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This weekend presents a matchup of teams that have majorly disappointed on the season, as both have found themselves on the outside looking in of the Big 12 standings.
Both Iowa State and Texas started the season ranked in every major poll, and it was widely believed that they would each have a chance to dethrone Oklahoma and possibly even compete nationally.
However, their performances this season have been far from those expectations. Iowa State lost two out of their first four games, and Texas is currently spiraling and in the middle of a three-game losing streak where they have blown a double-digit lead in each.
At this point, Texas’ season is all about saving face for recruits, and the dreaded time of “getting the seniors to a bowl game.”
If the Longhorns lose this game they will fall below .500, which would surely cause this very rational fan base to slightly overreact. In reality, Steve Sarkisian needs another year or so to get the program headed in the right direction, but the ways in which the team has lost has certainly seemed preventable.
It is time for my weekly bold predictions, in which I boisterously try to predict occurrences that will happen in Texas’ game against Iowa State.
Hudson Card sees significant playing time
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I am not trying to stir up a quarterback controversy, but Steve Sarkisian made an interesting comment to the media that Casey Thompson is the starter, but Hudson Card is “chomping at the bit for another opportunity, so we’ll see where it goes from here.”
While that could very well mean absolutely nothing, to me that means if Casey Thompson struggles with efficiency, and is missing throws like he did against Baylor and Oklahoma State, Card may receive some meaningful playing time.
Thompson is a very capable quarterback, but he has been struggling mightily at times and the passing game has been nonexistent. If Card comes in, it will likely be in the second half due to Thompson struggling, something that is very possible considering Iowa State is the No. 5 defense in the country.
Bijan Robinson has a bounce back 120-yard rushing day
Stephen Spillman-USA TODAY Sports
When Bijan Robinson does not get going, Texas’ offense is essentially doomed as it puts all the pressure on a very inconsistent passing game. Baylor was able to neutralize Robinson, holding him to just 43 yards on 17 carries for 2.5 yards per carry. His longest rush on the day was just nine yards.
Iowa State, much like Baylor, is very stout on defense. They actually allow less rushing yards per game than Baylor does, but this prediction is assuming that Steve Sarkisian can figure out a way to learn from that game and get Robinson on the outside in open space.
Texas' defense picks off Brock Purdy in the second half
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
The Texas defense playing a complete game is they key for them to win, as they usually fizzle out and start giving up big plays in the second half. In order to do so, they need to make Iowa State’s Brock Purdy uncomfortable and force risky throws.
Purdy has not performed nearly as well as many had expected, as he has been benched a couple times and the team has lost games that they have no business losing. If the Longhorns can force an interception in the second half, it would likely give them some momentum in a half where they have fallen apart for the last three weeks.
The Longhorns leave Ames with a win
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Texas needs a win, and having to face this tough Iowa State team at a time when they seem to be the most fragile is not ideal. However, Iowa State is known for losing to teams they should not. In this case, that team would be Texas, as they do not match up well against the Cyclones who have a very talented running back and a great defense. Their last two matchups were decided by five points total, which leads me to believe this game will come down to the wire, but instead of Texas wasting away in the second half, they finally get back in the win column.