Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) scores a touchdown past Iowa State defensive back Greg Eisworth (12) in the first half of a Big 12 Conference football game at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. [Stephen Spillman for Statesman]

BEVO BEAT Football

Texas, needing to take care of business, is taking care of business; Horns up at halftime, 17-3

Posted November 17th, 2018

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It’s halftime at Royal-Memorial Stadium. Fifteenth-ranked Texas, its path to the Big 12 championship game within reach, is leading No. 16 Iowa State 17-3.

One of the biggest roars of the night came before kickoff and before the Senior Night ceremony honoring the team’s final home games for 26 seniors. It was the end of the West Virginia-Oklahoma State game in Stillwater, which was being shown on the giant screen. The Cowboys’ 45-41 win tagged West Virginia with its second Big 12 loss, right along with Texas and Iowa State, and the Mountaineers get Oklahoma next week.

But for that result in Stillwater to really matter, the Longhorns have to take care of business tonight. And so far, they are.

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  • The offense is humming. The defense has stifled the Cyclones and, for the most part, put the clamps on Hakeem Butler.

Texas looks sharp on offense. Its five drives so far: TD, punt, TD, missed FG, FG

Iowa State’s five drives: Punt, FG, punt, interception, punt

  • Texas has its running game clicking. The Longhorns have 146 rushing yards and are averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Tre Watson got the start but Keaontay Ingram has been effective as well. Watson, with nine carries for 70 yards, is averaging 7.8 yards per carry. Ingram has seven carries for 46 yards, a 5.8 average, and is leading the team with four catches, including a 19-yard touchdown to make it 14-3 in the second quarter.
  • Texas has sacked Brock Purdy — the Cyclones’ freshman who has gone 5-0 since he was inserted into the starting lineup — three times and has hurried him three more times. He’s 6 of 17 for 63 yards and an interception.
  • Sam Ehlinger is 12 of 15 for 137 yards and has thrown and run for a touchdown.
  • Butler’s got 4 catches for 46 yards, averaging 11.5 yards a catch. He’d have 74 yards if a 28-yarder hadn’t been taken away by review.

Davante Davis is being thrown at. A lot. He’s been drawing primary coverage duties of Butler.

Scoring plays

First quarter (Texas 7, Iowa State 3)

Texas: Ehlinger 7-yard run (Cameron Dicker kick, 8:50)

Iowa State: Connor Assalley 40-yard field goal, 4:47

Second quarter (Halftime — Texas 17, Iowa State 3)

Texas: Keaontay Ingram 19-yard pass from Ehlinger (Dicker kick, 9:53)

Texas: Dicker 22-yard field goal, :02

Big moments: First quarter

1. Anthony Wheeler looks like he’s taking his final home game seriously. He had two tackles on Iowa State’s opening drive, including a sack on third-and-9 to force a punt.

2. Collin Johnson left little doubts on his knee early. He had a high-pointed 35-yard catch on the sideline and a 13-yarder on the first drive.

3. Caden Sterns had a sack. The Cyclones still ended up with points on the drive (a field goal), but seeing Sterns active early was a positive sign. He’s had a couple of cool weeks since he was named a Thorpe Award semifinalist last month.

4. The first official review of the night went Texas’ way, reversing a 28-yard sideline catch by Butler.

Big moments: Second quarter

1. Chris Brown — Sterns’ backup — made the defensive play of the first half when he scooped a tipped pass off Landon Akers’ hands on a third-and-long. It was reviewed and held up, giving the Longhorns the ball at the Cyclones’ 36-yard line and already leading 14-3.

The great field position went for naught, however. The Horns couldn’t capitalize on the short field with points.

2. Speaking of which, Cameron Dicker missed a 28-yard field goal that would’ve given Texas a 17-3 lead with 5:53 left in the half.

3. Watson’s 39-yard run late in the quarter was Texas’ longest run of the season.

Texas, which won the opening coin toss, will get the ball to start the second half.

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