Good Cop, Bad Cop: Texas

Brock Purdy hands the ball off to Breece Hall in Iowa State’s away game against West Virginia on Oct. 12. The Cyclones beat the Mountaineers 38-14.

Jack Shover

Every week, the Iowa State Daily’s Sam Stuve will deliver the good news for Iowa State football fans as “Good Cop” and Jack Shover will play devil’s advocate as “Bad Cop.”

This week, Stuve and Shover will dissect Iowa State’s much anticipated matchup against Texas.

Good Cop

Iowa State is 5-4 (3-3 Big 12), tied for fourth and on a two-game losing streak. In the past two matchups, Iowa State has dropped a handful of interceptions that could have swung the momentum in their favor.

The Cyclones could not capitalize and create turnovers, and have lost their last two games by eight points combined. Losing close games has been something the Cyclones have done all season, as all four of the Cyclones losses were one-possession games by a combined total of 12 points. 

Texas poses a huge threat to Iowa State’s defense. Texas is second in the Big 12 in points per game with 37.8 points per game behind only Oklahoma, who averages 48.4 points per game. Texas will have good quarterback play by junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger against Iowa State, but Iowa State’s quarterback Brock Purdy may be due for a great game. 

It’ll be a battle between two of the best quarterbacks, Ehlinger and Purdy. Ehlinger is fourth out of 10 in the Big 12 in efficiency rating at 152.4 and Purdy is in third with an efficiency of 157.6

What could make the difference on Saturday is what defense can get the stops that are necessary to win. Iowa State’s defense is third in the Big 12 passing yards allowed, giving up 231.3 passing yards, and Texas is ninth, giving up 299.6 passing yards. 

Both teams will play each other close, with the game being tied at 17 at halftime and with neither team holding more than a seven point lead. 

Texas will hold a 34-31 lead with less than two minutes to go but Purdy will lead a game-winning drive to give Iowa State its sixth win of the season, making them bowl eligible. 

Prediction: Iowa State 38, Texas 34

Bad Cop

Texas ranks third in the Big 12 conference behind undefeated Baylor and one-loss Oklahoma, but when evaluating the Longhorn team, there are not a lot of categories where the Longhorns are better than the Cyclones.

Texas averages 37.8 points a game on offense, which is just over one point more than the Cyclones, but the Longhorns also yield five more points to opponents.

In addition, No. 19 Texas — according to the College Football Playoff rankings — isn’t used to the conditions they will be forced to play on Saturday. The expected temperature around game time will be in the high 30s.

This game has all the makings of an upset win for the Cyclones, but sorry Cyclone fans, it’s not going to happen. The Longhorns aren’t going to melt like the witch in “The Wizard of Oz” the moment they touch snow or cold air and, there is no way they will be surprised by the Cyclones.

Everybody in the conference knows the Cyclones are the real deal on offense and defense. The Cyclones paced the conference with the most preseason defensive selections for the All-Big 12 Team and Brock Purdy leads the conference in passing yards per game.

On Texas’ side, Ehlinger is a good quarterback and he will be able to pass in the same conditions Purdy will be able to. If the game is a sloppy and wet mess, both teams will be able to key on the opponent’s run games.

If that’s the case, I’m taking Texas’ offensive line over the Cyclones’.

Prediction: Texas 27, Iowa State 21