dame and TCU, respectively. The Longhorns, however, struggled, losing to the Fighting Irish and Horned Frogs by a combined 88-10.
“The times that we went on the road, we just haven’t played good,” head coach Charlie Strong said. “We have to play better. We have to start off right. We got to get off to a really good start, whether it be on defense, offense, whoever is up first. If we’re on offense, we need to move the football and get some points, establish a really good drive … We need to be consistent and go play at our best.”
Texas has an opportunity to bring its record back to .500 and inch closer to bowl eligibility with a win over the Cyclones. But the Longhorns will face a raucous crowd in Ames.
“It’s Homecoming and Halloween,” defensive coordinator Vance Bedford said. “They’re trying to tell us right now that we’re a patsy.”
The uncertainty continues. Monday, Iowa State dismissed offensive coordinator Mark Mangino and named redshirt sophomore quarterback Joel Lanning its starter.
But senior center Taylor Doyle said the level of play won’t change.
“We’re fully expecting Iowa State to come out there ready to go and playing hard and playing well,” Doyle said. “We know we have a challenge ahead of us. We’re just focused on improving our game and putting ourselves in a position to have success.”
Senior wide receiver Marcus Johnson said to win, the Longhorns must enter prepared and set the tone early.
“We understand we’ve had tough losses,” Johnson said. “But we understand that, like Coach said, we’re a 3-4 team right now. We have a lot to prove and a lot more work to be done.”
Texas looks for its first road win this season. It would be one win closer to bowl eligibility.
“We’re in no place to overlook anybody,” senior tight end Alex De La Torre said.