Texas: UT Offense Is Complete Failure Against Iowa State


The Texas Longhorns are a team that’s certainly challenged when it comes to passing the football, but Saturday’s game against Iowa State was ridiculous.

Seems like just days ago – it actually was – that I wrote that the Texas Longhorns offense was going to need more from it’s offense. A team that can certainly get creative when it comes to running the football, it’s been clear all season that the biggest deficiency in the UT offense is throwing the football.

No, rugby isn’t going to win many college football games and the Longhorns got a classic example of that fact on Saturday in Ames, Iowa.

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Texas allowed an Iowa State quarterback named Joel Lanning, a sophomore making his first start, to efficiently carve up the Longhorns defense en route to a 24-0 shutout victory. The Cyclones improved to 3-5 on the season with their surprising win at Jack Trice Stadium.

It’s hard to find much in the way of positives for Texas following this game.

The defense seemed to be outclassed, although not for a lack of effort. The final margin wasn’t established until close to two minutes left in the game when freshman running back Joshua Thomas plowed through the Texas defensive front for a one-yard touchdown run to secure the blowout.

Another freshman running back named Mike Warren gained 157 yards on 32 carries and added another touchdown. The balanced offensive attack allowed Lanning to complete 19 passes on 37 attempts for 188 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions.

Can’t say the same thing for Texas quarterback Jerrod Heard, who fired an ill-advised pass down the sideline into traffic for an interception on the way to a dismal six completions on just nine attempts. The freshman ended up with a quarterback rating of just 2.4 as he totaled all of 26 yards in the air.

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Junior quarterback Tyrone Swoopes ended up Texas’ leading passer and rusher, although the numbers in both categories were less than stellar, which probably goes without saying. Swoopes ran for 58 yards on 10 carries and managed to complete six passes for 59 yards.

If you’re doing the math, that’s 85 yards passing against an Iowa State team that won a Big 12 contest for just the second time in its last 13 tries.

Think about that for a minute.

The Texas offense is lost, compelling junior safety Dylan Haines to offer this quote captured by Nick Castillo of the Dallas Morning News following the game:

"Offensively, we couldn’t get anything going, but on defense we didn’t help them out at all, especially on third down. We’re going to look back on this game and see that we’re not executing on third down and this is not the team that played against OU and K-State, so we just have to continue to play better and execute and that just comes with preparation."

Texas is back home next Saturday for a date with the Kansas Jayhawks, a team that one might expect the Longhorns to handle.

Then again, Iowa State proved once and for all that head coach Charlie Strong has to find a way to develop some kind of passing attack. Nobody denies that running the football is how you win games – but with no threat of the passing attack whatsoever, defenses know how to kill the running game with very elementary schemes and alignments.

Those final two games on the schedule against Texas Tech and Baylor are beginning to look like a couple of visits to a firing squad.

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There’s time, but the Longhorns need to find more – much more – on offense from this point forward.