What: Iowa State vs. Texas
When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
Where: Jack Trice Stadium in Ames
Spread: Texas (-5)
Chris Williams, Publisher
I’m so torn on this game. I’m a believer in everything that Campbell is doing and I love the upside of this Iowa State team. I do believe that Iowa State is going to score tonight. I just am concerned about the defense getting enough stops. Tom Herman is an elite offensive mind and he will have used the bye week to improve the Longhorns on that side of the ball. Iowa State’s offensive line vs. Texas’ defensive line is a minor concern for me too. Perhaps I have hardened a bit with age, but I’m still in the “show me” stage with this program. For that very reason, I will take a Texas team that his improved immensely from week one until now. People can say USC is overrated if they want, but the Trojans are the only team in America that is 4-0 against four bowl teams at this point in the season. I really hope that I’m wrong here because this would be a huge win for Campbell’s young program. Weird things absolutely happen on Thursday nights and when that occurs, it USUALLY favors the home team.
The Pick: Texas 35, Iowa State 31
Brent Blum, Columnist
Texas gave the Iowa State offensive line all sorts of problems a year ago with eight sacks and the Horns largely return the same dudes. If the Cyclones can keep them at bay and give Park time, I like Iowa State’s chances.
The Pick: Iowa State 27, Texas 24
Jared Stansbury, Staff Writer
I know many people saw Texas’ double overtime loss to USC as a sign of the Longhorns being back, but I’m not so sure. I’m not sure the Trojans are as good as their rankings states and that was exposed against Texas. The Longhorns have some really talented athletes on the defensive side of the ball, but I’m not sure they’re playing well enough together to slow down Jacob Park and Co. I see this game turning into a shootout with the Cyclones pulling it out with a late touchdown pass from Park to Allen Lazard.
The Pick: Iowa State 38, Texas 31
Jeff Woody, Analyst
Texas’s interior defensive line is really good. Texas’s speed is really impressive. But Texas has only had 3 games under Tom Herman to figure out how to use their powers for good. By the time this season is over, UT is going to be a really tough matchup for anyone. ISU catching them in their first Big 12 game in a pressure situation on the road creates an opportunity to exploit the current immaturity.
The Pick: Iowa State 31, Texas 28
BRING THE NOISE: Fans amp up big Thursday night vs. Texas
Kevin Fitzpatrick, Contributor
Last year’s game against Texas was ugly on the offensive side of the ball and the talent in the Longhorns’ defensive front seven concerns me, but I also feel that ISU’s offense has a much higher ceiling and has gelled quite well this year. If Jacob Park has time to throw the ball, I think the Cyclones can pull the upset. If Park runs for his life all night, the result could be a lot like last year. I’m predicting the first scenario.
THE PICK: Iowa State 37, Texas 27
Rob Gray, Staff Writer
The Longhorns’ defense concerns me. The offense? Not so much. I consider this game to be a “culture war” of sorts — as in, which team is farthest along in terms of establishing and solidifying one? I think that team is ISU, which will make just enough big plays on both sides of the ball to hold on for a headline-grabbing win.
The Pick: Cyclones 31, Longhorns 28
Jay Jordan, Analyst
I don’t believe Texas is as resurgent as many do. They have troubles on the offensive line and have not established a strong running game. However, their defense is fast and aggressive. Iowa State has not played against this type of speed, and speed is a hard deficit for Iowa State to overcome. Iowa State will stifle the run game and make a few plays on offense, but the Texas front and pressure package will create problems for the Cyclones.
The Pick: Texas 27, Iowa State 17
Kirk Haaland, Contributor
I’m really not sure which Texas is the real Texas or how they’re season will shake out, but they had a pretty impressive performance at the Coliseum.
I think the Cyclones will need to manufacture some semblance of a ground game on the edges, specifically behind Jake Campos. The defense will likely need to turn in their best performance of the season.
Regardless, the CFB Analytics prediction machine says…
THE PICK: Texas 40, Iowa State 37