Texas wins if, loses if: Iowa State

Vicente Montalvo, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the November 5 Double Coverage flipbook.

Texas football will be traveling to Ames, Iowa, to play in one of the most hostile environments in all of college football. The Longhorns will get the opportunity to play in a primetime game for the first time since their home game against Rice back in September. Having suffered three-straight losses in conference matchups, Texas is likely out of the Big 12 title race. However, the Longhorns still have an opportunity to compete for a bowl game if they win out.

Texas wins if …

… the offense breaks down the Cyclone defense

Iowa State has one of the best defenses, not just in the Big 12, but in all of college football. The Cyclone defense is allowing an average of 101.9 yards on the ground per game and more impressively, 189.6 yards through the air on average per game. The Texas offense must be prepared to have a multi-layered attack if the Longhorns wish to win the game. The Cyclones boast one of the best defenses Texas will play all season, and having been through eight contests already, the offense should be well tested and ready to help bring a victory back to Austin.

… Bijan Robinson bounces back after a poor Week 9 performance

Last week, Baylor did a great job at stopping sophomore star running back Bijan Robinson from doing virtually anything. In Robinson’s least efficient game of the season, the sophomore recorded season worsts, having a longest run of nine yards and averaging 2.5 yards on the ground. To give Robinson a chance, the offensive line needs to create holes for the 1,000-yard rusher to run through. Throughout the season, Longhorn faithful have seen what Robinson is capable of with his quick acceleration and shifty moves. Look to see how Robinson grows into the game as he tries to lead Texas to a desperately needed conference road win.

… the Longhorn defense stops Breece Hall

After having a slow start to the season, Iowa State junior running back Breece Hall has been on a tear, showcasing his dual-threat ability. Hall is currently 15 yards away from rushing for 1,000 yards for the second-straight season. An all-around back, Hall has surpassed 100 yards rushing and receiving in six straight games. Texas defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski must have the defense ready to stop the featured back if the Horns look to escape Ames with a win. If Longhorns swarm the running back and tackle him in open space, then Texas will be celebrating its first win in Ames since 2017.

Loses if …

… the offense goes missing in the second half

The Longhorns have struggled tremendously in recent weeks in maintaining offensive efficiency all four quarters. In its last three games, Texas has been outscored 75 to 27 in the second half. If head coach Steve Sarkisian and staff want to compete and close out the season on a positive note, they need to keep the offense rolling the second they come out of the locker room for the two final quarters. As learned in previous contests, Texas faithful should not get too excited if the Longhorns achieve a big lead early on. Instead, be cautious and wait until late in the game to discern if a celebration is in order. If the offense can’t get the run-pass option going, it will be a long and quiet flight back to Austin.

… Brock Purdy has a big night

Iowa State senior quarterback Brock Purdy is not having the season many expected him to have. The early season Heisman hopeful struggled in early weeks before finding his rhythm under center. After throwing three interceptions in the second game of the season, Purdy has limited his turnover rate to one in his last six contests. If a receiver is not open downfield, the experienced quarterback is consistently ready to run for some yardage via a quarterback keeper. He might not be competing for the Heisman Trophy, but Purdy is still one of the best quarterbacks in the country and the Longhorn defense should prepare for him.