Our staff takes on Saturday’s Texas-Iowa State matchup:
Brian Davis: The difference between good and bad teams
Good teams win games like these. Good teams beat 2-5 teams that may be headed toward a coaching change. To me, that’s what Halloween night is all about. We’re going to see if Texas truly is becoming a good team. Good teams establish their presence on the line of scrimmage. Good teams execute offensively. Good teams punch bad teams in the mouth. This Texas team isn’t going to blow anybody out, considering its conservative play-calling and overall structure. But that doesn’t mean it can’t beat bad teams. It’s my belief the Horns are transforming into a good team. They need to show it at Jack Trice Stadium.
Kirk Bohls: This has the makings of a dangerous game for UT
This has all the makings of a trap game, but when you’re 3-4, aren’t they all trap games? Maybe, but this matchup looks particularly dangerous because Iowa State is breaking in a new offensive coordinator, Paul Rhoads may be fighting for his job security and Cyclones fans are still peeved about the last Longhorns trip to Ames, when a Johnathan Gray fumble at the goal line was not ruled a fumble. Regardless, Texas is on full alert but shouldn’t be caught unaware and will hang on for a 31-28 win.
Cedric Golden: History says Texas can’t be sleepy on Saturday
Four years ago, second-ranked Oklahoma State traveled to Ames to face a 5-4 Iowa State team on a Friday night. The unbeaten Cowboys only needed to beat Iowa State and rival Oklahoma the following week to secure a spot in the BCS title game. Didn’t happen. The Cyclones, who were 27-point underdogs, overcame a 17-point deficit to win in two overtimes. Texas isn’t nearly as good as that Oklahoma State team, and the Cyclones aren’t nearly as good as their 2011 predecessors, but the message is simple: The Horns will lose if they go into Ames half-stepping. This is why they play the games.
Ryan Autullo: This 2015 season is shaping up like 2014
As November approaches, 2015 is shaping up to be like 2014. In both seasons, Texas started 2-4, looked hopeless, and then began climbing to bowl eligibility. It says here that the Longhorns will get to six wins again, although losing to Iowa State would dampen the likelihood of doing so. In College Station, the Aggies, like UT, are trending the same way they did last season — folding after a strong start. The old rivals will collide somewhere in the middle, and if we’re lucky, it’ll be in a bowl game.