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On Saturday, the Texas Longhorns will look to take one of the final steps necessary in not only securing a spot in the Big 12 Championship game, but also winning the conference’s regular season title. However, with the loss of Jonathon Brooks to an injury, Texas will need to learn how to live without their talented running back for the remainder of the season.
Today, our Devon Messinger and Dylan DeRaud name their X-factors to watch out for in the YouTube video above.
If you want to watch their discussion around the potential return of Quinn Ewers in 2024, simply click here.
With the injury of Jonathon Brooks, the keys for the Longhorns in Ames will be the performances of CJ Baxter and Jaydon Blue. Of course, Quinn Ewers and the Texas passing game will have to shoulder a higher burden on Saturday, however it will be up to Baxter and Blue to keep the Cyclones defense honest against the running game.
In the upcoming showdown between Iowa State and Texas, all eyes will be on the clash between the Longhorns’ receiving core and the Cyclones’ secondary. Iowa State’s defense, ranking fourth in the Big 12 with only 19.9 points per game allowed, faces a daunting challenge against Texas. The tandem of TJ Tampa and Myles Purchase has been a defensive stronghold, maintaining a completion percentage against opponents at 53.8% and limiting pass yards to 204.3 per game.
However, the narrative takes a turn with Texas grappling with the absence of Jonathan Brooks due to an ACL injury. The burden now falls on CJ Baxter and Jaydon Blue to carry the run game load. Leaving Xavier Worthy, Adonai Mitchell, and Ja’Tavion Sanders needing big games. Their performance becomes crucial in diverting defensive attention, ensuring Iowa State can’t solely focus on shutting down the run.