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Offensive Players to Watch: Texas @ Iowa State

Good-bye and good riddance.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 14 Iowa State at Cincinnati Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Let’s just get what everyone is thinking out there so we can move on with the article. HORNS DOWN BABY! This could potentially be our last game against the Longhorns, and it’s going to be a packed Jack.

Iowa State: Offensive Line

You know - it’s been a while since we have talked about the big guys up front. Week 1 was the last time we thoroughly talked about them and I feel like this is the time to discuss their season. At the beginning of the season, our offensive line was not helping our run game at all. The preseason hype of “this is our best line yet” played out just like it did every year, but something has changed.

Our offensive line has gone through 11 different players, but it is starting to look better. Perhaps it’s because of the lower level of competition, or maybe it’s because the players are starting to work together better, even with the changing line-up. Here are the total games played: Remsburg (2), Ladwig (3), Black (7), Maro (7), Treiber (7), Bonifas (10), Hufford (10), Miller (10), Neal (10), Petersen (10) and Simmons Jr. (10). It is worth noting that the amount of cycling that we are seeing could mean one of three things: we are successfully keeping our players rested, Coach Clanton is experimenting with different strategies, or we are simply stumbling upon success without knowing what we are doing. Surprisingly, the numbers from last year are also in our favor, even though the increase is not significant. It’s important to note that there are still two games left in the season, but here is the comparison.

It is difficult to make an accurate prediction of the final statistics at this point, but the most noteworthy numbers are the fumbles and sacks. The decrease in the number of sacks allowed is a clear indication of improvement in the offensive line, as well as the effectiveness of the play-calling. Now, I will refer back to my old checklist to see how we have fared:

1. Be Violent

I wouldn’t say we are violent, but I wouldn’t say we are cupcakes either. 5/10

2. Give our backs lane

We’ve seen holes from our offensive line, but we’ve also seen some very questionable run-blocking. 7/10

3. Keep our QB alive

Rocco isn’t dead and surprisingly he’s been sacked eight times while Kohl has been sacked once. That’s impressive compared to last year. 9.5/10

4. Give me hope for 1-yard pickups on 4th down

We’ve seen it countless times in the right situation. We’ve even seen Jaylin Noel catch a wide-open touchdown pass off a 4th down. I’d say they got that one. 8.5/10

5. Profit

The success of this offense hinges on the performance of the offensive line. If the offensive line can provide adequate protection and create space, it will allow Rocco and the running backs to focus on their respective roles without the fear of being tackled immediately after receiving the ball. 7/10

Texas: Quinn Ewers

Quinn Ewers is currently the most formidable player for the Longhorns. He has completed 173 out of 246 passes, throwing for 2,232 yards, 14 touchdowns, and four interceptions. In addition, he has made 53 rushing yards and scored five rushing touchdowns. Although he suffered a shoulder injury that kept him sidelined since October 21, he made a strong comeback last weekend. In his last game, he completed 22 out of 33 passes, throwing for 317 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Given that Texas won their last two games with a total margin of only six points, Ewers’ performance will be crucial for their success.