There were 146 snaps taken in Texas’ 24-0 loss at Iowa State on Saturday.
Here are five that ended up making a big difference.
1. Slide begins with a slip
Making his first start, freshman cornerback Davante Davis was for the most part solid with five tackles and three pass breakups. But in the first quarter he slipped on the wet track at Jack Trice Stadium and fell in coverage. Dondre Daley ran a short curl and blew by Davis on the ground for a 20-yard gain to the 3-yard line. The next play ISU went up 7-0 on a run by freshman Mike Warren.
2. ISU’s 18 wheels
It didn’t result in points, but it was nonetheless deflating when ISU QB Joel Lanning got loose for 18 yards on third-and-10. Lanning, making his first start, was pinned in the backfield but eluded Malik Jefferson and Naashon Hughes and took off up the left sideline. Warren threw a nice block on Holton Hill to complete the play. The 13-play drive ended without points, but with plenty of fatigue for a defense that would be on the field for a whopping 92 snaps. On the day, ISU converted 15 of 24 third downs.
3. Pick your choice
With receivers blanketed and rushers converging, Jerrod Heard was confronted with either throwing the ball away or forcing a pass on third down. He chose the latter, but instead of it being caught by Caleb Bluiett, it was picked off by Jordan Harris at ISU’s 47. It was the first turnover by the Longhorns since Daje Johnson’s fumble to open the TCU game. Had Heard went with the safer option, punter Michael Dickson, who was by far Texas’ player of the game, might’ve pinned the Cyclones deep near their end zone.
4. Lazar close
Another long drive for the defense — 16 plays, 46 yards — happened when Allen Lazard beat Duke Thomas’ coverage on fourth-and-3 before halftime. Thomas was a step behind, and Lazard won the race to the sideline on a rollout pass from Joel Lanning. The Cyclones grinded out a short field goal, and entered halftime up 10-0.
5. A microcosm
FS1’s Spencer Tillman said it best after Tyrone Swoopes missed Daje Johnson, wide open, on a deep ball down the sideline: “That’s the play that defines why this Texas team has struggled so much.” Had it counted, it would’ve been a 27-yard pick up, but Swoopes’ errant throw led Johnson off the field of play. At the time, Texas was trailing 17-0 midway through the fourth quarter, so in the end, the miscue mattered little. But the optics of it were bad and leave Texas without a surefire quarterback heading into this week’s Kansas game.