Texas football vs. Iowa State: 4 bold predictions for a tricky matchup

Quinn Ewers, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Quinn Ewers, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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Bijan Robinson is held under 70 rushing yards

This might be the most difficult matchup that star junior running back Bijan Robinson faces in the Big 12 this season. Iowa State’s defense was tremendous defending the ground game in Big 12 play thus far. So far this season, Iowa State leads the Big 12 allowing roughly 91 rushing yards per game and second in yards per carry at 3.0.

Anytime you see a team like Iowa State that is winless in conference play holding a star as bright as Kansas State star running back Deuce Vaughn held to 23 rushing yards on 10 attempts, you see that this is one of the things they’re doing right.

Iowa State ranks 45th in FBS in defense rushing play success rate (39.1 percent), 12th in defense rushing play explosiveness, and 23rd in defense run play PPA (predicted points added).

What will make this matchup so difficult for Bijan, beyond the obvious that Iowa State’s run defense is very good, is how Texas’ offensive line matches up in the trenches. One of the areas that Texas can successfully run the ball is via the inside zone or an outside zone that winds up getting cut inside.

If Texas runs straight outside, the Iowa State linebackers and DBs will be able to clean up the play with just a two or three-yard gain.

Yet, the problem that this presents for Texas is that the interior offensive line is the weakest point of the offense in terms of run blocking. Texas can establish the run on the outside usually, especially behind senior offensive tackle Christian Jones.

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All in all, I don’t particularly like this matchup for Bijan. If Iowa State commits to stopping the run, as they did last season against Bijan and the Longhorns, this could wind up being the worst rushing performance for the star rusher since the Alabama game on Sep. 10.