Keys to the game: Iowa State

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THROW MORE

Texas won its last two games by playing ground-and-pound football with the running game. But it might be time for the Longhorns to air it out. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jerrod Heard completed 10-of-15 passes for only 99 yards against Kansas State last week. Heard has thrown for just 813 yards and three touchdowns on the season. He’s typically made plays with his feet so far. Iowa State is ranked No. 8 in the Big 12 in pass defense, allowing 278.1 passing yards per game.  Yes, Texas has success with the run, but this is the chance to give Heard some chances to make plays through the air and put Iowa State away early.

 SCORE EARLY                                                                

Iowa State isn’t very good. In fact, it has the second-worst overall record of Big 12 teams — only Kansas’ 0-7 record is worse. Meanwhile, Texas is riding high after consecutive wins. The Longhorns can’t afford to come out flat against an inferior foe. Texas needs to make a statement early. Quick, early scores will do just that. This could be a potential trap game for Texas but getting off to a fast start could quell that.

TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS

The key is making sure this isn’t a trap game for the Longhorns. Texas wants to become bowl eligible, so it has to play up to par. The Cyclones are making a change at quarterback and a change at offensive coordinator. Remember when Texas did the same thing several weeks ago after a terrible loss to Notre Dame and then came out strong in its next game? The Longhorns have to come out strong again and make sure they establish themselves early.