Texas Longhorns (1-2; 2-1 ATS; 1-2 O/U) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (2-1; 3-0 ATS; 2-1 O/U)
NCAAF Week Four: Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 8:00pm EST
Line: Texas -4
The Iowa State Cyclones will collide with the Texas Longhorns in their BIG 12 opener Thursday night from Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IA. The Longhorns are coming off a narrow 27-24 overtime loss to USC, and the Cyclones crushed Akron 42-14 in their previous action. Texas recorded a 27-6 road win against Iowa State last season.
Texas Comes Close in OT Loss to 4th Ranked USC
The Texas Longhorns may be disappointed they could not finish off the fourth-ranked USC Trojans in a 27-24 overtime loss, however, it is a very encouraging performance. Sam Ehlinger was decent playing in place of Shane Buechele, completing 21 of 40 passes for 298 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The freshman quarterback played well in week two and has recorded a total of 520 passing yards with a 3:2 TD to INT ratio through two games. Beuchele was dealing with a shoulder injury and Ehlinger will likely get the start again in this one. The Longhorns could not get a whole lot going on the ground, rushing for a team total of 68 yards on 35 carries. Chris Warren tallied 15 rushing yards on four carries. The junior running back rushed for 166 yards against a weak San Jose State team in week two, but was not effective in week one and three, and has now tallied 212 rushing yards in three games. The Longhorns big weapon in the air Collin Johnson had a huge game against USC, bringing in seven catches for 191 yards. The sophomore wide receiver has tallied at least 125 receiving yards in two of three games and leads Texas with 366 receiving yards.
The Texas defense played well especially considering they were facing USC’s elite quarterback Sam Darnold. They allowed 468 total yards, however, they were able to make two interceptions and three sacks. Overall, the Longhorns defense has already shown improvement from their week 51-41 week one loss to Maryland.
Cyclones Offense Shines in Win Over Akron
The Iowa State Cyclones flexed their offensive muscle in their convincing 42-14 road win against Akron in their latest battle on September 16th. Jacob Park was tremendous, connecting on 24 of 33 passes for 317 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions. The junior quarterback is off to a fantastic start to the year, accumulating 935 yards with an 8:2 TD to INT ratio. David Montgomery had his biggest game of the year in the win, racking up 127 rushing yards on 22 carries. The sophomore running back is looking very dangerous, averaging 5.7 yards per carry and has accrued 321 yards in three games. Allen Lazard made five grabs for 47 yards in the win and now sits second in team receiving with 178 receiving yards. The Cyclones now feature three receivers with at least 150 receiving yards. Overall, the Iowa State offense has been very consistent in all three games and are looking very tough to handle heading into conference play.
The Cyclones defense was strong in the win over Akron, holding them to only 331 total yards which including only 38 rushing yards. Willy Harvey made 1.5 of six Cyclones sacks on the night in the win, and the junior linebacker has now made 2.5 sacks on the year. The Iowa State defense rebounded nicely against Akron after conceding 41 points to Iowa in week two.
The Texas Longhorns are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games.
- 8-23 ATS in their last 31 games after recording more than 280 passing yards in their previous game.
- 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 games after recording less than 100 rushing yards in their previous game.
The Iowa State Cyclones are:
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 September games.
- 7-1 ATS in their last 8 home games.
- The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings between Texas and Iowa State.
I am taking the points with the Cyclones in this contest. Cyclones quarterback Jacob Park has been outstanding as the Cyclones passing game ranks 17th in the nation with an average of 311 passing yards, and the Texas pass defense has not been good, so I expect a big game from Park. Furthermore, the Iowa State rush defense has been very strong, conceding an average of only 107 rushing yards per game, so they should be able to contain the Longhorns running game. Iowa State has scored over 40 points in all three games which included 41 points against a tough Iowa Hawkeyes defense, so they should keep this one very close.
Pick: Iowa State +4
The Cyclones offense is firing on all cylinders to start the season and the Longhorns definitely feature a talented offense. Iowa State QB Jacob Park has accumulated 935 passing yards and David Montgomery will move the ball on the ground, and the over is 5-1 in their last six games overall. The Iowa State defense will give up yards in the air, so Texas should have a solid night offensively. This should be a higher scoring game, plus the over is 10-0-1 in the Cyclones last 11 games following a straight up win.