Both of these teams have impressed this year, but not enough to get into the postseason. A costly loss last week really sent Texas back, while the Cyclones have steadily climbed into the spot they sit in today.
The loser of this matchup will likely see their bowl game chances take a serious hit, while the winner will put themselves in a solid position.
The Cyclones, led by head coach Matt Campbell, have been more known for their defense this year, as they rank #22 in points allowed per game- around 20 a week. It does help that they have a QB in Brock Purdy who has only been picked off twice this year and has thrown 13 TD’s. RB David Montgomery has been doing a solid job, with 765 rushing yards and six TD’s. WR Hakeem Butler has been sensational with 36 receptions for 816 yards and eight (!!!) touchdowns. This team has won five games in a row since losing to TCU, which includes a win over formerly #9 WVU.
We can’t talk about their defense without first looking at the impact JaQuan Bailey has made this year, leading with 5.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss. His pressuring ability up front has really put the heat on opposing QB’s. Mike Rose has recorded seven tackles for loss, and he has been just as important. Kicker Connor Assailey has made 24 of 25 PAT’s and 13 of 17 FG’s, as he continues to be sharp.
At 7-3, it’s been a solid season for the Longhorns, who have had a very tough schedule. QB Sam Ehlinger is one of the best in the nation, with 2,483 yards and 20 TD’s, plus only two picks all season. He has added 343 rushing yards and nine more touchdowns, to give himself 29 total for the year. Keaontay Ingram is leading the ground game with 568 yards, while Collin Johnson has dominant with 50 catches for 675 yards and five TD’s.
Charles Omenihu has recorded 7.5 sacks and really been a defensive menace this season. Gary Johnson is not far behind with 4.5, but nobody else has amassed more than 1.5 outside of those two. Cade Sterns has picked off four passes, and his ability to cover on Hakeem Butler today will be very important for the Longhorns. Texas is 1-1 against AP top 25 teams this year and snapped a two-game skid with their win over Texas Tech last week
Iowa State wins their sixth in a row
Yeah, the Cyclones cannot be stopped. They are three-point underdogs, and the move is to bet on them for sure. They’re riding a wave, while Texas has struggled in the past few weeks.
A strong performance from JaQuan Bailey on D and Brock Purdy’s impressive day will carry them.
Free Pick: Iowa State (+3)
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