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Scoring 70 points on Texas Tech and winning on the road against TCU feels like decades ago. The Longhorns season has spiraled downhill since then. Texas has lost its fourth straight game for the first time since 2010.
The Horns had another uninspiring performance in Ames on Saturday. Iowa State outscored Texas 27-0 in the second half, dominating both sides of the ball.
Texas looks like they have gotten worse and worse since the Oklahoma game. Teams seem to have figured out how to slow down Bijan Robinson and double covering Xavier Worthy, making the passing game a non-factor. The run defense has not made the improvement against the run needed to close out games.
Steve Sarkisian’s team has held halftime leads in eight of nine games on the year. An astonishing stat, given their 4-5 record.
If this staff does not make major moves in both recruiting and the transfer portal this offseason, more trouble is ahead.
Here are five takeaways after Texas’ 30-7 loss to Iowa State.
Neither quarterback is the solution
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
The quarterback Texas needs to take the program to the level is not on the current roster.
Hudson Card has quite frankly looked like a deer in headlights since Week 1 against Louisiana. The redshirt freshman does not have strong pocket presence and has yet to show the ability to complete the downfield pass.
Casey Thompson has flashed at times but has been entirely too inconsistent. Thompson played fantastic against the likes of Tech and Oklahoma, but was rattled against Oklahoma State, Baylor and Iowa State.
The team severely lacks quality depth
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Texas lacks quality depth at every position outside of running back and cornerback. The loss of wide receiver Jordan Whittington and defensive end Jacoby Jones has been killer for Texas. No one has been able to step up in their absence.
Late in games, the lack of depth shows as the starters are visibly gassed on the field. A big reason Texas has not been able to hold a halftime lead.
Building depth starts on the recruiting trail, Sarkisian must get more capable players in the program sooner, rather than later.
The rebuild needs to start in the trenches
AP Photo: Michael Thomas
Elite football teams are strong on both lines of scrimmage. It has been a long time since Texas has been dominant in the trenches.
Texas must find a way to protect their quarterback better and create more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Horns rank in the bottom third in the Big 12 in both categories.
Improvement on each line of scrimmage is the first thing this staff needs to address or struggles will continue.
Keilan Robinson still lacking touches
AP Photo: Chuck Burton
This Texas offense has been missing someone with game-breaking speed. Xavier Worthy and Bijan Robinson need someone to step up and take the attention off of them. Keilan Robinson has the speed to do that.
Sarkisian has mentioned multiple times that he would like to get Robinson more touches but has yet to do so. Whether it is in the backfield or at slot receiver, Robinson has the ability to be a spark plug in the Texas offense.
Texas will struggle to make a bowl game
Ricardo B. Brazziell-USA TODAY NETWORK
Texas will need to win two of their last three to qualify for a bowl game. They have home games against both Kansas and Kansas State, along with a trip to Morgantown against West Virginia.
Texas has shown they are capable of going 3-0 or 0-3 in that stretch.
The Longhorns need to get back in the win column against Kansas next week or a bowl game will feel almost out of reach.