Longhorns need to keep running ball well in this potential trap game

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Texas wins if...

...it doesn’t take a step back from the improvements they made in the Kansas State game. The defense tackled soundly and the offense got the running game going early, giving Texas a fighting chance for the first time since they played New Mexico State in the season opener. Iowa State ranks 116th nationally out of 123 FBS teams in total offense, so it won’t take any grand schemes for Greg Robinson’s crew to replicate their positive performance against the Wildcats. Keeping Cyclones quarterback Sam Richardson in the pocket will go a long way toward a Longhorn victory. The offense needs to stick to the same game plan that was so successful in their last contest. Get Jonathan Gray and Malcolm Brown rolling out of the backfield, allow Daje Johnson and the receiving corps to stretch the field, and it won’t matter that David Ash is missing another game. Texas wins if they can get to, or near, that magical five yards per carry number.

 

Texas loses if…

...it doesn’t take the Cyclones seriously. For a team that has suffered a couple unexpected wounds already this season, the Longhorns shouldn’t over look anyone, but doing it in Ames on Thursday could lead to a world of problems. The Cyclones are a problem at Jack Trice stadium, ending Oklahoma State’s undefeated season on a Thursday in 2011, keeping them out of the national championship game. They also knocked off a salty Baylor team at home in 2012, a team that has gone 8-1 in their last nine games since then. A quick start would help subdue what is sure to be a raucous crowd. If Texas blinks and lets Iowa State hang around, they’ll find themselves in a dog fight, and that isn’t conducive for a team needing to build some momentum with a second Big 12 win. Iowa State is by no means elite, but Paul Rhoads’ team will beat Texas if it doesn’t take the Cyclones seriously.