FIVE QUESTIONS FOR TODAY’S GAME: TEXAS AT IOWA STATE
1. WHAT IMPACT WILL DAJE JOHNSON MAKE?
Texas’ sophomore slot receiver/tailback solidified his preseason rep of being one of the Longhorns’ most explosive weapons by scoring on a 66-yard catch and a 24-yard run in the opener. But he sprained his ankle on the third play at BYU the following week and hasn’t been seen since. He’s expected back for this game, and it will be interesting to see how he’s used, particularly with David Ash’s absence.
2. WILL THE DEFENSE HOLD ISU BELOW ITS TOTAL YARDS AVERAGE?
The Cyclones’ offense is not especially good, to put it politely, ranking eighth in the Big 12 in total yards (387.7), ninth in rushing yards (135.3) and fifth in passing yards (252.3). But Texas’ defense is the Big 12’s worst. Despite showing signs of improvement under new coordinator Greg Robinson, the Longhorns still rank last in the league in points allowed (28.0), total yards allowed (466.0) and rushing yards allowed (260.2).
3. WILL TIM COLE EXCEED HIS NUMBER OF CAREER TACKLES?
The redshirt freshman linebacker, who has played well on special teams, will get his first start because of the absences of Jordan Hicks (season-ending Achilles tendon injury) and Steve Edmond (targeting penalty vs. Kansas State). So far, Cole has logged only two plays from scrimmage, both in the opener against New Mexico State, and has two tackles. But Robinson likes what he sees from the Brenham product.
4. WILL JOHNATHAN GRAY RUSH FOR 100 YARDS AGAIN?
The sophomore is coming off a career-high 141-yard rushing game against Kansas State, and had 91 and 90 yards in the two games prior to that, so he’s on a bit of a roll. Gray accomplished the back-to-back 100-yard achievement last season against Kansas (111) and Texas Tech (106). The Cyclones’ rush defense ranks seventh in the Big 12 (177.3) and has allowed two 100-yard rushers in its first three games.
5. WILL TEXAS AVOID TURNOVERS?
One thing Iowa State has done pretty well is recover opponents’ fumbles. The Cyclones have averaged two fumble recoveries per game, which ranks second in the Big 12 and seventh nationally. The Longhorns have lost two fumbles in their first four games, coming against New Mexico State and Ole Miss.
— Randy Riggs