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Texas vs. Iowa State: Our 5 pregame questions facing the Longhorns — answered

Hookem
Texas running back Bijan Robinson fights for yardage during Saturday's 30-7 loss to Iowa State. Robinson was held to 90 yards in the game and fumbled twice.

Before Saturday night's 30-7 loss at Iowa State, we asked five questions facing Texas. Here's how they played out:

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Did Texas start off hot again?

No.

That's a break from tradition. But true to form, the Longhorns did go cold in the second half again. Texas had produced points off is opening drive in six straight games until Saturday night, when the first drive lasted all of two plays and ended with a Bijan Robinson fumble. The Longhorns had outscored teams by a whopping 102-40 margin in the opening quarter, but were blanked 3-0 in Ames.

Did Bijan Robinson bounce back?

No.

In fact, things went from bad (43 rushing yards against Baylor) to worse (90 yards, but left with an injury — twice. Iowa State has the Big 12's second-toughest rushing defense and it showed. Robinson got 26 touches (18 carries and eight catches) and caught as many passes as all the other Longhorns combined, but he also lost two fumbles, failed to finish with 100 yards and fumbled twice, both times setting up Cyclones scoring drives, and saw the end of his scoring streak that stretched back to last year. On the plus side, Robinson did go over 1,000 yards for the season in the loss; he now has 1,057.

What did Texas get out of Joshua Moore?

Two catches for 32 yards.

It was a long week for Moore, who was suspended for the 2019 season, then led Texas in receiving in 2020 and apparently has fallen out of favor with the new coaching staff in 2021. Moore's problems in Waco were bad enough — some costly drops and one critical fumble against Baylor — but then reports surfaced during the middle of the week that he had a confrontation with head coach Steve Sarkisian. The Longhorns turned to Kelvontay Dixon on Saturday. Still, Moore did make the catch of the night, a 24-yarder across the middle. 

How did Texas fare against Iowa State's tight ends?

Fairly well.

Considering what Charlie Kolar and Chase Allen can do to opposing defenses, Texas held Iowa State's two tight ends relatively in check: Kolar was targeted 11 times but caught only five for 72 yards, and Allen had three catches for 23. Kolar, a two-time All-American, is Iowa State's second-leading receiver and Allen was averaging nearly 12 yards a catch. Josh Thompson broke up a pass to Kolar in the end zone in the first quarter. Texas hasn't allowed a receiving touchdown by a touchdown since the 2020 Oklahoma game. That's 15 games.

Did the Longhorns wilt again on the road?

Absolutely.

The passing game misfired and it led to a quarterback change. The running game averaged only three yards a carry. Robinson was held to below 100 yards and was hurt. So was DeMarvion Overshown. And Alfred Collins. And T'Vondre Sweat. The Longhorns lost their fourth straight game, a streak of hot-and-cold performances marked by hot starts and then notable second-half collapses. In Ames, Texas again held a halftime lead but was outscored 27-0 over the final two quarters.

Richard Tijerina