Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State football: 5 Things to know about Texas

Is Texas back?

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) calls out a play against Kansas State on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, at Royal Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman/TNS)
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) calls out a play against Kansas State on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, at Royal Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman/TNS)

AMES — After Iowa State’s comeback fell short Saturday against No. 9 Oklahoma, the Cyclones return home to host Texas this week.

Here are 5 Things to know about the Longhorns:

1. Texas is (not) back?

Since the dawn of time — OK, since the dawn of the 2010s — the question has been asked: Is Texas back?

Before the season, the answer seemed to be a clear and resounding yes. The Longhorns had a good head coach in Tom Herman, a dynamic quarterback in Same Ehlinger and playmakers on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.

But after nine games, that question is a little more up in the air than was expected.

The Longhorns were supposed to be right there with Oklahoma in the Big 12 title race, and they still are, but it hasn’t been pretty.

Texas is 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the Big 12, which is third, just ahead of Iowa State, Kansas State and Oklahoma State at 3-3.

The problem for the Longhorns is they haven’t always looked like a dominant team.

They only beat Kansas by two, they beat Kansas State and Oklahoma State by a combined nine points and they lost to TCU, a team Iowa State throttled to the tune of 49-24.

The next two weeks will go a long way in determining if Texas is really back or not. They play Iowa State and Baylor on the road in back-to-back weeks. Win both of those, and they very well could be back. Lose both and we’ll be asking the same question next season.

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2. Ehlinger the football slinger

Junior Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger is right at the top of the Big 12 in passing with Iowa State’s Brock Purdy and Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts.

Ehlinger is third in the Big 12 in passing yards with 2,641 and he’s tied for first in touchdown passes with 24.

 

Ehlinger has also proven to be a very good running quarterback, rushing for 401 yards and five touchdowns. When accounting for the 25(!!!) sacks he’s taken this year, he’s rushed for 554 yards, meaning he’s taken over a football field’s worth of sacks this season.

That’s not ideal. Coaches don’t want their quarterbacks hit that much.

For reference, Purdy has been sacked just 12 times and Hurts has been sacked just 10 times.

3. Dynamic Devin Duvernay

Senior receiver Devin Duvernay is a machine.

He’s caught at least six passes in every game this season. His best game came against TCU when he caught eight passes for 173 yards and a touchdown.

He has totaled 78 catches for 910 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019.

What helps Duvernay is defenses can’t just focus on him. Texas has two other recievers with at least five touchdowns in Brennan Eagles and Jake Smith. And 6-foot-6, Collin Johnon is Texas’ second leading receiver with 35 catches for 497 yards and two touchdowns.

4. Good, not great RBs

Texas has two good running backs, but you won’t see a Cedric Benson or Ricky Williams on the field for the Longhorns.

Sophomore Keontay Ingram has 114 carries for 633 yards and six touchdowns. And freshman Roschon Johnson has 84 carries for 455 yards and four touchdowns.

5. Super sophomore

Texas linebacker Joesph Ossai is a force to be reckoned with.

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The sophomore is second on the team in tackles with 60, second on the team in tackles for loss and sacks with seven and two, respectively, and he has the most quarterback hurries with seven. He’s also tied for the team lead in interceptions with two.

Oh, and to top it all off, he has a blocked kick.

l Comments: benv43@gmail.com

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