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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Texas Football: The Iowa State Game 

Week Three: No. 7 Texas (2-1) v. Iowa State (2-1)
Last Week: Texas 52, Rice 7; Iowa 27, Iowa State 17
Last Meeting: 2003 -- Texas W 40-19
All-Time Series: Texas leads, 5-0

While Texas cruised against Rice, the rest of the Horns' conference rivals experienced anything but a leisurely weekend. To recap:

- Texas A&M became the biggest overwhelming favorite to barely escape San Antonio on the victorious end since 1836, when they survived an ambush from Army. And Dennis Franchione doesn't have the luxury of executing his detractors in the wake of less-than-glorious win, as did Santa Anna.
- Oklahoma forgot to pack KY on their trip to Eugene, Ore. It may have helped with the anal violation, but I'm not sure it would have prevented the Ducks from rolling up 500-plus yards in offense.
- Nebraska's Bill Callahan showed yet again that all NFL-turned-NCAA coaches are not created equal when his Huskers played not to lose against Pete Carroll's USC Trojans, yet never once flirted with victory.
- Texas Tech, well, didn't find the end zone against TCU. Perhaps Mike Leach took his offense out to Sundance Square on Friday night?

Right now the conference looks like Texas and the 11 dwarfs, though Mizzou's 3-0 record (along with the impressive play from new QB Chase Daniel) leaves hope that a school from among the upper six might not only find their way into the Top 25, but also stay there for more than a week or two. And if the Sooners can manage to put last week behind them (there have been more egregious officiating instances in college football history), then they could maybe make a run, too.

Entertaining words from TWTWB that won't necessarily pump you up for this week's game, but should entertain you, especially if you know some of our inside jokes

What we learned last week: Chris Leak 2006 > chocolate cheesecake > the Brad Nessler/Dick Vermeil/Ron Jaworski announcing crew > Colt McCoy 2006 > Chris Leak 2005…Notre Dame’s defense is slightly worse than the defense in Little Giants…JaMarcus Russell can throw the ball a long ways, but can he lead a team to victory in hostile territory?...Apparently having a senior quarterback is the secret at Texas Tech…Dick Bavetta’s new job = Pac 10 replay official…Major Applewhite still can’t win with Mack Brown on the field.


This week we dive into the old mailbag. Remember, these are not actual letters from actual readers. The only email I get talks of great stock finds, erectile dysfunction remedies, Jeremy reciting Ticket drops and fantasy football transactions…

Q: I bet the house when you picked Texas to beat Ohio State. Where’s my money?

Deloss D.
Austin, TX

Sorry Deloss. I had no idea that our defense was going to go Roman Polanksi on the offense and stay far, far away. You should have called the hotline and got the hot pick of that week, that a leader of a country nobody gives a shit about and that we could take out in a weekend will call George W. Bush the devil.

Q: I will kill you. And then I will kill your wife. And then I will kill your kids. And your dog. And your mailman.

Norman, OK

Forward to > gordonriese@gmail.com

Q: Can you please tell all women out there that The Last Kiss was just a movie and that there is nothing to worry about?

Matt C.

What are you talking about, Matt? Don’t you know that guys cheat on their pregnant girlfriend all the time, right about the same time that their girlfriend’s mom leaves her dad and his best buddy leaves his wife and newborn child? Most guys don’t worry about where their life is going, they only worry about: A.) Who does their favorite NFL team play this weekend? B.) What kind of beer do I need this weekend and how many? C.) Does this shirt stink? D.) If so, how much effort would it take to change to another one or wash this one?

Q: What are the rules if you lose to a girl in fantasy football?

Ken K.
Austin, TX

Sell your team to someone with a pair.

Q: As a Longhorn, how do I get up for games every week? We won the national title last year, but it looks like we might be shut out of that possibility this year. What do we do?

Duane A.
Austin, TX

Get out of the way for a fan who has a pair. Look, American Pie was great, but American Pie 2 was still pretty damn good. You can’t win the national title every year and you’ll never going to see a player like Vince Young again. Shannon Elizabeth isn’t going to get naked again, but there will be plenty of nudity to go around. Grab a beer, quit feeling sorry for yourself and go see some boobs.

Q: What do you think of the MTV show Two-a-Days?

Peter B.
Austin, TX

Other than the insane need to cut every one of those kid’s hair, I like it. You’ve got your jock who you know for him this will be the greatest year of his life followed by a year or two at Wal-Mart followed by a lengthy stint at a quick lube place (Alex), your jock who you know will end up punching his step-father in the face and returning home from college by the age of 41 (Max), you’ve got the cheerleader who will look upon this in 10 years and say “what the fuck? That was that Alex that just changed the oil in my BMW?” (Kristin), the guy that will be in the NFL sleeping with two white girls every night (Repete), you’ve got the quarterback who will still be Uncle Rico-ing everyone and telling them how he won the state championship and would have won in college if he wasn’t so terrible (Ross), and you’ve got the head coach who will likely die of a heart attack on the field (Coach Propst). What’s not to like?

Q: Who is the college version of Art Shell, the guy that doesn’t appear to be doing anything and stands there expressionless the entire game?

Bill Simmons
Los Angeles, CA

Mark Magino of Kansas. That’s only because the camera can’t fit his fatass in the entire frame and you have no idea what his expression is.

Q: Is there a sports equivalent to that guy on the conference call that won’t shut up and let you return to your desk, the guy that talks throughout the entire movie, the friend that has to try to one-up every story you tell and the guy that whines about his wife every week at the Thursday night poker game?

G. Riese
Eugene, OR

This Week's Game in a Nutshell

Texas has never lost to Iowa State and that's not likely to change on Saturday. But something tells me that the 24-point spread might be a little high. The Cyclones pushed Iowa to the limit last week, and sure it was a rivalry game, but they played in Iowa City, and Iowa State kept it to within one possession until the waning minutes. If you don't think that's impressive then I should mention that the Buckeye fans I visited with two weeks ago were adament in their belief that Ohio State's road trip to Kinnick Stadium represents their toughest remaining regular season test.

Bret Meyer only threw for 152 yards against the Hawkeyes (granted his WR's didn't help him out on multiple occasions), so if the Horns can hold him to a similar total then Texas fans will have two things to cheer about: (1) Texas will win the game handily, and (2) Any concerns about the secondary after Troy Smith's performance should be at least somewhat alleviated. And Meyer is going to have to challenge the Texas DBs, because despite what their 171 rushing yards against Iowa might tell you, the Cyclones are not going to run the ball against Texas.

I think Texas depends on Colt McCoy more this week than in the Rice game. Selvin and Jamaal will get their yards, but OU looms in two weeks, and this is the last chance to work out any kinks in the passing game (Sam Houston State next week is a glorified scrimmage). It's time for McCoy to start looking further downfield than the flats, which means Jermichael Finley needs to continue the progress he showed last week. But if all else fails, you can't go wrong with the zone read to Young or Charles. Iowa State will probably hang around for a while, as they did with Iowa, but Texas will pull away in the second half.

The Greg Brown Memorial Pregame Premonition

Longhorn fans get to see what they've been waiting for since February, when freshman LB Sergio Kindle blasts through the ISU line and buries Meyer six feet below Joe Jamail Field.

Personal Anecdote Involving This Week's Opponent

Texas' 2002 game with Iowa State was played in a cold, steady drizzle. I bought a burnt orange poncho on the way to the stadium, and even though it looked sharp I still got soaked -- just not as soaked as Cyclone QB Seneca Wallace, who was supposed to cause the Texas defense fits, but instead sent most of his day scrambling for his life and picking himself off the ground. The Horns prevailed, 21-10. I still have the poncho sitting in a drawer. It hasn't been used since.

Semi-Relevant Quote from the Big Lebowski

"Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who gives a shit about the rules?"

This obviously applies as much to the Oregon-Oklahoma game as anything Texas-related, but it still fits the Horns. Texas set a school record with 19 penalties against Rice. One of them negated what would have been Aaron Ross' fourth career punt return for a TD (and second of the game). Something tells me that should the Horns show such little regard for the rules this week, mack Brown may have enter a world of pain on Sunday.

Deluded/Rational Thoughts from an Opposing Message Board

From ISUFan22 on CycloneNation.Com.

Here is my recipe for ISU defeating Texas...

1. Penalties. In the Rice game alone, Texas committed 19 penalties for 148 yards (27 for 215 on the year, ISU has 14 for 108 ) . Few teams can overcome that, but we are talking about Texas vs. Rice here.

2. Stop the run. So far the 1-2 punch of Charles and Young has yielded 495 yards for the Longhorns. That’s some serious yardage. ISU has done very well vs. the run so far. This will be their biggest test of the season, bigger than Peterson.

3. Shut down Sweed. So far Sweed has 9 receptions for 164 yards and 3 TD’s. Next best past catcher is Young with 9 for 64. Take Sweed away from McCoy.

4. Disrupt McCoy. Looking at #3, that tells me one of two things – or both. A. McCoy either goes big to Sweed or checks down to a back or B. The Longhorns don’t have many pass catching options. I think it’s a little more of the latter, so we aught to be able to cover Sweed tight with safety help, lock a linebacker on Young and get after the QB.

5. Pass first, run second. The Texas defense is nasty, just plain nasty – the toughest we’ll face. They only allowed Ohio State 79 yards on the ground yet they did yield 269 yards in the air and 2 TD’s. I think Ohio State has a better running game that our Cyclones, so we should expect very little from Hicks on the ground. Go to the air early and often.

6. Protect the football. So far the Texas defense has only yielded 3 turnovers and they played the likes of North Texas and Rice. They had 0 takeaways vs. OSU, a fumble recovery vs. Rice and a fumble & INT vs North Texas. ISU, don’t be the team that gets the Longhorn defense going on turnovers. Only one INT for Texas? See #5.

7. More offense in the 2nd half, more first downs. Oddly enough, we’re 2nd in the Big 12 for 3rd down conversion percentage at 50% (Texas is at 41.4%) yet we’re 6th in first downs per game at 19.7 (Texas at 23). I think this relates to our 2nd half woes, so the offense needs to start and finish strong.

8. Make the pressure kick. I can only imagine that should we be in a position to win this game, Shaggy will need to make a pressure kick at some point in the game. Get that monkey off your back Shaggy!
I guess not everyone on the Internet is an idiot. That's a pretty spot-on post. I'm not sure that Iowa State would win even if they hit on all eight, but the guy makes some valid observations.

The Facts

Is this not probably the worst part of this weekly preview? I'm thinking of doing away with this section.

Random Texas-Iowa State highlight that has little to do with this game, but was sweet nonetheless

I really hope Saturday's game isn't as close as this NCAA '07 production, but pickings are slim when it comes to finding highlights between these two teams, and the Fitty Cent soundtrack is a nice touch.

Prediction: Texas 30, Iowa State 7



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