Sep 16, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman runs on the field for the game against the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Herman knows exactly what to expect when he leads his team into Ames for a nationally televised game Thursday night.
Texas’ first-year head coach is no stranger to Ames, or big games in Jack Trice Stadium, after working under Paul Rhoads as Iowa State’s offensive coordinator from 2009-2011.
That familiarity with the atmosphere in Ames is one of the big reasons Herman knows his team cannot take lightly an Iowa State team the Longhorns beat 27-6 last year in Austin.
“Well I know there’s a lot of guys here who were there for 24-0,” Herman said referencing the Cyclones’ win in Ames two years ago on the weekly Big 12 teleconference Monday morning. “Even the time before that it was 31-30 with a squeaker of a win. By my math, they’re winning the point differential in Ames 55-30. There will be zero taking of this football team lightly. I don’t know why we would be with the history they have against us and against really any big opponent that comes into Ames. You look at Iowa. You look at 24-0 two years ago. You look at when I was there beating Oklahoma State when they were the No. 2 team in the country. Again, pretty unfathomable to me if you’re at least schooled up in recent history if you weren’t on that team, but a lot of these guys were here two years ago and experienced that.”
Like Iowa State, Texas enters the mid-week contest on ESPN coming out of their bye week. The Longhorns hold a 1-2 record, but looked impressive at times, especially defensively, in a double overtime loss at No. 4 Southern California their last time out.
Herman knows the Longhorns will need their defense to show up big again this week if they are going to slow down an Iowa State offense averaging more than 41 points per game so far this season.
“Jacob Park is playing really well,” Herman said. “Completing 67 percent of his passes, eight touchdowns and only two interceptions. That’s pretty efficient. They’re a spread run team. They’re pretty similar to us in terms of they want to use tempo when they feel like they can. If they don’t, they’ll take their foot off the gas a little bit. Then you have to know where Allen Lazard is at all times. This was a premier recruit coming out of high school. One I got to know in my time at Ohio State when I was recruiting him. I know his dad for sure, I don’t know if both his parents when to Iowa State. He’s been since his freshman year there kind of their go-to guy. We have to make sure that he doesn’t beat us.”