Texas mascot Bevo on the sideline in the first half of a Big 12 Conference football game at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

Football

The Eyes of Texas: Four players to watch in Saturday’s Longhorns-Cyclones game

Posted November 15th, 2019

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The 19th-ranked Longhorns travel to Iowa State on Saturday (2:30 p.m., FS1). The eyes of Texas will be upon …

Justin Bickham, Iowa State safety

Bickham, who’s from Pflugerville, played 34 games at Rice before moving to Ames as a graduate transfer. He has started seven times for Iowa State. Bickham has 24 pass breakups in his career but is still looking for his first interception with the Cyclones. He has 24 tackles for a defense that ranks fifth in the Big 12 against the pass (231.3 yards per game).

Deshaunte Jones, Iowa State receiver

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Iowa State has had a run of good receivers — Allen Lazard and Hakeem Butler are now in the NFL — and Jones is continuing that trend. Over nine games, he’s hauled in 56 passes. He has had monster games against Northern Iowa (14 catches, 126 yards) and TCU (10, 110). Oddly enough, his only touchdown was an 84-yard score. He and San Jose State’s Tre Walker are the only players in the country with at least 55 catches and fewer than two touchdowns.

Juwan Mitchell, Texas linebacker

Mitchell, a sophomore who joined the Longhorns as a junior college signee, had a reserve role for the first month of the season. But over Texas’ last five games, he has four starts and is leading the team with three sacks. He has 28 tackles, which rank among the top five on the team, along with two pass breakups and two quarterback hurries.

Denzel Okafor, Texas offensive lineman

With right guard Junior Angilau (knee) out and Derek Kerstetter able to play multiple positions on the offensive line, Okafor is expected to be UT’s right tackle this weekend. The 6-foot-4, 310-pound junior from Lewisville started four times as a sophomore. But he fell behind on the depth chart and redshirted last season. He had extensive playing following Angilau’s injury last week, and Texas averaged 7.7 yards per carry in the second half.

 

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