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Gridiron Staff Picks: Iowa State vs. Texas

Jacob Rice
Rocco Becht, ISU vs. BYU football game. LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Utah, Nov. 11, 2023

Christian Royston, Sports Editor (5-5)
Texas 41, Iowa State 28

I do believe the last two games are winnable for the Cyclones.

Texas beat three of its last four opponents by one score, with the last two games being decided by a field goal. Along with that, Texas has to travel to Ames to take on Iowa State under the lights at the Jack.

The atmosphere around the game should be electric, which may feed into Iowa State’s chances at a huge upset. Along with that, the Cyclones are in the driver’s seat when it comes to deciding who goes to the Big 12 Championship. If Iowa State wins out, it could make it to the title game.

However, despite the home-field advantage and Iowa State’s recent momentum after pounding BYU, Texas is still a good team. The Longhorns’ only loss on the season was by one score to Oklahoma, while they also beat Alabama this season.

The Longhorns boast an explosive offense led by Quinn Ewers. I expect this game to be similar to the Oklahoma game, where a solid Iowa State fights hard against a top team in the Big 12, but cannot keep up with Texas’ offensive output to fall by a healthy amount.

Logan Shanks, Assistant Sports Editor (7-3)
Texas 31, Iowa State 24

It is easy to buy stock in the idea that Iowa State could knock off a top-10 team given the circumstances. At home, under the lights, most likely in the all-black uniforms, the stage is set for a classic Cyclone underdog and increase their chances of going to the Big 12 Championship game.

I believe it is time to come down to earth.

Although the Cyclones are ahead of schedule in terms of their rebuild, I think when looking at Texas and the amount of talent they have, it is too optimistic to believe that Iowa State can walk out of this game with a win.

The Longhorns have let their opponents hang around too much in their recent matchups, most recently against TCU last week who made the game close in the fourth quarter. I think they are due for a game to get back on track as they have their sights set on an appearance in the College Football Playoffs.

Iowa State has struggled to get its offense going in the first half throughout the season, outside of its hot start against BYU last week, and Texas has thrived on its early leads to propel them to victory. During the Longhorns’ four-game win streak, they have outscored opponents 85-30 in the first half.

Although Iowa State’s defense has consistently been one of the best in the Big 12 this season, I think the offensive powerhouse that is Texas will be too much for them to handle just like in the Oklahoma game.

Pavle Markovic, Sports Reporter (9-1)
Texas 34, Iowa State 27

The last home game at Jack Trice Stadium this season can only be wrapped up with a night contest against Texas for one final time.

Texas has not looked like the team they have been in the past, as it has barely squeaked by their past two opponents with a one-score win. Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers will be playing in his second game back from injury, and he will need to get off to a strong start if Texas doesn’t want to play from behind.

The Cyclone defense will be hoping to get back defensive back Jeremiah Cooper for this matchup in which the Longhorns receiving core is loaded with talent from top to bottom. Even with or without Cooper, Iowa State will face one of the biggest challenges of the season with the Texas offense.

Meanwhile for Iowa State’s offense, it has showed it can brush off the close loss at home to Kansas, and went on to demolish BYU in their own home. Establishing the run game against this Longhorns defense that has held running backs to under 100 yards a game throughout the majority of the season is key if they want to find a way to pull off a major upset.

While it may be an electric game at the Jack, I have Texas pulling out yet another one-score win in Ames, and for Iowa State to officially lose the slim chances to make the Big 12 Championship game this season.

Ella Slade, Diversity Editor
Texas 31, Iowa State 20

I’m going to preface this by saying I definitely don’t know a lot about football. Ranked 9-1 overall, on paper, Texas outmatches Iowa State in every category.

While Iowa State has shown a consistently strong defense this season, I think they will be outmatched by Texas’ offense. As much as I would like to say horns down, the Longhorns are on a winning streak I think will continue.

Biong Biong, Politics Editor
Iowa State 31, Texas 20

I, much like Ella, lack a lot of information regarding college football. But I know the odds.

Either Ella’s prediction is right or it’s wrong. I asked a psychic, and I was told Ella was wrong. When this turns out to be the final score, do not ask me for their contact information.

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