Texas vs. Iowa State, or We Have a Cooler Mascot

Greetings, ‘Horns fans! It is I, your faithful friend, in the 11th hour before the game, giving you some insight into Texas’ next opponent. Look, cut me a little slack. This has been a tough week, and the game is on a Thursday, for crying out loud. Some of us have things to do! And, seriously, I head into a two-day trial tomorrow. So, I wanted to get my mind on football and converse with you fine folks, but am short on time to do so. Insert sad face here. Don’t worry, I’m dedicated to getting the word out. And my cat, Patch, is here helping me. She’s my mews.

I’ll show myself out.

Thursday night, Texas rolls into Jack Trice stadium to face the Iowa State Cyclones. Earlier today, I asked myself a seemingly simple question: what exactly is a cyclone? Turns out the answer is a little more complicated than I expected. Thankfully the Great Gazoogle pointed me to a lovely Wikipedia page, obviously written by a meteorologist or some other cloud freak type person. It answered some questions but raised others. That’s neither here nor there: a cyclone is a huge storm with clouds and stuff and rain. Sounds scary! But in the case of the Iowa State Cyclones, probably not.

They come into the contest at 1-2, with their lone victory coming in a road game against Tulsa. Interestingly, Tulsa’s mascot is the Golden Hurricane. Sounds like a James Bond villain. Tulsa ranks near the bottom in the Conference-USA West standings. The Texas game kicks off conference play for Iowa State, at home, and that could be one of the intangibles in the Cyclones’ favor. Vegas odds favor Texas by 7.5 points, and the Cyclones have yet to win at home. Will the Texas D show up? Which version of the Texas D will show up?

You may already know, David Ash is out for the game. As I said before, head injuries are nothing to mess around with. Ash needs his intact brain for a long time. Looks like Case McCoy will start the game. Will he finish it? That’s anyone’s guess. Fans are divided on whether Coach Brown should burn Tyrone Swoopes’ redshirt and unleash the beast. I vote yes, but as I said before, I’m not paid to make that call. It makes sense to keep Ash out for this game. Iowa State is an overmatched opponent, and the team has to believe McCoy can take them to victory. That gives Ash extra time to recover before the dreaded Red River Shootout. Is it already time to talk about that? I need some extra time to center and think peaceful thoughts about rainbows and kittens and shoe sales. (Whatever gets you through.) Expect to see McCoy, and fingers are crossed he can pull it out. McCoy is all heart and a true team player. Here’s hoping for the best. If the best doesn’t happen, I say release the freshman and let Swoopes play!

What’s that I hear? Fireworks? Cheering? We will be welcoming back Daje Johnson to the offense on Thursday! Y’all, I am so excited. He is a potent offensive weapon and he’s been missed. No disrespect to my spirit animal, Johnathan Gray, who is having a banner year. With Johnson back, it’s a one-two knockout punch on offense. It looks like the ‘Horns will be without Mike Davis for another game. Better to have him healthy for OU, I say.

Still, Texas can’t afford to take this game lightly. We do not want to see a repeat of games #2 or #3. That would be bad. Wouldn’t be prudent. Texas is ahead in the series with Iowa State, 9-1. However, getting cocky about the game is the 100% wrong approach. The ‘Horns can’t let their minds leapfrog to next Saturday and the game against you-know-who.

The defense is likely to give me the vapors. Redshirt freshman Tim Cole came in for injured Jordan Hicks. That’s just a little scary, since he’s only had a few snaps. Iowa State will probably have some success running the ball. The Texas D showed some real improvement in the K State game, but they’re not done yet. Iowa State can still come at the D hard, making them miss tackles and assignments. And the secondary still needs some shoring up. So, if the Cyclones take advantage of Texas’ weaknesses and keep it up for an entire 60 minutes of football, it could be a bad night for us.

The Cyclones have a breakout running back in Aaron Wimberly, who rushed for 137 yards against Tulsa. Yeah, it’s Tulsa. He still ran for 137 yards. And, their sophomore quarterback, Sam Richardson, averages almost 289 yards per game through the air. Top receiver Quenton Bundrage averages 14.3 yards per reception. Not too shabby.

Iowa State has some weapons, and they’re playing at home. We know every team gets “up” for Texas. Cyclones’ QB Richardson sums it up thusly: “Anytime you’re playing against the Longhorns you want to play your best and give it all you’ve got. Once you beat them, it’s a pretty big deal.”

Game time is 7:30 pm on ESPN. See you in the funny papers! Hook ‘em ‘Horns!

Follow me on Twitter! @TXgridirongirl

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