Coming off of a heartbreaking loss to one end of the Red River Rivalry, Iowa State faces the other half in Texas. Iowa State has not fared well against the Longhorns, trailing in the series heading into this brisk November Saturday, 14-2. Matt Campbell has been able to best every team in the Big 12, aside from Texas. This is the first time the teams have matched-up in Ames in November, the closest being when the Longhorns, led by Charlie Strong, traveled to Central Iowa on October 31st, 2015, where we will be looking today.
The 2015 season saw the Cyclones just win 3 games, and only 2 against FBS programs. Iowa State was able to notch wins over UNI and Kansas in the first 4 games, but the next 8 games would be nothing but brutal defeats to every Big 12 foe in a loaded conference. Except for Texas.
The Longhorns come to Jack Trice Stadium (no Mid-American Energy Field yet) sitting at 3-4, but are hot as of late, upsetting 10th-ranked Oklahoma and beating Kansas State.
Both teams would go 3-and-out to start the game, before Joel Lanning and company would put together an 11 play drive in under 4 minutes, capped off by a 3 yard score by redshirt freshman running back, Mike Warren. Iowa State was able to force another Texas punt, but nothing would come out of it as the ‘Clones turned the ball over on downs, deep into UT territory.
The teams traded punts again, but the Wally Burnham-led defense was able to force a turnover coming from an interception by linebacker Jordan Harris. While this seemed to have gained the Cyclones momentum, nothing would come of it as the teams would once again trade punts, before Cole Netten would kick one through the uprights to put the good guys up 10-0 at the half.
Texas started with the ball in the second half and, get this, they punted. Then Iowa State would punt. Then another Texas punt. While this sounds like Big 10 football, I assure you this is still a Big 12 game. Iowa State needed 8 plays to travel 55 yards in order to get to the endzone, this time coming from a Joel Lanning to Dondre Daley 19 yard connection, 17-0 ‘Clones.
I feel like a broken record at this point, but both teams would punt the ball on 5 straight possessions before the Cyclones would put an end to the punt
-pass-and kick competition, this score coming off of an impressive 61 yard rush by Mike Warren, finally an exciting play. Sike. Holding on the offense. Iowa State would take six minutes off the clock before Joshua Thomas was able to plunge his way into the end zone to put a dagger in Bevo, 24-0 Cyclones.
The final Texas drive saw the Longhorns finally drive into ISU territory, calling timeouts and everything in order to not get shut out for only the second time since 2004. Tyrone Swoopes would lead a drive to the Iowa State 5 yard line, leaving just enough time for Texas to run one play in hopes to get the goose egg off the scoreboard. Most Iowa State fans’ hearts stopped as soon as Swoopes threw a fade to Marcus Johnson, but the ball would fall incomplete, leaving the final 24-0.
This game edged the 2010 Texas game, because of the defensive effort by a very young Cyclone defense and overall performance by a team that Paul Rhoads claimed “Wasn’t supposed to beat Texas...but we did,”. An odd Halloween night capped off by a very odd beatdown.