Another second half collapse dooms Texas against Iowa State, its fourth straight loss
Ho hum: Another Texas lead at halftime, another Texas collapse in the second half.
And another loss — Texas' fourth straight, a 30-7 duck laid in Ames to Iowa State on Saturday night that was lowlighted by a quarterback change, Bijan Robinson getting outshined by Breece Hall, more issues with the offensive line and injuries to the Longhorns' best offensive (Robinson) and defensive (DeMarvion Overshown) player.
The Longhorns now are stressing out about just making a bowl game. To get to that six-win barrier, Texas (4-5, 2-4 Big 12) needs to scratch together two more wins against Kansas, West Virginia and Kansas State. The Longhorns will be favored against the Jayhawks, but what about the Mountaineers and Wildcats?
Hudson Card started the season but was replaced by Casey Thompson after the second game. Thompson started Saturday night's game in Ames but was replaced by Card near the end of the first quarter. Card hardly impressed with his second chance. Breece Hall and Bijan Robinson both topped 1,000 yards for the season, but it was Hall who clearly had the bigger night. There were more issues with the offensive line, a couple of injuries on the defensive line and
The defense held tough for a half, giving us a tough stand inside the 10, a fourth-down stop, a fumble recovery and holding Hall in check. Texas held Iowa State to just a field goal through the first two quarters.
But, of course, there's always a second half to play, and this season, closing games after holding leads has been a big ask.
• Against Oklahoma, Texas led the Sooners 28-7 at one point. OU won 55-48.
•,Against Oklahoma State, Texas was up 17-3 at one point. The Cowboys won 32-24.
• Against Baylor, Texas led 21-10 heading into the fourth quarter. The Bears won 31-24.
• And Saturday night, the Longhorns led 7-3 at halftime and were outscored 21-0 in the third quarter. And they gave up 27 unanswered points.
Takeaways from tonight's loss:
Is it basketball season yet?
Because we can officially stick a fork in Texas' football season. Steve Sarkisian's first year will go down as a woulda, coulda, shoulda debut season. There was the flash start in the opener against Louisiana, followed by the embarrassment in Fayetteville, which led to the quarterback change that sparked a brief renaissance against Rice, Texas Tech and TCU — and then, starting with the second half against Oklahoma, one collapse after another.
The Longhorns are now 4-5, threatening to plunge us into 2010 territory when Texas went 5-7 one season after playing for a national championship.
(Oh, and basketball season starts on Tuesday. No 5 Texas, with new coach Chris Beard and seven new transfer players, open at home against Houston Baptist.)
This quarterback change didn't move the needle
It came as no surprise that Thompson was lifted for Card — Texas looked disinterested on offense early — but the redshirt freshman didn't do anything with his second chance, either.
He did lead Texas to a scoring drive in the second quarter, but other than that, this was an ugly night for Sarkisian's offense. For the night, Texas' drives went like this: lost fumble, punt, punt, punt, punt, touchdown, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, lost fumble, punt.
Who'll get the start next week? (And will it make a difference?)
It was a rough night for Bijan Robinson
It was a rough night for all the Longhorns, actually. But Texas' best player was outplayed by Hall, his Iowa State counterpart, and he also lost two fumbles, didn't crack 100 yards and was injured not once, but twice.
He finished with 90 rushing yards and led the team in receiving with eight catches for 36 yards. He caught every pass that was thrown to him. But he failed to crack the end zone, ending his scoring streak that dated back to last season.
Question: Why was Robinson even still playing in a 27-7 game in the fourth quarter?
Up next for Texas
Kansas. And that's a good thing, as the Longhorns need two more wins out of the closing trio of Kansas, West Virginia and Kansas State to make a bowl game. Throwing out the 2016 shocker in Lawrence that led to Charlie Strong's ouster, Texas has pretty much manhandled the Jayhawks.
We think Texas will be favored. Heck, the Longhorns might even win. But at this point, who knows?
Kickoff time and TV information for next Saturday haven't been announced yet.
Injuries: DE Alfred Collins and DT T'Vondre Sweat were shaken up on back-to-back plays in the third quarter, which also saw Robinson leave after getting tackled following a catch. He went into the medical tent but came back in the fourth quarter when it was a 27-7 game — and then was injured again. And LB DeMarvion Overshown was shaken up early in the fourth quarter with a right leg or knee injury. He was helped off. ... In the first half, Texas outrushed the Cyclones 82-40 but were outthrown 140-44 and outgained in total yards 180-126 and also lost the time of possession battle. ... Thompson's final numbers: 2 of 6 for 2 yards; Card's: 14 of 23 for 101 yards, one touchdown. ... Texas finished with only 207 yards of offense.
How the scoring went:
1st quarter: Iowa State 3, Texas 0
Iowa State: Andrew Mevis' 24-yard field goal put the Cyclones on top early, but Texas couldn't have been too upset — the Longhorns stiffened on first-and-goal from the 10.
2nd quarter: Halftime — Texas 7, Iowa State 3
Texas: Xavier Worthy "caught" a 4-yard "pass" from Hudson Card, one of those pitches as the freshman crossed the line of scrimmage in motion. It came on third-and-goal, too, and put Texas up 7-3.
3rd quarter: Iowa State 24, Texas 7
Iowa State: It took a half for Breece Hall to wake up, but his weaving 47-yard touchdown run on the first drive of the third quarter put the Cyclones back on top, 10-7.
Iowa State: Xavier Hutchinson is one of the Big 12's top receivers, but he delivered a dagger on a trick-play pass of 49 yards to a wide-open Tarique Milton for a touchdown. The awkward, wobbly pass wasn't pretty, but it did put the Cyclones up 17-7 with 7:10 left in the quarter.
Iowa State: Hall's 2-yard touchdown run made this a 24-7 game, and it tied Hall with Cedric Benson for fourth place on the Big 12's career multiple-touchdowns list (18), and only one behind the 19 multiple-TD games of Ricky Williams and DeMarco Murray and just two from the record-holder, Texas Tech's Taurean Henderson (20).
4th quarter: Final — Iowa State 30, Texas 7
Iowa State: Mevis' 29-yard field goal made it 27-7. It also was his 10th straight made field goal.
Iowa State: Make it 11 straight. Mevis was good on another kick, this one from 51 yards out. Like his first field goal of the night, it was made possible by a lost Robinson fumble.