QB Sam Richardson (Sr.)
Cyclones’ starting quarterback Sam Richardson has taken all but one snap for the team this season, making him perhaps the most important player to watch on this Iowa State offense. Richardson is an experienced signal-caller who has passed for 757 yards and seven touchdowns in three games this season. He has completed 62.5 percent of his passes this season and is averaging 252.3 passing yards per game which accounts for over half of the Cyclones production every contest. The Longhorns should get pressure in the backfield with their defensive line but beware of Richardson’s scrambling ability as he has rushed for 111 yards on 43 carries. He’s a tall and athletic quarterback who makes plays from the pocket and scrambling with the football and Texas needs to focus all its attention on him when the Cyclones have the football.
DB Jacques Washington (Sr.)
Washington is the leading tackler on the Iowa State defense despite being its best defensive back so far this season. He has recorded 31 tackles and broken up one pass. Washington is a big player on the back line of the Cyclones defense and finds the football and doesn’t miss many tackles when he gets the chance to hit someone. Texas should be able to hold him at bay by running the football away from Washington to set up passes when the defense is off balance. Iowa State ranks No. 66 in points allowed per game this season while the Longhorns are No. 57 in points scored per game. The game should be even from a production standpoint but Texas will need to marginalize Washington to be able to attack the defense more efficiently.
WR Quenton Bundrage (So.)
Although Bundrage has had an average season so far, his big game came against Iowa, the best team the Cyclones have played this season. Bundrage has hauled in 13 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns this season, with 146 of those yards and all three touchdowns coming against the Hawkeyes in Week 2. Bunrage is a tall receiver who could exploit the Longhorns defense deep if they get on their heels. He’s not a particularly speedy guy but he makes the most of his opportunities as evidenced by him averaging 14.3 yards per catch this year. He has almost equaled his production from all of last season and could have a big game against Texas like Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett (13 catches, 237 yards).