Texas kept their Big 12 title hopes alive by a thread last week with a close win against Kansas State. With three conference games remaining, the Longhorns will likely need to win out to make the conference championship game. This week, they face an Iowa State coming off a heartbreaking loss to Oklahoma. Let’s take a look at what to expect from the Cyclones offense:
Brock Purdy remains at the helm for the Cyclones after an impressive freshman season once he took over as the starter. Purdy currently leads the Big 12 in passing yards and has also added 7 rushing touchdowns. It was surprising to see Skylar Thompson not have more designed runs last Saturday, but Matt Campbell will surely test the soundness of the Texas defense by letting Purdy loose on a few runs.
As a passer, Purdy is accurate and has done a nice job of spreading the ball around to his weapons on the outside.
It has become increasingly obvious that the most talented back on the Cyclone’s roster is freshman Breece Hall. Hall leads the team in carries 99 for 585 yards and 7 touchdowns. He had 110 yards rushing last week against Oklahoma and has gone over 100 yards in 3 of his last 4 games.
Wide Receiver/Tight end
Iowa State has perhaps the most underrated receiving unit in the Big 12. Leading receiver Deshaunte Jones has 56 receptions and is very dangerous in space. Texas can not afford to let him operate with grass in front of him in the screen game. Tarique Milton is averaging over 20 yards per reception and also is extremely dangerous in the return game.
The biggest mismatch for Iowa State will look to exploit is TE Charlie Kolar going up against what has been shaky linebacker play at best for Texas. The Longhorns have not dealt with a true all-around threat at tight end all season aside from Thaddeus Moss with LSU. Kolar leads the Cyclones in receiving TD’s with 6 and he may be the player that is causing Todd Orlando to lose sleep this week.
Last week, Texas faced 5 redshirt senior starters along the offensive line for Kansas State. This week, it will be 4 redshirt senior starters. Right tackle Bryce Meeker and left tackle Julian Good-Jones are both impressive players who move well. As has become a staple at Iowa State since Matt Campbell took over, the Cyclones are physical at the point of attack and force defensive linemen to work hard.
The argument could be made for Brock Purdy to be considered one of the best passing quarterbacks in the Big 12. Texas has shown in previous weeks they can find ways to slow down an opposing teams rushing attack, but they have yet to find an answer on slowing down teams through the air. One week is unlikely to change anything, but if Texas is able to get a turnover or two and slow down Hall on the ground, it may be enough to squeak out a win in Ames.
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