1. Chris Warren gets his carries, but the running game is still struggling
It become obvious during the first drive that Tom Herman and Tim Beck were not going to let Chris Warren go virtually unused for the second straight game. Warren carried the ball 16 times for 48 yards and added 2 catches for 23 yards. Outside of Warren, the running game struggled again. Toneil Carter needs to see more carries going forward. I will give credit to Kyle Porter, who gained the tough yards in the 4th quarter when Texas ran out the clock. Going forward, the Texas offense is going to continue to struggle scoring if they are this one-dimensional.
2. The lack of offensive execution
I have defended Tim Beck and the offense through the first 3 games of the year, but Texas can not continue to show the type of offensive performances they have the past 2 games. Against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and West Virginia, the Texas defense is going to allow points. The offense has to find a way to string together drives. I am not entirely sure if inserting Sam Ehlinger is the answer. Right now, the quarterback is not in a position to succeed in the Texas offense.
3. The Offensive Line
Despite Iowa State rushing 3 and dropping 8 back most of the night, I was underwhelmed with the performance of the offensive line. Tristan Nickelson and Derek Kerstetter committed numerous holding penalties, and Nickelson in particular struggled mightily. Texas simply has to scrap all runs in the playbook that go outside the tackle to the left side because nearly every time it results in either a negative play or a hold called on the LT. There were a few positives I took away, too. Aside from the second half penalties, freshman Derek Kerstetter played very well and gives the Longhorns something they can work with at right tackle. At this point of the season the offensive line is average, and they played that way against Iowa State.
The amount of penalties committed by the Longhorns is alarming. The worst part is that many of these penalties are happening 5-10 yards away from the play. In particular, the penalties on special teams need to corrected quickly. Fans can talk about the offensive play-calling all they want, but it’s hard to call plays when there is a holding or false start penalty seemingly every other play. Texas was lucky to escape with a road win after committing 10 penalties.
5. DeShon Elliott shines again
I think it is safe to say that DeShon Elliott has turned the corner. The junior had 2 more interceptions tonight and a sack. He also played excellent against the run. Elliott is playing at an all-conference level right now, and is one of the main reasons the Texas defense is playing as well as they are. There is no doubt that this is the player that fans were expecting the past 2 years.