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Texas To Edge Close Battle With Iowa State Cyclones in College Football Week 12
Updated November 14, 2023
The Texas Longhorns haven’t secured a victory in Ames, Iowa since 2017. Iowa State Cyclones managed two consecutive home upsets against Texas, and a third upset looms as a possibility in Week 12. This Saturday presents a potential challenge for College Football Playoff hopefuls as they approach their conference championship games.
While Texas leads the Big 12 with just one conference defeat, Iowa State and three other teams enter Week 12 with 5-2 league records. A single upset could significantly impact the race to the Big 12 Championship Game, potentially altering the current standings.
Iowa State appears to have all the ingredients for an upset in its favor come Saturday night. The Cyclones are set to face Texas under the lights in a nationally televised event at Jack Trice Stadium, a venue that has proven challenging for the Longhorns in recent years.
Texas faced setbacks in Ames in both 2019 and 2021, with the latter defeat being particularly significant, ending in a 24-point margin. Despite Iowa State flying somewhat under the radar in 2023, boasting a 4-1 record in its last five games, the lone setback being a home loss to the Kansas Jayhawks two weeks ago, Matt Campbell’s team bounced back in Week 11 with a convincing win over the BYU Cougars, keeping their hopes alive for the Big 12 Championship Game.
Fueling Iowa State’s recent success is freshman quarterback Rocco Becht, who has delivered four consecutive 200-yard passing performances in the Cyclones’ last four wins, all secured by double-digit margins. While Iowa State may lack experience at quarterback compared to Texas’ Quinn Ewers, Becht’s recent strong performances suggest he could be the key to securing victory.
The Cyclones’ defense faces a crucial task in containing the formidable Ewers-Xavier Worthy passing duo to enhance their chances of pulling off the upset. Considering Texas’ narrow victories in its last two Big 12 road games and a close three-point win over the TCU Horned Frogs last week, there is a substantial likelihood that Texas may, at the very least, struggle to cover on Saturday night.
In the last 10 encounters between Texas and Iowa State since 2013, Texas holds a 6-4 lead in the head-to-head record. Notably, Iowa State has maintained a strong performance against the spread (ATS) with a 6-4 record during this period, while the Under has prevailed in 8 out of the 10 matchups. In the past three meetings, Iowa State has consistently covered the spread, and the Under has held true in all eight of the most recent games.
The most recent clash occurred in October 2022, where the Longhorns emerged victorious with a 24-21 win but fell short of covering the spread as 16-point home favorites. The total points scored in that game fell below the set line of 48.5, aligning with the Under. Despite the final score, both teams collectively produced over 760 yards of offense.
Examining the broader historical context, Texas maintains an all-time series lead of 12-5 against Iowa State.