Week 11 – Iowa State at Texas

Posted Nov 8, 2012

Week 11 Fearless Prediction & Game Preview – Iowa State at Texas


Iowa State (5-4) at Texas (7-2) Nov. 10, 12:00, Longhorn

Here's The Deal: The passing of legendary former Texas head coach Darrell Royal will be the storyline going into the game, but on the field the story is becoming the resurgence of the Longhorns. On a three-game winning streak helped by their strong win over a good Texas Tech team on the road, all of a sudden, a shot at the Big 12 title is back on the table. It would take a gaffe by Oklahoma and a loss by Kansas State for Texas to have a chance to earn a piece of the fun, but there's also the outside possibility of an at-large BCS bid by winning out.

For Iowa State, after not taking full advantage of the schedule break with three home games in four weeks, just getting a win over Texas to become bowl eligible would be enough for now. The Cyclones are 1-8 all-time against the Longhorns – the lone win coming in 2010 – and while there's the backstop of the date with Kansas next week to potentially ensure the sixth win needed to go bowling, it would be a nice touch to the season to get over the hump now. Losers in three of their last four games, they've been solid and have played well, but they're not able to generate enough offensively and struggled mightily in the secondary.

Why Iowa State Might Win: It's not like the Texas defense is stopping anyone. Yes, Texas Tech managed just 22 points, but the offense cranked out 441 yards including 329 through the air and was able to move the ball a bit, stopped a bit when the turnovers came. Texas has been shockingly soft all season long against the better running teams, and it's no coincidence that the current three-game winning streak has come against three teams – Baylor, Kansas and Texas Tech – that don't bang away. Iowa State doesn't necessarily have a blasting ground attack, but the pass protection has been strong and the O line has been a big positive. With one of the nation's best punting games, if ISU can keep Texas pinned deep and take advantage of good field position and a few breaks, the running game might be able to take control of the game by pushing the ball up the gut.

Why Texas Might Win: Bombs away. The Iowa State secondary has been a complete and utter disaster lately, allowing 415 yards to Oklahoma State, 426 to Baylor and 405 to Oklahoma over the last three games. The Texas passing game hasn't been consistent, but it's been incredibly efficient with David Ash coming off one of his most effective games of the season, completing just 11-of-19 passes for 264 yards and three scores. While the Iowa State secondary doesn't get beaten deep on a regular basis, it gets dinked and dunked on to death. Ash won't be under much pressure from the anemic Cyclone pass rush, so he should be able to hit his short-to-midrange throws without a problem.

What To Watch Out For: Ash has thrown two interceptions in five games so far in his career, and Texas has lost all five. Iowa State has picked off two or more passes in five of its nine games on the season including two coming against Landry Jones last week. Despite the lack of a steady pass rush, the Cyclone secondary has been opportunistic and aggressive, and this week it's going to have to jump all over the routes early to keep the short passes from turning into big gains.

What Will Happen: Iowa State doesn't have a problem playing on the road, but it's not going to be effective enough offensively to keep up after Texas comes up with a few big early scoring drives. It's never quite right or fair to use as a death as an inspiration to win a football game, but with Royal's passing, Texas isn't going to lose this game at home.

CFN Prediction: Texas 31 … Iowa State 17
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Texas -10.5 O/U: 57
Must Watch Rating (5 – Skyfall, 1 – Wreck It Ralph): 3