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Texas 37 ... at Iowa State 14

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 1, 2011


Week 5 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Texas at Iowa State


2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 5 - Texas at Iowa State

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Oct. 1 Texas 37 ... at Iowa State 14
CFN Analysis: Texas has its steadying force at quarterback, and it’s the combination of Case McCoy and David Ash. They both connected on 7-of-12 passes, with Ash throwing for 145 yards and two scores and McCoy throwing for 110 yards in the easy win over Iowa State. The defense dialed up the pass rush a bit after not doing much over the first few games, and with Oklahoma coming up next, the newfound aggressiveness couldn’t have come at a better time. It would’ve been nice to get more out of the ground game, gaining 145 yards, and the defense gave up a few late touchdowns, but after two strong wins, the Longhorns are quickly rebuilding. No, they’re not ready to beat a team as good as OU, at least without a slew of big breaks, but the Longhorns aren’t making a slew of mistakes and the offensive line is playing better than it ever did last year.

Iowa State didn’t have a chance. The talent wasn’t there to keep up with all of UTs athletes, and with three turnovers and no takeaways, there were too many mistakes to have any shot at pulling off the upset. Steele Jantz threw 51 times, but only went for 251 yards and couldn’t come up with enough big plays until late. The Cyclones were out of their league talent-wise against Texas, but the secondary has been just good enough to have a shot against Baylor next week. Jantz has to control of the ball and has to keep the chains moving to keep Robert Griffin can stay on the sidelines, and the turnovers have to stop. ISU is third-to-last in the nation in turnover margin, and it has to quickly become +2 instead of -2 or else it’ll be a long Big 12 season.

(AP) AMES, Iowa -- It wasn't about payback or revenge for No. 17 Texas.

The Longhorns simply discovered that it's much easier to beat Iowa State when you're taking the ball away instead of handing it over.

Freshman David Ash threw for 145 yards and his first two career touchdown passes and 17th-ranked Texas drilled mistake-prone Iowa State 37-14 in the Big 12 opener for both teams.

"Last year, Iowa State forced the turnovers and we didn't," Texas coach Mack Brown said. Saturday "we forced the turnovers. If you force a lot of turnovers and take care of the football like we did tonight you're going to win a lot of football games."

Jaxon Shipley added 141 yards receiving and a TD for the Longhorns (4-0, 1-0 Big 12), who raced out to a 34-0 halftime lead over the previously unbeaten Cyclones (3-1, 0-1).

Iowa State looked nothing like the team that stunned Texas 28-21 last season by forcing four turnovers from Garrett Gilbert.

The Cyclones had a pair of fumbles, a pick and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown in the first half, and they didn't score until James White's 2-yard TD run with 11:33 left. That now includes two straight victories on the road against teams that beat the Longhorns in Austin last year.

Texas thumped UCLA 49-20 in the Rose Bowl two weeks ago -- and it faced even less resistance from the Cyclones.

Ash threw a 48-yard TD pass to Mike Davis and a 40-yard touchdown to Shipley, and Josh Turner took a blocked punt back 34 yards to help Texas blow the game open in the second quarter.

Steele Jantz was 28 of 51 passing for 251 yards and a late TD pass for Iowa State.

"You can't play like we did to start this football game -- again, unfortunately -- and win a football game against the 17th-ranked team in the country," Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. "We continue to work to find the answers on some of the foolish things that are taking place, which includes turnovers."

This was one of the biggest home games in recent memory for Iowa State, which had rallied from fourth-quarter deficits to win each of its first three games.

Part of the reason the Cyclones had to make such comebacks was because they kept turning the ball over.

This time, it finally caught up to them.

"Everything that could go wrong for us did go wrong," Iowa State linebacker Jake Knott said.

It started when the Longhorns recovered a White fumble on the Cyclones' second possession and settled for a field goal. Iowa State fumbled it right back to them on the kickoff, and Fozzy Whittaker's 16-yard TD run off a direct snap made it 10-0 Texas just under 10 minutes in.

The Longhorns converted Jantz's only pick into a 35-yard field goal from Justin Tucker to go ahead 13-0 late in the first quarter.

Cornerback Leonard Johnson committed a personal foul to keep a Texas's drive alive. Ash then found a wide-open Davis, giving the Longhorns a 20-0 lead with 10:18 before halftime.

Texas didn't need any more help to turn a rough night into a brutal one for the Cyclones.

Freshman Mykke Thompson broke through to block Kirby Van Der Kamp's punt. The deflection plopped into the arms of fellow freshman Turner, whose 34-yard touchdown return made it 27-0 with 4:30 left in the second quarter.

As if that wasn't enough for the browbeaten Cyclones, Texas closed the half with a bit of trickery that worked to perfection.

Whittaker took the snap and handed it off to Shipley, who then flipped it to Ash on a reverse. Shipley then took off for the end zone, and Ash found him for a 40-yard TD pass and a 34-0 lead just over three minutes later.

"It was a big deal for us. We're 4-0 now. That was our main focus, is winning the season opener and then coming out here and winning the Big 12 opener," Whittaker said. "It's the first step toward winning our conference."

Case McCoy got the start for the Longhorns and finished 7 of 12 passing for 110 yards, but he got much of his work after the outcome had been decided.

Though the Cyclones beat the Longhorns in Austin last year, this one fell back in line with the history of this series. Texas improved to 8-1 against Iowa State and 4-0 in Ames.

"Everybody knows that the effect that getting turnovers or having turnovers can cause on a season, the outcome of a ballgame," Texas safety Blake Gideon said. "That was definitely one of the main emphasis throughout spring ball and camp and these early weeks of the season. It's good to see all the hard work has come to fruition."

Johnson was taken off on a stretcher after helmet-to-helmet collisions with linebacker Jake Knott and defensive lineman Stephen Ruempolhamer while finishing off a tackle in the fourth quarter.

Johnson landed face down on the turf. He was flipped over, placed on a backboard and taken to a local hospital. But Johnson waved to the crowd as he left, drawing cheers from the Iowa State crowd, and Rhoads said Johnson showed movement in his extremities.

Texas (3-0) at Iowa State (3-0) Oct. 1, 7:00, FX

Here’s The Deal … Shhhhhh. It’s been a hidden secret. Texas isn’t awful.

Dismissed after a disastrous meltdown of a 2010 season and a mediocre start to 2011, the football team has been pushed aside, with all the discussion and focus on whether or not they’ll stick around the Big 12 and how the Longhorn Network fits into the world of college athletics. Meanwhile, the offense might have found its answer at quarterback, the defense has been terrific, and with a win over Iowa State, 4-0 is 4-0 is 4-0 going into the Oklahoma showdown.

Fine, so Texas is hardly a world-beater, needing to work way too hard to get by BYU and looking mediocre against Rice, but the team is still trying to find its way after last year and it’s hoping for its young stars to grow up in a hurry. The future is bright with top running back recruit Malcolm Brown to grow into his potential and for Case McCoy to play like his brother sooner than later. If it’s possible, all of a sudden, Texas has turned into a sleeper in the Big 12 chase.

Iowa State isn’t going to win the Big 12 title, but it’s not going to be anywhere as lousy as expected. It might have been a fight to get by Northern Iowa, but beating Iowa in overtime and getting past Connecticut on the road isn’t bad. While the Cyclones might be roughly three plays away from being 0-3, they made the plays needed to be 3-0 going into one of the program’s biggest games in several years.

The shocking win over Texas last year started the Longhorn freefall, and after going 0-7 lifetime in the series, a win this week might show that the team is for real. With road trips to Baylor and Missouri to follow, and as the likely underdog in every game the rest of the way against everyone but Kansas, a loss might start a freefall after the great start.

Why Texas Might Win: The Cyclones are 3-0 despite doing everything possible not to be.

They gave away four turnovers against UNI, fumbled it away three times against Iowa, and threw three picks against Connecticut. Bad teams don’t overcome ten turnovers in three weeks, and they definitely don’t survive giving it away that many times while ranking dead last in the nation in penalties, averaging ten per game. That’s not going to work against Texas.

The Longhorns might have a whole slew of issues, but it doesn’t beat itself. The five turnovers in the first three games were a bit much, but Garrett Gilbert had his hand in a few of those including two picks that kept BYU alive. The 17 penalties are a wee bit high, but the mistakes haven’t been too bad. If Texas wins the turnover and penalty battle, it’ll win in a walk.

Iowa State’s bigger problem is the Texas linebacking corps that’s been solid and unheralded so far. The defensive front isn’t generating any pressure whatsoever, but Emmanuel Acho and Keenan Robinson have been dialed in against the run. Throw in a secondary that isn’t giving up a thing, and Iowa State will have to find ways to manufacture points from somewhere. That won’t happen if it keeps giving the ball away.

Why Iowa State Might Win: The Iowa State passing game will get time to work.

The Cyclone offensive line has been one of the team’s biggest strengths so far, and while the running game might not be dominant, it’s been good enough to get by behind a decent push from the front five. The mobility of quarterback Steele Jantz has helped, but the line is also doing its job in pass protection allowing just four sacks against three aggressive defenses. Meanwhile, Texas can’t buy a sack getting absolutely nothing from the front four.

The Longhorns came up with one sack against BYU and one against UCLA. That’s it. Throw in the 11 tackles for loss in three games, and there’s nothing happening whatsoever behind the line. Not getting any pressure will help the cause will be a huge help for the mistake-prone offense, and Jantz, the definition of a baller, will get time to work.

Offensively, Texas might be starting to get all the pieces in place, but it’s still a work in progress. The points came against UCLA by running the ball well, but Iowa State’s linebacking corps is good enough, experienced enough, and strong enough to keep the big runs to a minimum. There won’t be any missed tackles.

What To Watch Out For: It’s Case McCoy’s Texas program to take over, and while everyone has the caveat that he isn’t Colt, he had better be close. The 6-2, 200-pound sophomore is a good athlete, extremely smart, and has good mobility to go along with a live, active arm. No, he really isn’t Colt, but he has the same sort of moxie and fight to his game; he’s a fighter who looked just good enough at times this offseason to provide a push to Garrett Gilbert, and now that Gilbert is gone for the year with a shoulder injury, it’s time to produce. Against UCLA he completed 12-of-15 passes for 168 yards and three scores, but now Iowa State has had two weeks to prepare for him.

Iowa State got exactly what it needed out of Darius Reynolds two weeks ago. The senior needed to step into the role of a No. 1 receiver, and while he’ll get lost in the shuffle of all the great Big 12 receivers, he has the potential to be one of the league’s more productive deep threats. He lit up Iowa for 85 yards and two touchdowns on six catches, and against Connecticut he caught four passes for 128 yards with scoring plays from 40 and 20 yards away. Fully back from the broken leg that knocked him out in 2009, he’s the team’s top weapon.

What Will Happen: Texas still won’t look all that impressive, but the defense will clamp down on Jantz, McCoy will efficient, and Brown will come up with a workmanlike 100-yard day in a good battle. Iowa State will have a few moments when the momentum will shift its way, but it won’t take advantage of the opportunities.

CFN Prediction: Texas 31 … Iowa State 17
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