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Staff Predictions: Texas vs. Iowa State

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The #21 Texas Longhorns (5-2, 4-2) will host the league-leading #15 Iowa State Cyclones (6-2, 6-1) at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium after a three week break from play.  The matchup has significant implications in each team’s quest to appear in the Big 12 Championship game, with both programs controlling their own destiny.

Tom Herman is 2-1 against the Cyclones as head coach at Texas, and the Longhorns are 8-1 against Iowa State at DKR.  Texas needs a win on Black Friday to remain in contention for a Big 12 title, but can they beat an Iowa State team that appears to be playing their best football of the season?

The HornSports staff weighs in with their thoughts.

Devon Messinger

After essentially two bye weeks, the Longhorns should be as healthy as they have been in quite some time. However, they will face a talented Iowa State team, led by quarterback Brock Purdy, who has the Cyclones rolling at the top of the Big 12. Nonetheless, the winner of this contest will likely be heading to the Big 12 Conference Championship game.

The key to Friday’s game will be Texas’s defensive front. Can the Longhorns stop the Big 12’s leading rusher, Breece Hall, and pressure Purdy into making poor throws? On the other side of the ball, Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger will have to shake off the rust. Thankfully for Ehlinger, several previously injured offensive weapons will be back in action.

Score Prediction: Texas 27, Iowa State 24

TFloss32

This one is simple; win and you are very close to a conference championship appearance, lose and Tom Herman’s time at Texas has one foot in the grave. With it being almost three weeks since Texas has seen the field, a decent amount of rust is to be expected. Texas’ defense has to continue to defend the run game well as Brock Purdy and Breece Hall can chew up yards in the ground game quickly. Texas’ offense needs to continue taking care of the ball despite its inconsistencies all year. As much as I want to pick the home team on a winning streak, I expect it to be a Black Friday with the Cyclones leaving Austin victorious after a close contest.

Score Prediction: ISU 34, Texas 27.

Tristan Larsen

It’s Friday night lights in Texas, for high school and college, as Texas takes on Iowa State. This game is critical to the Longhorns’ Big-12 title game chances as it is currently a four way battle between both Oklahoma schools, Iowa State, and Texas. Tom Herman is an incredible 7-1 after a bye or week off in his Longhorns career. Iowa State is one of the better rush offenses in the Big-12 as they run for over 200 yards a game. Texas on the other hand is a top 10 team nationally at stopping the run in their last three games as they have only given up 79 yards per game on the ground in that span. This is also a matchup between two of the better quarterbacks in the Big-12 with Ehlinger going up against Brock Purdy. Both offenses are lethal as they both average 437 yards per game while Texas is putting up 40 points per game to Iowa State’s 34. In the end, in a must-win contest for Herman and company, I’m taking the home team and the more experienced unit to find a way to win. It’s a game Texas has to have on Friday, they’ll get it done.

Score Prediction: Texas 27, Iowa State 26

Jameson McCausland

On paper, this is a very even game. Longhorn fans have to feel confident with how the Texas defense has been performing, but also have to be equally concerned with the inconsistency being displayed on offense. Iowa State has one of the best defenses in the Big 12 and is particularly strong defending the run, which is where Texas has had their fair share of struggles this year.

In my opinion, the game will come down to how Texas defends Iowa State’s tight ends. Charlie Kolar and Chase Allen are the real deal. If the Texas linebackers and safeties can slow them down, I think Texas is able to secure a win on senior day. I am fairly confident the Longhorns will find a way to do enough on offense, particularly in the passing game where Texas likely made some adjustments over the last 20 days since their last game.

Score Prediction:  Texas 28, Iowa State 21

Aaron Carrara

It feels like an eternity since the Longhorns have played and you have to wonder if they will be a little rusty on Friday?  The good news is the team is the healthiest they have been in some time which will benefit them moving forward. The Cyclones are a well-rounded football team, but I think Texas has turned the corner in what was a dismal season. Sam Ehlinger finds his stride again and an improved Texas defense limits big plays from Brock Purdy, Breece Hall and the ISU offense. Every game is a must-win for Tom Herman, and the Longhorns win this one by a narrow margin.

Score Prediction: Texas 34, Iowa State 31

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