After falling to Texas in dramatic fashion the last two years, Iowa State expunged some demons Saturday night with a convincing 24-0 victory over the Longhorns. Joel Lanning was solid in his first career start at quarterback for the Cyclones, while the Iowa State defense completely handcuffed an inept Texas offense.
How the game was won: Texas struggled to do much of anything offensively, which allowed Iowa State to control the field position all game. Until a meaningless final drive at the end, the Longhorns had as many three-and-outs (seven) as they did first downs and failed to muster any semblance of a passing attack with only 85 yards through the air. Iowa State, meanwhile, churned out 27 first downs behind a steady effort from Lanning and running back Mike Warren, who rushed for 157 yards, his fifth 100-yard effort of the season.
Stat of the game: Until its final possession, Texas' deepest drive ended at the Iowa State 47-yard line. All told, the Longhorns made it into Iowa State territory only three times.
What the win means for Iowa State: This was a game coach Paul Rhoads had to have. Earlier in the week, he replaced Sam B. Richardson with Lanning, then removed Mark Mangino as offensive coordinator, essentially sliding all his chips in for this game. On the heels of 3-9 and 2-10 seasons, Rhoads' seat was heating up after a 2-5 start to this year. This win not only keeps Iowa State's bowl hopes alive, it gives Rhoads a signature victory that ultimately could help him keep his job.
What the loss means for Texas: All the momentum the Longhorns had built up this month after the Oklahoma upset evaporated in Ames. Texas lost its way offensively facing a scoring defense that ranked 103rd nationally coming into the weekend. The Longhorns couldn't pass and they couldn't run; as a result, their best offensive play was snapping the ball to Jerrod Heard or Tyrone Swoopes and hoping they could somehow scramble their way to a first down. To make a bowl now, Charlie Strong will probably have to win these next three games, which figures to be a tall task, barring some dramatic improvement offensively.