In this week’s Crossing Enemy Lines, we talk to Brian Spaen of Clones Confidential about the upcoming game between the Texas Longhorns and the Iowa State Cyclones.
1. Jake Knott is a player that Mack Brown and the Longhorns respect. How have Cyclone fans responded to Mack Brown’s letter to Jake?
Completely positive. All the fans appreciate Brown taking time out of a busy football season to acknowledge Knott’s hard work in his four-year career. Brown has gotten a lot of heat this season and hopefully this makes him better as a person in the people that believe he shouldn’t be coaching anymore.
2. What does Paul Rhoads do that makes him able to beat top teams?
Rhoads has one of the best coach-to-player relationships I have seen. It’s exceeded the level from the Dan McCarney era; he’s been getting the players he wants on this team. The players believe in his philosophy and play hard for him. It’s still obvious that talent wise this team suffers against the top competition in the conference, but if any of them overlook this team or play off their game, this team’s defense can make them pay.
3. Who will start at QB for Iowa State?
Steele Jantz. Despite looking ugly against Oklahoma early on, the Cyclones didn’t quit in the game and he actually looked similar to the previous week down the stretch. Jantz has stopped overthrowing the ball and forcing it to his receivers, thus the interceptions have gone down dramatically. Now some receivers need to step up and stop the dropped catches.
4. Who wins and why?
Iowa State’s offense has moved the ball better in these last two weeks than most of the season. If James White can get the ground game going, it opens things up for their backup running backs. With Texas ranked 107th in rush defense it’s paramount for the Cyclones to run the ball successfully. Until last week, I believed Iowa State would win in Texas for the second straight time. But after the Longhorns rebounded against Texas Tech, I think Mack Brown’s increased involvement with the defense will get them a close victory and Iowa State will still be looking to be bowl eligible. Texas wins 31-27