Revisiting our five pregame questions that were facing the Longhorns ahead of Saturday night’s 24-10 win over Iowa State.
Here’s how they played out:
1. Did Texas have to worry about Iowa State’s run game before halftime?
The Cyclones had to go without David Montgomery for the first half, and it made a real difference; the conference’s second-leading rusher was ejected in the third quarter of last week’s win over Baylor for fighting. Heading into the game, Iowa State’s other running backs were averaging 3.1 yards per carry. Without Montgomery, the Cyclones averaged 3.5 in the first half. The Longhorns, who have still allowed only one 100-yard rusher this season, were tough against the run — Montgomery ended up with 33 yards on 10 carries with a long run of 8 yards, and Iowa State averaged 2.1 yards per carry for the game.
2. Did someone make the Biletnikoff Award committee think twice?
Four Big 12 receivers made the national list of 11 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff, given to college football’s best receiver. But three notable conference wideouts playing in tonight’s game didn’t make the cut. Texas’ Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson and Iowa State’s Hakeem Butler all had nice nights, though not spectacular ones. Humphrey had one of the biggest plays on his 27-yard touchdown made possible by breaking a tackle after the catch. He finished with seven catches for 86 yards and the one score. Johnson had two grabs on Texas’ first drive but made only one more the rest of the game; he finished with three catches for 55 yards. And Butler had six grabs for 99 yards.
3. Did Texas field a healthy secondary?
The Longhorns did have Davante Davis (ankle and knee) and Caden Sterns (head) after both left last week’s game in Lubbock. But Brandon Jones missed another game with a bad ankle and Josh Thompson didn’t play because of his own ankle injury. Thompson had already been ruled out, but Jones was considered questionable. Sterns (5 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL), Kris Boyd (5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 breakup and 1 hurry) and B.J Foster (5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL) all played well, as did Davante Davis, who was charged with covering Butler for most of the game. The last three quarterbacks Texas had faced each topped 300 passing yards; Brock Purdy and Kyle Kempt combined for 148.
4. Did the offensive line keep Sam Ehlinger upright?
Ehinger was sacked three times. He had eight runs, with his final carry ending up quite costly — a 13-yard gain up the middle to Iowa State’s 5-yard line with seven seconds left in the first half. But Greg Eisworth’s big hit caused a fumble (which Ehlinger recovered) and knocked the Texas quarterback out of the game with a shoulder injury. Ehlinger was sacked five times last week.
5. Which seniors stood out in their final home game?
Six — Tre Watson, Gary Johnson, Kris Boyd, Anthony Wheeler, Davante Davis and Charles Omenihu.
Saturday was UT’s final home game, so 26 seniors were recognized beforehand. Watson had 93 rushing yards, including a 39-yarder that’s Texas’ longest run of the season. Johnson led the team in tackles and had a sack. Boyd had a tackle for loss, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry. Wheeler was active throughout and had a sack and tackle for loss. Davis contained Butler and Omenihu recovered a late Cyclones fumble.