BEVO BEAT Football

After some tough struggles in recent years, Iowa State has Longhorns’ attention

Cyclones heading to Austin on a five-game winning streak with freshman QB

Posted November 13th, 2018

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Every week, Texas players talk up their opponent and there’s a lot of lip-service. Heading into Saturday’s game against Iowa State, there’s a noticeable difference in tone.

“Iowa State’s offense is complicated, dude,” defensive end Charles Omenihu said.

Freshman quarterback Brock Purdy has led the Cyclones (6-3, 5-2 Big 12) to a five-game winning streak. During that stretch, Iowa State is averaging 34.6 points per game and 6.4 yards per play.

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“They’re ranked. They’re a good team. They’re 5-0 with this quarterback. They’re doing their thing, man,” Omenihu said. “So it’s not going to be a cakewalk or run-through. And they definitely don’t care that it’s senior night. They could care less.”

Iowa State and Texas are in the same boat as far as the Big 12 race is concerned. Both are 5-2 in league play, so both teams can map out a path to Arlington.

The Horns had a difficult night in Ames, Iowa, last season before ultimately prevailing 17-7. Texas had only 312 total yards and punted seven times. In 2015, UT didn’t even cross midfield until the second half.

Senior guard Patrick Vahe has started three games against Iowa State during his time at Texas. Saturday will mark the fourth. The Cyclones have earned his respect.

“A lot of people will look at them as underdogs; I definitely don’t,” Vahe said. “They’re one of the one you’ve got to watch out for. If you sleep on them, they’ll wake you up with everything they got.”

Choices at RB: The Cyclones will be without star running back David Montgomery in the first half. He was suspended for fighting last week against Baylor. Texas coach Tom Herman said, “I don’t know if the game plan changes very much who they are.”

On Iowa State’s depth chart, there are four other choices — Sheldon Croney Jr., Johnnie Lang, Kene Nwangwu and Mike Warren.

Campbell was non-committal about who would start and told the Des Moines Register, “All those guys bring a lot of different qualities to the table.”

“We’ve had to play football without David this year a bunch of different times, and obviously in a whole game,” Campbell said. “We’re fortunate to have a really talented backfield.”

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

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