Good Cop/Bad Cop: Texas

Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy prepares to throw the ball against the Kansas State defense during the Cyclones and the Wildcats game Nov. 21 at Jack Trice Stadium.

Megan Teske, ; Sam Stuve

Good Cop: Megan Teske

It’s another edition of Good Cop/Bad Cop and another edition where I predict the Cyclones will win the game.

Yeah I said it.

The Cyclones are going to beat the Texas Longhorns.

The stakes couldn’t be higher in a game that could decide who goes to the Big 12 Championship Game and who watches from their couch at home and frankly, I like how Iowa State has been looking.

Stats aside for a second, let’s look at the fact at how much fun the players have been having lately while playing.

The Cyclones were dancing on the sidelines during their blowout win over Kansas State last weekend, and redshirt senior tight end Chase Allen also talked about how much fun they are having playing this year when he spoke to reporters Tuesday.

Now I don’t know about you, but a team that’s having fun and looks this relaxed and connected can be a scary sight for an opposing team.

Just look what the Cyclones did to Kansas State last weekend.

Yeah, Texas is a different beast, but let’s break it down all the same why I’m still favoring the ‘Clones in this one besides some good old-fashioned fun.

It would be redundant of me to say running back Breece Hall had anything to do with it, but with Hall continuing to rush for over 100 yards every game so far this season as he leads the nation in rushing yards with 1,169 yards, it’s worth mentioning again.

However, Texas will be one of the stronger rushing defenses Iowa State has faced so far, as they are fourth in the Big 12 in rushing yards allowed at 117.9 yards per game.

That means it’ll be time for junior quarterback Brock Purdy to have another day like he did against Kansas State, where he looked more like himself than fans have probably seen all season.

The Longhorns’ passing defense ranks last in the Big 12, which gives Purdy lots of opportunities to air it out and set up touchdown plays to one of Purdy’s many tight end options and junior wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson, a player who has become one of Purdy’s go-tos lately.

On defense, the main guy to stop will of course be quarterback Sam Ehlinger.

Iowa State’s defense has been great lately, but against Ehlinger, they’ll need to turn it up a notch.

The Cyclones’ passing defense is fifth in the Big 12, allowing 229.8 yards per game; on the ground, they’re second in the Big 12, only allowing 104 yards per game.

Iowa State will need to slow down the passing attack and force the run as much as possible.

The Cyclones beat the Longhorns last year in Ames, most likely sending Texas home with a bad taste in their mouths.

This game is big for both teams, and it’ll no doubt be a close one, but with Iowa State so close to the championship game for the first time they can practically taste it, I think they want it more, which is why I believe they’ll come out of Austin with the victory.

Prediction: Iowa State 31, Texas 28

Bad Cop: Sam Stuve

The stakes are high in Friday’s game between Iowa State and Texas.

Being in first place in the conference, Iowa State is in full control of its own destiny to go to the Big 12 Championship.

Texas is tied-for-third in the conference with Oklahoma State and is a half game behind Oklahoma (who it lost to 53-45).

Texas likely needs to win this game to make it to the Big 12 Championship.

Iowa State will look to the nation’s leading rusher Breece Hall to lead the offense on Friday. Hall and the Cyclones offense might have trouble getting the running game going, as Texas allows 3.6 yards per carry, 16th best in the nation.

The Longhorns defense has allowed a running back to exceed 100 rushing yards in a game twice this season.

But the threat of running the ball should open things up for quarterback Brock Purdy to take advantage of a Longhorns secondary that allows the most passing yards in the conference (283).

I expect Hall to exceed 100 yards, score a touchdown and Purdy to throw two or three touchdowns.

Iowa State has Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger to worry about.

Ehlinger has the most touchdown passes among Big 12 quarterbacks with 22 and the third-fewest interceptions with five.

Last year against Iowa State, Ehlinger completed 22 out of 40 passes for 273 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

This year, Ehlinger plays Iowa State in his final home game of the year.

With Ehlinger playing his final home game of his career and Texas head coach Tom Herman potentially fighting for his job, Texas’ offense should find success through the air against Iowa State’s secondary.

In last year’s meeting, Iowa State won off a game-winning field goal by Connor Assalley.

On Friday, I see Texas being the ones coming out on top in a close one thanks mostly to its aerial attack.

Prediction: Texas 28, Iowa State 27