A look at Iowa State, Texas’ first Big 12 road opponent of the season. The Longhorns play ISU on Thursday (6:30 p.m. CT, ESPN).
Campus location: Ames, Iowa
All-time record vs. Texas: 2-10
Last game: ISU notched its first win of 2013 with a 38-21 victory on the road against Tulsa on Thursday. Sam Richardson threw for 255 yards and two scores, and Jeff Woody rushed for three short touchdowns. The Cyclones forced four turnovers and pulled away in a 14-14 game at the half with 17 consecutive points.
Last meeting with Texas: Three days after the death of Darrell K Royal, the Longhorns honored him with a Wishbone pass on their first play from scrimmage and went on to win 33-7. David Ash threw for 364 yards and two scores, and Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley each had 100-yard days while the Texas defense shut out ISU in the second half.
Key player: How will Texas respond to the loss of Jordan Hicks? His season-ending injury once again creates problems for the Longhorn linebackers and their new position coach Greg Robinson. That means the ISU player to keep an eye on is running back Aaron Wimberly, a juco transfer from Iowa Western who broke out with 137 yards on 19 carries against Tulsa.
Why Iowa State might win: This is a classic trap game, and Paul Rhoads’ Cyclones always win one of these games every season. Nobody has forgotten ISU’s win at Texas in 2010, right? The Longhorns have enough issues of their own – namely the loss of Hicks and the questionable status of Ash – that they can get into trouble against ISU if they show up rusty off the bye and make early mistakes.
Why Iowa State might lose: Even if the Longhorns don’t show up like they should early on, this team should still has a serious advantage in the talent department. You saw that last year, when Texas sat comfortably on a two-score lead for much of the game and held off ISU with ease. This time around, Texas should go right after a below-average Cyclones run defense and just grind this one out. But don’t be surprised if the score ends up being a little closer than expected.