On a night in which Todd Orlando’s defense looked dominant, multiple freshmen were a big reason why. Orlando turned up the pressure to get freshman quarterback Brock Purdy out of his comfort zone. Purdy completed just 10-of-23 passes for 130 yards. The relentless pressure all night long resulted in six sacks for the defense with three of those coming from the freshmen — Caden Sterns, B.J. Foster, and Joseph Ossai. Ossai’s strip sack sealed an impressive 24-10 win over Iowa State.
The two starting freshman safeties had themselves a game on Saturday night. Foster and Sterns combined for 10 tackles, three tackles for a loss, and two sacks. After Brandon Jones was held out with a lingering injury, Texas slid Foster over to the starting strong safety role. This game was a glimpse of how special this dynamic duo can be over the years at the safety position.
With the new NCAA redshirt rule, which allows players to play up to four games without burning a redshirt, expect the Longhorns to manage those numbers carefully. To keep track of the new redshirt rule, the number of games that each player has appeared in will be listed next to their position. This will be updated game-by-game. If there is no number listed next to their position, this means they’ve already exceeded the four-game limit and can no longer redshirt. 11 true freshmen have surpassed that mark so far.
Keontay Ingram (RB): It was the Tre Watson show to close out his graduate year at home. Along with Watson’s 93-yard rushing yards, Ingram added 57 yards on 12 carries (4.8 YPC).
The Longhorns established a demoralizing run game behind the big boys up front. In terms of creating running lanes and holes for the backs, this looked like the best performance from the offensive line all season.
Ingram scored on a 19-yard check-down pass to increase an early lead to 14-3. He became a viable option in the passing game with Iowa State concerned about down-the-field throws. Ingram continues to take those next steps towards becoming a more complete running back.
Season Stats: 116 carries for 625 yards (5.4 YPC) — 3 TDs, 20 receptions for 119 yards — 2 TDs (6 YPC)
Brennan Eagles (WR): Eagles did not receive any targets.
Season Stats: 1 reception for 35 yards
D’Shawn Jamison (WR/KR/PR): Jamison made a wise decision on a punt that landed inside-the-10. On a 61-yard booming punt that went well over his head, he took it off a bounce and managed to gain seven yards from it. This set the offense up from their own 15-yard line rather than being pinned inside-the-five.
Season Stats: 2 carries for -6 yards, 3 receptions for 2 yards, 10 kick returns — 20.2 YPR, 9 punt returns — 13.1 YPR - TD
Ayodele Adeoye (LB-2): Adeoye made his second straight appearance on special teams coverage.
Joseph Ossai (LB): Facing a 3rd and 10, down 24-10 with over a minute remaining, Iowa State had one last chance. Ossai put an end to any hopes of a comeback with a huge forced fumble. The freshman came off the edge and made a textbook play to knock the ball loose. Senior Charles Omenihu recovered the fumble to fittingly end his final game at DKR.
Ossai saw extended action at the B-backer position and made the most out of it. Along with the sack and forced fumble, he totaled three tackles.
Season Stats: 6 tackles (2 solo), sack, FF
DeMarvion Overshown (LB/S): A preseason knee injury seems to remain a slight problem for Overshown. Herman said he wasn’t exactly 100 percent and still tends to favor his knee. The freshman played on special teams but did not record any statistics.
Season Stats: 1 tackle
Anthony Cook (CB): Cook didn’t see any action at cornerback this week but he played well in special teams coverage. His lone tackle prevented a possible long punt return for the Cyclones.
Season Stats: 16 tackles (11 solo), PBU
Jalen Green (CB): Green saw more action on special teams but did not record any statistics.
Season Stats: 1 tackle (solo)
B.J. Foster (S): While seeing a lot of action at strong safety, Foster had an excellent game taking on a bigger role. When Texas would go into their nickel and dime packages, he remained at his rover position and Chris Brown filled in at safety. As always, he was effective on blitzes and showed elite closing speed to force some throwaways.
Foster totaled five tackles (three solo) and dropped Purdy for a 10-yard loss on a sack.
Season Stats: 33 tackles (23 solo), 6 TFL, 2.5 sack, INT, FF, 2 PDs
Caden Sterns (S): After leaving last week’s game with an injury, Sterns worked his way back to full health and showed up in a big way against Iowa State. He notched five solo tackles, two tackles for a loss and had his first sack of the season.
Sterns tackled well in space and prevented any big throws down the field. As the defensive game plan was more aggressive, they utilized him more in run blitzes than they did against air-raid offenses.
Season Stats: 51 tackles (36 solo), 2.5 TFL, sack, 4 INTs, blocked FG, 3 PBUs
Cameron Dicker (K): Dicker split on his field goal attempts — he hit a 22-yarder to end the first half and missed a short 28-yard attempt. That miss could have been costly if Iowa State was able to mount a Texas Tech-like comeback.
Season Stats: 15-21 FG (66.7%) — 4-5 20-29 yards, 3-4 30-39 yards, 7-10 40-49 yards, 1-2 50+ yards, 35-35 XPs (100%), 2 tackles (1 solo)
Ryan Bujcevski (P): Bujcevski’s work in the punting game won’t go unnoticed. The Aussie’s homeland rugby punting style was in full effect. He was effective and consistent all night long, averaging 44.4 yards on five punts. He also notched his first career tackle.
A reason why Bujcevski struggled early in the season was that he was unable to develop a rhythm while facing pressure. Now, he’s relied on the rugby style to give him more time back there, which also gives the returner less time to react. This adjustment has helped Bujcevski flip the field more often and has prevented any big returns.
Season Stats: 49 punts — 40.4 YPP, 13 downed inside-the-20, 8 50+ yards, 1 tackle
Other true freshmen that have played this season:
Joshua Moore (WR)*
Season Stats: 7 receptions for 53 yards — TD
Malcolm Epps (TE-1)
Season Stats: 1 reception for 18 yards
Keondre Coburn (DT-1)
Season Stats: 1 tackle (solo)
Moro Ojomo (DT-1)
* - Injured