Texas Longhorns vs. Iowa State Cyclones
Date and Time: Thursday, September 28, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA
Opening College Football Odds: Texas -4
Texas vs. Iowa State TV Coverage: ESPN
You might be surprised to find out that Iowa State averaged 432.0 yards per game last season. The Cyclones were No. 44 in America in total offense, and most of the crucial players from those gains are back.
Jacob Park did a fantastic job last year in the first season for new coach Matt Campbell. This year, he’s been flat out amazing. The junior has thrown for 935 yards and eight touchdowns in his three performances, and he’s guiding an offense that has put at least 41 points on the board in all three games.
It’s really interesting to try to figure out this Texas team right now. The 51-41 loss to Maryland was made to look substantially worse when the Knights beat the snot out of the Terrapins in Week 4. The 56-0 win over San Jose State was nice and was followed up by a good game at the Coliseum the next week. But that 27-24 loss in overtime was a loss no less, and that’s fairly concerning.
The biggest question that we have for Herman is whether or not Sam Ehlinger is really his quarterback or not. Statistically speaking, he hasn’t been anywhere near as good as Shane Buechele. Buechele is working with the first team in practice, but it’s hard to totally discount the man who kept this team in a game against one of the best clubs in America on the road.
Getting the ball in Collin Johnson’s hands would probably help, too. Johnson has caught 16 passes for 366 yards and a touchdown, averaging 22.9 yards per reception to lead the team.
The Longhorns have a bunch of injuries to deal with right now, but the biggest might be the sprained wrist suffered last week by Armanti Foreman.
Foreman is a senior receiver who was always expected to step up this year and evolve into the top man on this team. Johnson has done just that in his place, but Foreman has played a big role as well with his 15 receptions, 146 yards and team-leading three touchdowns.
If Foreman happens to miss out on this game, this could be a real problem for the Longhorns. They aren’t particularly deep at wide receiver, and the passing game is going to be crucial to stay on point on the road in Ames.
Texas vs. Iowa State Free Picks
The last time the Longhorns came to Jack Trice Stadium, they suffered the indignation of getting whipped 24-0 as short 3.5-point favorites. They’ve failed to cover three of their last four in this series, and they haven’t really had any luck consistently putting away a team that they had dominated during the Mack Brown era.
This year’s team has some question marks for sure, but the extra several days off to prepare should only make this team stronger.
Texas is surely going to be a bit on the square side when you shop at all the best sportsbooks on the internet, but we’re still going to roll with it anyway. A week off might be just what the doctor ordered to get Buechele back on track, and if the UT defense can play anywhere near as well against Iowa State as it did against USC (and not anything like what it played like against Maryland), this is a game that should easily be deposited into the win column. The Cyclones are much-improved, but winning this game would be a year or two ahead of schedule.
College Football ATS Pick: Texas -4 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Texas 34, Iowa State 20