ISU holds Texas scoreless, win 24-0

The Iowa State defense lines up against Texas Oct. 31. The Cyclones defeated the Longhorns in a 24-0 shutout.

Ryan Young

The Cyclones had a lot to prove when they ran onto the field at Jack Trice Stadium Saturday night.

After putting together only two wins in seven games, ushering in a new offensive coordinator and naming a new starting quarterback, the Longhorns presented Iowa State with a test as to whether it could turn its season around.

But Iowa State (3-5, 2-3 Big 12) beat Texas (3-5, 2-3 Big 12) 24-0 in dominating fashion — marking the Longhorns’ first shutout loss to an unranked opponent since 1961.

“We shouldn’t beat Texas, probably,” said ISU coach Paul Rhoads. “Every kid that they recruit, if I go recruit them I’m not going to get them. I’m not going to get them, OK? But we did [beat them], and we have twice, because the program is moving in the right direction. I’ve got great coaches and I’ve got unbelievable players that care and play for passion in the cardinal and gold jerseys that they wear.”

The win Saturday marked just the second time in program history that the Cyclones have defeated the Longhorns. The first came in 2010, also under Rhoads, when Iowa State beat Texas in Austin, 28-21.

But not only did the Cyclones top a program that is historically one of the best in the country, they held them scoreless.

“It’s a defense’s dream,” said linebacker Levi Peters. “That’s good football. You play good football, you shut a team out. That’s going to give us confidence the rest of the year.”

And for a defense that has been questioned and doubted nearly every week this season, Rhoads said the win means a whole lot more.

“[It means] that the 3-4 is an OK defense, that Wally [Burnham] is a pretty sharp coach, that the rest of the staff knows what they’re doing and that we’ve got kids that play with an unbelievable work ethic and passion,” Rhoads said. “Tonight, they made more plays. They tackled better, they pursued, they put more pressure on the quarterback and they got what’s been coming to them — a shutout. They played really good football.”

Texas was held to just 204 total offensive yards Saturday and had just 11 first downs in the entire game. The ISU defense forced seven three-and-outs, and the Texas offense crossed midfield just three times all night.

Throughout the season, Texas has averaged more than 206 rushing yards per game. Quarterback Jerrod Heard, who is averaging nearly 70 rushing yards per contest and has ran for more than 100 yards twice this season, was held to just 13 rushing yards against the Cyclones.

“We needed to win first down, that was important,” Peters said. “[And we needed to] get them throwing the ball. They didn’t like to throw the ball.”

Peters was right, the Longhorns didn’t like to throw. Texas threw just 22 times Saturday for 85 yards. As a team, Texas completed only 12 passes on the night and threw one interception.

And when the ISU defense stopped the run on first and second down, the Longhorns struggled to find success through the air — something Iowa State took advantage of.

“They were a one dimensional team coming into this game, so they were going to try to run the ball down our throat,” said safety Qujuan Floyd. “Once we stopped [the run], they didn’t know what to do. They tried to pass, but it didn’t work. We just had to shut that down and finish the game through.”

Iowa State will face both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State the next two weeks, which have combined for just one loss. Both programs average more than 270 passing yards per game, and about 169 and 128 rushing yards per game, respectively.

And while the challenge will be different than what they were faced with this week, the Cyclones hope to ride into Norman, Okla., next week with the same level of success.

“Going into the next game, we have a lot of momentum,” Floyd said. “So basically, we’ve got to start fast next game just like we did this game, and we’ll maybe get the same result. You never know.”