No. 22 Texas, after historic performance, takes aims at Iowa St.

Strengths will collide when No. 22 Texas, fresh off a record-setting offensive performance, hosts defensive-minded Iowa State on Saturday afternoon in a Big 12 Conference dustup in Austin, Texas.

Iowa State has had recent success against the Longhorns, winning the past three games in the series, including a victory in 2020 when the teams last played in Austin.

The Longhorns (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) head home after a dominating 49-0 win over rival Oklahoma in Dallas last week in which they handed the Sooners their worst shutout loss in program history. Texas was uber-efficient on offense, with redshirt freshman quarterback Quinn Ewers returning from a collarbone injury to pass for 289 yards and four touchdowns.

The Longhorns racked up 585 yards of total offense despite pulling their starters atter the third quarter. They also amassed 36 first downs, the most in a single game in the Texas-Oklahoma matchup and the most ever at a game held inside Cotton Bowl Stadium.

Texas’ win was not only about offense, as the Longhorns allowed only 195 yards and just 39 passing yards, the fewest they’ve surrendered in a game since 2014. Texas has now run off back-to-back routs after losing in overtime to Texas Tech on Sept. 24 in its Big 12 opener. The Longhorns’ two losses were by a combined four points.

“I loved the way we’ve played complementary football,” Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said Monday. “It’s been that way for two weeks where we’ve been feeding off one another in all three phases. Schematically, we’re doing things from week to week that are beneficial to our success.”

Iowa State (3-3, 0-3) travels to central Texas after losing to then-No. 20 Kansas State 10-9 at home last Saturday.

The Cyclones began the season 3-0 but have dropped three straight Big 12 games to begin league play for the first time since coach Matt Campbell’s initial year on the job, 2016.

Those three losses, two of which were to ranked teams, were by a combined 11 points.

Jace Gilbert kicked three field goals to account for Iowa State’s points against the Wildcats, including a 43-yarder that gave the Cyclones a 9-7 lead in the final minute of the third quarter. After surrendering a field goal to Kansas State midway through the final quarter, Iowa State had the ball twice with short fields but could not forge a winning drive.

“I don’t feel like we are totally off kilter, it is just our inconsistencies,” Campbell said. “We have to be right on right now to be consistent, and we are not. … You still see some ‘A’ players making ‘A’ plays, but we are not as consistent as we need to be to win football games right now.”

The Cyclones ended up with just 276 yards of total offense but stayed in contention thanks to a stifling defense that limited Kansas State’s powerful attack to only 131 yards rushing, less than half of its season average entering the game.

Iowa State ranks eighth in the nation in scoring defense, surrendering 13.7 points per game over its first six contests. The Cyclones are 11th in total defense, allowing 277.5 yards per contest.

–Field Level Media