AUSTIN — Â Texas ran their opening play out of the Wishbone formation in honor of Darrell K Royal. Â Then they did something Coach Royal never did. Ran a double-pass to the tight end for a 46-yard gain.
It would be a fitting tribute as the Texas Longhorns defeated the Iowa State Cyclones 33-7 at DKR Memorial Stadium on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Austin. Texas moves to 8-2 and 4-2 in Big 12 play with a week off before facing TCU in their home finale on Thanksgiving night.
David Ash looked fabulous starting 11-for-11, mixing in long strikes to Jaxson Shipley and Mike Davis. He finished 25-for-31, 364 yards passing and two touchdowns. Â Shipley had 137 yards on eight grabs and Davis added 113 yards from seven catches and a score.
Ash has continually progressed week to week, especially after his lack-luster effort at Kansas three weeks ago. His follow-through, his feet, and overall mechanics are been near flawless. But its his confidence that you notice more than anything.
The key was the balance in play-calling by Texas co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin in gathering 609 total yards for the Horns. Mack Brown coached teams move to 76-2 when they rush for over 200 yards.
The Longhorns defense played it’s best game of the year. They held ISU to Â 277 yards, while Carrington Byndom and Josh Turner had interceptions.Â Iowa State had three other drives push inside the Texas 40 in the first half, but they ended in a punt, an interception and a missed field goal.
Royal coached Texas to national championships in 1963 and 1969, a share of a third in 1970, and won 11 Southwest Conference titles. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983. Flags flew at half-staff inside the stadium that bears his name and Royals’ “DKR” initials were on burnt-orange logos at midfield and on the Texas players’ helmets. Brown said the intials will stay on the field for the remainder of the year.
A Daje Johnson scamper set up a Johnathan Gray five-yard touchdown jaunt at the 4:34 mark in the first, giving Texas the early 7-0 lead. Gray totaled 74 yards on the day with two touchdowns.
David Ash with a 61-yard touchdown strike to Davis at 3:23 in the opening stanza, and a 14-0 advantage.
Ash hit tight end Barrett Matthews for a three-yard touchdown catch with 2:53 left in the first half but Iowa State quickly answered when Steele Janz hit Quenton Bunrage for a 14-yard touchdown catch right before the half trimming the margin to 20-7. Jantz was 15-for-29 for 133 yards with one touchdown and two picks.
Nick Â Jordan would hit field goals of 37- and 25- yards in the second half, taking over for Penn State transfer Anthony Fera, who has been nothing short of a failure.
Gray added a 13-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter essentially squashing any notion of a Iowa State upset on a day Texas remembered Royal.