Longhorns steer clear of ISU
Texas defense stifles Cyclones in Big 12 opener for both teams
AMES — Cyclone fans turned out in droves on Thursday night at Jack Trice Stadium to watch Iowa State take on Texas in the team’s Big 12 opener.
Last time the Cyclones and Longhorns hooked up in Ames, ISU throttled Texas for a 24-0 win, only the team’s third ever shutout of a Big 12 opponent. That wasn’t the case this time around though, as Texas scored on its first drive of the game and led the entire way, taking a 17-7 victory over Iowa State on the road.
Texas made it wasn’t shut out this time around on a long drive to open the game and take a 7-0 lead, a drive where the Cyclone defense had a handle on the Longhorn attack but couldn’t manage to get off the field on third down.
Iowa State had forced Texas off the field in a three-and-out to start that drive, but an unsportsmanlike penalty on JaQuan Bailey gave the Longhorns new life. Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell said poise was an issue the entire game and led to the Big 12 opening loss.
“I think that the key is that in some critical moments we lost our poise,” Campbell said in his postgame presser. “I’ll give credit to Texas, but I look at ourselves and our football team and there are a lot of areas of improvement, but again it’s that poise in critical situations that really cost us tonight.”
Quarterback Jacob Park was largely inconsistent in the first half, throwing two interceptions and throwing for only 103 yards in the first 30 minutes of play. He would finish the game 24-for-48 with 246 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
Campbell said the main reason Park had his worst passing game of the season was the inability for the offensive line to slow down the Texas pass rush.
“Jacob got rattled a little bit early in the game because of the pressure they brought and we didn’t do a good enough job protecting him,” he said. “That’s critical from our standpoint, so those things go back on me as a coach. These are 18, 19, and 20-year olds, how do we continue to find ways to put them in situations to be successful.”
Something that could have helped alleviate that pressure would have been a strong running game, but running back David Montgomery only touched the ball nine times out of the backfield for 34 yards after starting the season averaging 107 yards per game.
Campbell said the Texas defense took away running lanes early, and after the Longhorns scored on their first drive the Cyclones were left trying to play catchup throughout the night.
“I think we tried, but in the situation where you’re down, in the situation where you’re trying come back, they did a good job trying to take him out of the game early,” Campbell said. “It was a situation for us where we’ve got to continue to find ways to get him the ball. Nine carries is obviously not what you want from a guy that’s been critical to you. We’ve got to continue to do a good job finding ways to get David the ball, he’s one of our best football players.”
Though they gave up an early score, the ISU defense had arguably its best game of the season. They held Texas to only 312 yard offensively throughout the night and forced two Longhorn turnovers. Linebacker Joel Lanning led the team with and impressive 20 tackles, by far a career high for the former quarterback, and he said his success was due to his teammate’s play.
“It was just the way we set up our defense this week, playing a lot of three down, three backers and setting it up for the backers to have a lot of tackles,” Lanning said after the loss. “Our front D-line was killing it for us, getting in the backfield and making plays for us. I couldn’t ask for anything better on this defense, we played great I thought, just a few mistakes here and there but we will clean those up.”
Both of the forced turnovers set up the Cyclones deep in Texas territory, but on both occasions ISU wasn’t able to take advantage of the opportunity. The Cyclones punted three times from inside Texas territory, twice inside the 40-yard line, and Campbell said the decision to pin the Longhorns deep was because of how his defense played.
“We were playing so good on defense, and for me it was that that made the decision,” he said. “I think both of those worked out to our advantage, and defensively when you’ve got momentum like that and you’re playing a really good defense, then I think you try to put the game in your defense’s hands and allow them to put you in good situations. They did a really good job of that all night.”
The offense’s inability to score when they crossed into enemy territory was an issue all night, something that Campbell said he wasn’t sure what caused it but he takes the blame for.
“A lot of times we got over the 50-yard line and all of a sudden we don’t execute or don’t get any points out of it and in games like this you can’t do that,” he said. “I take that on myself, we have to learn from this and do a really good job of learning how we can continue to get better.”
The road doesn’t get much easier for the Cyclones, as they travel to Norman next Saturday for an 11 a.m. game against the No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners. After being on the field for 40 minutes against Texas on Thursday night, Lanning said he felt like a truck hit him, but the defense will have to be ready to face a high-powered offense led by Heisman hopeful Baker Mayfield next week.
“It’s hard, if this was my first game I probably would have been dying. Luckily I’ve had some experience with that, I felt pretty good,” Lanning said. “I think we were rolling, penalties kind of hurt us a little bit and again we didn’t get off the field on third down enough when we should have, but we did get off the field quite a bit.”
Texas 17, Iowa St. 7
Texas 7 7 0 3 — 17
Iowa St. 0 0 7 0 — 7
TEX–C.Warren 11 run (Rowland kick), 7:07
TEX–Carter 22 pass from Buechele (Rowland kick), 5:29
ISU–Eaton 11 pass from Park (Owens kick), 2:05
TEX–FG Rowland 49, 13:25
First downs 19 18
Rushes-yards 52-141 15-10
Passing 171 246
Comp-Att-Int 19-26-1 24-49-3
Return Yards 14 2
Punts-Avg. 7-46.57 7-36.28
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 10-76 4-40
Time of Possession 40:31 19:29
RUSHING–Texas, C.Warren 16-44, Buechele 13-42, Porter 17-39, Carter 4-14, Foreman 2-2, Shackelford 0-0. Iowa St., Montgomery 9-34, M.Warren 1-1, Park 5-(minus 25).
PASSING–Texas, Buechele 19-26-1-171. Iowa St., Park 24-48-3-246, Montgomery 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING–Texas, Humphrey 4-36, C.Johnson 2-27, Carter 2-23, C.Warren 2-23, Heard 2-17, Foreman 2-12, Hemphill-Mapps 1-11, Leonard 1-10, De.Duvernay 1-6, Brewer 1-6, Joe 1-0. Iowa St., Lazard 5-63, Butler 4-62, Murdock 4-50, Eaton 3-20, Ryen 3-17, Montgomery 3-15, D.Jones 1-11, Allen 1-8.
MISSED FIELD GOALS–None.