Third and Longhorns: Inside Texas 17, Iowa State 7

Posted September 29th, 2017


A deeper look inside Texas’ 17-7 win at Iowa State:

Why Texas (2-2, 1-0) won

This may be more of an indicative loss for Iowa State than any sort of statement win for the Longhorns. It was a 14-0 game at halftime but it felt like it should’ve been a wider margin. Shane Buechele was fine, not great, in his first game back. If you thought Texas would rededicate itself to the running game, we didn’t really get that. The Horns had issues sustaining drives and didn’t play with the same energy and intensity that they did against USC, but at least the defense showed up for the third straight game. Another good night for the secondary and the pass rush.

Why Iowa State (2-2, 0-1) lost

It was a long night for Jacob Park, who was picked off three, missed a couple of receivers with high throws and looked rattled most of the night. Texas’ defensive line controlled things and was constantly pressured. Key defensive penalties plagued the Cyclones in the first half and Park’s miscues hurt in the second. Two key instant replay reviews went against the Cyclones — one wiped out a fumble recovery at UT’s 19, the other took away a defensive touchdown. Top receiving threat Allen Lazard was neutralized, Park was sacked four times, the Cyclones committed three turnovers and were only 3 of 12 on third downs and 0 for 2 on fourth downs.


The Eyes of Texas

The Longhorns kept their eyes on three specific Cyclones — Park, whose 66.7 completion percentage ranked 23rd nationally and who had thrown only two interceptions in 114 pass attempts; Lazard, Park’s top target who had scored three touchdowns in the first three games and ranked 25th nationally averaging 6.3 catches per game; and linebacker Marcel Spears Jr., the Cyclones’ leading tackler who’d forced two fumbles.

How did they do?

Park was 24 of 48 for 246 yards and a touchdown. He threw three interceptions and was sacked four times.

Lazard led the team with five catches for 63 yards. He was targeted 13 times.

Spears was second on the team with 14 tackles.

Texas running back Toneil Carter (30) runs through a tackle attempt by Iowa State linebacker Marcel Spears Jr. (42) during the second half of their NCAA college football game at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IA on Thursday, September 28, 2017. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Game balls


Toneil Carter: The freshman running back had his busiest game yet as a Longhorn and scored on a 22-yard touchdown catch. Everybody was talking about Chris Warren III and Kyle Porter, but Carter provided some punch and spark.

Joshua Rowland: Seeing him nail a 49-yarder makes those first two games seem further and further away.


DeShon Elliott: Two picks, a sack, a tackle for loss, a pass breakup and ended up tied for second in tackles.

Naashon Hughes: Two tipped passes along with a sack and a tackle for loss.

Plays of the game

Offensive play of the game: Buechele stood strong in the pocket and beat an Iowa State blitz with a perfectly thrown 22-yard touchdown pass to freshman running back Toneil Carter for a 14-0 second-quarter lead. It was the first touchdown catch of Carter’s career.

Defensive play of the game: Junior linebacker Malik Jefferson came free and sacked Park on a fourth-and-4 play for a 14-yard loss early in the fourth quarter, thwarting a Cyclones drive. Jefferson’s first sack of the year kept the Horns safely in front.
Texas defensive back DeShon Elliott picks the ball off and looks for room to run against Iowa State offense during the NCAA college football game at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IA on Thursday, September 28, 2017. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

This and that


1. DeShon Elliott played the most complete game of his career. The junior safety snagged two interceptions — he has four on the season — and added a sack and a great pass breakup in the end zone.

2. Michael Dickson added to his reputation as one of the premier punters in college football with punts of 61 and 60 yards.

3. Kicker Joshua Rowland can never question his coaches’ confidence in him because they’re arguably the only staff in the country that would have allowed him to attempt a 49-yarder given his previous struggles. But he banged one home with room to spare early in the fourth quarter.


1. Texas had Iowa State on its heels after a pair of big runs from Chris Warren III, but a late first-quarter drive ended in Iowa State territory on a botched trick play involving Warren pitching to Armanti Foreman. Iowa State recovered the fumble.

2. Even the great Dickson can flub one every now and then. He shanked a 17-yard punt in the third quarter, setting up a short field for Iowa State’s lone touchdown, an 11-yard pass from Jacob Park to Matthew Eaton.

3. In an otherwise pretty clean game, Buechele was picked off when he threw into double coverage on a third-quarter scramble. He has thrown only two interceptions in 78 passes this season.

Texas quarterback Shane Buechele (7)fights for yardage against Iowa State during the NCAA college football game at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IA on Thursday, September 28, 2017. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN


Texas improved to 13-2 all-time against Iowa State, 6-1 in games played in Ames, and 17-5 in Big 12 openers. … Tom Herman’s career winning percentage improved to .800. … The Longhorns allowed less than 100 rushing yards for the third straight game; Iowa State finished with 10 yards on 15 carries. It’s also the third straight game that Texas has held its opponent under its season average. The Cyclones averaged 41.3 points a game heading into Thursday. … Running back Toneil Carter and right tackle Derek Kerstetter both made their first career starts, and it was Kerstetter’s first game. … Chris Warren III’s first-quarter touchdown run was the 10th of his career. … Rowland’s 49-yard field goal was Texas’ longest since Nick Rose had a 53-yarder at Baylor on the final game of the 2015 season.

On deck: Kansas State

Oct. 7, Royal-Memorial Stadium (6 p.m., Fox Sports 1)

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