Before the Big 12 lost four of its members and shrunk to a 10-team conference in 2011, Iowa State and Texas had only played seven times, with the Longhorns undefeated despite the fact that the Cyclones are one of the original 1996 Big 12 members.
Then, the conference eliminated divisions and instituted a round-robin format for football conference play. Texas added Iowa State to its list of annual opponents. But that addition hasn’t been the smoothest transition for the Longhorns, who are now 7–3.
The most recent loss to Iowa State came just one year ago, when Texas lost on the last play of the game. The Longhorns were riding high after defeating No. 16 Kansas State in Austin and looking forward to a marquee matchup against then-undefeated Baylor the week after.
But the game on the road against the Cyclones in Jack Trice Stadium would bring cold temperatures and a critical offsides mistake on a fourth-and-5 that gave Iowa State the game.
It’s a mistake Tom Herman and the Longhorns can’t afford in Friday’s matchup against the Cyclones. Texas might comfortably hold the all-time series 14–3, but as recent history has shown, Iowa State is no easy matchup.
GAME TO REMEMBER:
This week’s game to remember is the Longhorns’ 2014 win over the Cyclones. Both recently and historically, matchups against Iowa State haven’t been shootouts for Texas. In fact, the next year, Texas would be shut out in an embarrassing 0-24 loss.
But in 2014, then-sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes had perhaps the finest game of his career.
The Longhorns limped into the Saturday contest against Iowa State with a 2–4 overall record and 1–2 record in Big 12 conference play. But Swoopes and the Texas offense came out of the gates showing no signs of their past imperfect play.
Swoopes went a perfect 7-for-7 passing for 108 yards and a touchdown on the first two possessions as the Longhorns jumped ahead 14-0. Texas needed only 55 seconds on its first possession for Swoopes to throw a 28-yard touchdown pass to then-junior wide receiver Marcus Johnson.
But the Cyclones didn’t rest, battling back into the game in the first quarter as Swoopes committed his only major mistake of the game: a goal-line interception with a first-and-goal at the Iowa State 8.
The two teams traded trade scores in a back-and-forth affair, totaling over 1,000 yards of offense in a style of play that would come to define the Big 12.
Swoopes finished the game with 321 yards passing and a touchdown on 24-36 passing, along with 95 yards rushing on 14 carries and a rushing touchdown. At the time, his total 416 yards of offense was the ninth-highest total in school history, and he coordinated seven scoring drives in the game.
His seventh and last scoring drive would be the most important.
With Iowa State tying the game on a touchdown with only 22 seconds left, the quarterback took over with the ball at the Texas 28.
But Swoopes didn’t need a minute of time to score, throwing two beautiful passes down the left sideline for 39-yard and 29-yard gains to set up a game-winning field goal by then-junior kicker Nick Rose.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING:
Nov. 16, 2019: University of Texas at Austin at Iowa State University, Jack Trice Stadium, 21-23
Nov. 17, 2018: University of Texas at Austin vs. Iowa State University, Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, 24-10
Sept. 28, 2017: University of Texas at Austin at Iowa State University, Jack Trice Stadium, 17-7
Oct. 15, 2016: University of Texas at Austin vs. Iowa State University, Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, 27-6
Oct. 31, 2015: University of Texas at Austin at Iowa State University, Jack Trice Stadium, 0-24