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Can Texas respond after Iowa State's Breece Hall walked the walk and talked the talk?

Texas defensive lineman Keondre Coburn believes that Breece Hall owes him a T-shirt.

Across the country this summer, a mall's worth of clothing lines were launched as collegiate athletes began to cash in on their names, images and likenesses. Hall, the star running back at Iowa State, began selling “Five Star Culture” T-shirts for $25.

Upon seeing Hall promote his shirt, Coburn tweeted that he wanted one. 2XL or 3XL, please. As of this Monday, however, Coburn was still waiting for a delivery from Ames.

"He still hasn't sent my shirt," Coburn said. "I'm still waiting for it."

Does Coburn really want one? Probably not. After all, that "Five Star Culture" phrase isn't just a marketing tool. Following Iowa State's 23-20 win in Austin last year, Hall took a verbal victory lap and declared that "it’s five-star culture vs. five-star players."

Iowa State  running back Breece Hall escapes Texas linebacker DeMarvion Overshown during the teams' matchup in 2019. Hall has rushed for a Big 12-best 985 yards on 179 carries this season.

Texas players didn't need reporters to remind them about Hall's comments this week. The Longhorns also weren't about to take the bait. UT running back Bijan Robinson — who talks regularly with a Cyclone counterpart he considers a friend — said it was in the past. Defensive lineman Moro Ojomo conceded that Hall can say what he wants in victory, but "we are going to try to have a better culture and play better this game."

"If that's how he feels, I can't get mad at him for saying that," Coburn said. "It is what it is. It don't hurt me. It's football at the end of the day. I get another chance to see him."

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Weighed down by a three-game losing streak, Texas (4-4, 2-3 Big 12) will head to Iowa State this weekend. Last year, Hall's short touchdown run with 1:25 left was the difference in the Cyclones' three-point win.

This season, Hall has rushed for a Big 12-best 985 yards on 179 carries. That rushing total ranks fifth nationally, and Hall owns an 18-yard lead over the seventh-place Robinson.

"Breece Hall is a great back," Coburn said. "He looks for your mistakes, I'll say that. He's really good at that. if you're not in your gap, if you're not in your hole, you're not winning your one-on-ones, he's going to take advantage of that."

In addition to 26 receptions, Hall has also recorded 13 touchdowns for the Cyclones (5-3, 3-2). He has scored at least once in each of Iowa State's games during the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

"He's kind of Steady Eddie," Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said. "You look up and there's 100-plus yards, there's another touchdown. I think the guy's scored a touchdown in 20 or 21 straight games, which is a phenomenal stat to have."

Texas is allowing 206.5 rushing yards per game. Only 10 FBS-level teams — and one Big 12 school — are giving up more yards on the ground. In each of the four games that Texas played in October, it gave up an individual 100-yard rushing performance: 

  • TCU's Zach Evans (Oct. 2): 15-133, TD
  • Oklahoma's Kennedy Brooks (Oct. 9): 25-217, 2 TDs
  • Oklahoma State's Jaylen Warren (Oct. 16): 33-193
  • Baylor's Abram Smith (Oct. 30): 21-145, TD

Texas last allowed a 100-yard rusher in four consecutive games during a stretch against UTEP, Cal, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma in 2016. The Longhorns were similarly run over in 2010 during four straight games against Iowa State, Baylor, Kansas State and Oklahoma State.

"To be honest, if I knew exactly what the problem was, the coaches would know and it'd probably be fixed right now," Texas linebacker DeMarvion Overshown said. "We know teams are going to run the ball on us. I'd run on us too if the teams were averaging 200 rushing yards."

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The next challenge for Texas is the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Hall, who is the Big 12's reigning offensive player of the year. Last year against Texas, Hall ran for 91 yards on 20 carries. During Iowa State's 23-21 conquest in 2019, Hall out-rushed Texas by a tally of 101-54.

On Monday, Sarkisian was quick to point out that Iowa State has other offensive playmakers. Brock Purdy either owns or shares 31 school records and he is the Cyclones' all-time winningest quarterback. Tight end Charlie Kolar is an All-American. Two of Iowa State's receivers have recorded a 50-yard catch this season.

Make no mistake, though. As Sarkisian put it, "It starts with Breece."

"It's the effectiveness and the versatility that he has," Sarksian said. "He's an inside runner, he's an outside runner and they utilize him in the passing game really well."