32 - 119 (3.7): Texas rush attempts - rushing yards (yards per carry)
The run heavy offensive attack that dominated Oklahoma and Kansas State was not going to fly against Paul Rhoads' Iowa State Cyclones. The Cyclones committed numbers to stuffing the ground game, and Jay Norvell's charges were more than happy to feed the defense some easy stuffs. Johnathan Gray went 8 carries for 23 yards, Jerrod Heard went 9 carries for 13 net yards on mostly inconsequential scrambles, and a meaningless 25 yards on 5 carries were divided amongst Chris Warren, Daje Johnson, and D'Onta Foreman.
The only effective ground game Texas managed was Tyrone Swoopes' 58 yards in 10 carries, a mix of early 18 Wheeler runs (that were abandoned after success) and late game desperation scrambles.
While the Cyclones sold out to stop the one dimensional Horns' ground game, they left single coverage and large cushions outside to the Texas WRs. How was that strategy punished?
6-9, 26, 0-1: Jerrod Heard completions-attempts, passing yards, passing TDs-INTs
6-13, 59: Tyrone Swoopes completions-attempts, passing yards
Yeah, not much going there. Heard struggled immensely in his worst performance as a Texas Longhorn. He managed less than 3 yards per attempt, was sacked 3 times in a minimal number of pass attempts, and displayed either incapability or unwillingness to attack ISU coverage downfield.
Tyrone Swoopes was brought in late with the game already decided, and while willing to push the ball downfield, produced little. John Burt wasn't able to pull down a jump ball, Swoopes missed a wide open Daje Johnson for a sure touchdown, and Marcus Johnson dropped a TD on the last play of the game.
It's not enough to bring about the Texas fanbase's beloved QB controversy, but the staff and Heard must get together to create some offense through the air to prevent teams from smothering the ground game. With West Virginia and Texas Tech looming as must wins after Kansas, it has to happen sooner rather than later.
2-13 vs. 15-24: Texas offense third down conversions-attempts vs. ISU third down conversions-attempts
The Texas two-game win streak came largely on the shoulders of improved third down offense and defense. Those gains were wiped out in Ames. With the run game struggling, Texas routinely faced third and long and Heard was unable to scramble his way to conversions. The Iowa State offense, in the week they fired their offensive coordinator and benched the starting QB, were able to do exactly what Texas wanted to do on offense.
32 - 157 (4.9) - 1: ISU RB Mike Warren rushes - rushing yards (yards per carry) - rushing TDs
13 - 64 (4.9): ISU QB Joel Lanning rushes - rushing yards (yards per carry)
Behind a strong 157 yards from freshman RB Mike Warren, the ISU defense chugged out tough yards on the ground despite their own remedial passing attack. And when faced with third and long, newly minted starting QB Joel Lanning was able to evade an undisciplined Texas pass rush to pick up first downs on the ground. All kinds of frustrating.
9 - 45.8 - 3: Michael Dickson punts - yards per punt - punts inside the 20
Bright spots! With the Texas offense struggling to produce anything, freshman punter Michael Dickson did a solid job of preventing field position from becoming a major detriment to the Horns' efforts. Despite an offensive disparity that reads 54 plays - 204 yards (3.8/play) to 92 plays - 426 yards (4.6/play), ISU was only able to have 8 yards of better average starting field position (starting at their own 28 vs. Texas starting at their own 20). Michael Dickson player of the game? Why not.