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Game Preview: Longhorns face off against #13 Cyclones
(Texas Longhorns/Instagram)
Game Preview: Longhorns face off against #13 Cyclones

The Texas Longhorns take the field for the first time in two weeks after postponements and bye weeks, making them one of the most well rested teams in the conference.


Their opponent Friday will make or break the Longhorns' hopes to take home a Big 12 title this season as #13 Iowa State comes to town. It will also mark the last home game of the season and the final home game for a group of seniors who have stuck with Texas through thick and thin.

After the Kansas game was pushed to the end of the season due to COVID-19 concerns, Coach Tom Herman and the Longhorns got an extra week to prepare for a showdown against the Iowa State Cyclones.

The new College Football Playoff rankings, which were released Tuesday, put 6-2 Iowa State four spots ahead of #17 Texas. Neither team has a real shot at making the playoffs this season, with 100-to-1 odds of the Big 12 Champion even making the playoffs, according to most gambling websites.

The new College Football Playoff rankings, which were released Tuesday, put 6-2 Iowa State four spots ahead of #17 Texas. Neither team has a real shot at making the playoffs this season, with 100-to-1 odds, according to most gambling websites.

the Big 12 Champion evening getting a chance to make the playoffs 100 to 1 according to most gambling websites. However, Friday's match up still will decide a lot, including the possible future of Herman at Texas.

The Texas defense under Defensive Coordinator Chris Ash has been underrated to say the least. The Longhorns, led by junior linebacker Joseph Ossai, have the 16th ranked defense in yards allowed per rush.

The defense will have their work cut out for them with one of the conference's best running backs, Iowa State sophomore Breece Hall, coming to Austin. Hall is averaging 6.5 yards per attempt.

The Longhorns defense was able to bottle up Oklahoma State's Chuba Hubbard (72 yards, no TDs) and West Virginia's Leddie Brown (47 yards, 1 TD), two of the conference's other top backs.

On offense, this will be the last time Sam Ehlinger take the field at home as a Longhorn. The senior quarterback has a lot on his plate.

The Cyclones have a solid defense, allowing only 23.4 points per game and the second fewest rushing yards per game in the Big 12. That might change the way that Ehlinger gets used Friday. The quarterback is known more for what he can do in the play action and run-pass option than what he can do in the pocket.

The Cyclones pass defense will have to be prepared for whatever the Longhorns throw their way, but fans can almost count on a great performance for Ehlinger.

All week, Ehlinger has been focused on the task at hand: beating #13 Iowa State and having the Longhorns fight their way back into Big 12 title contention.

With Oklahoma State's loss to Oklahoma last week, the Cyclones are currently in sole possession of first place in the conference, with Oklahoma coming in second. If the Longhorns can win out, beating Iowa State, Kansa State and Kansas, then Texas will have a shot at the trophy to end the year.

Friday will also see the unveiling of the newest addition to the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium monument collection.

Julius Whittier was the first AfricanAmerican football letterman and played from 1970-1972 for legendary head coach Darrell K. Royal. Whittier was part of the 1970 National Championship team that is also being honored Friday on the 50th anniversary of the title.

Whittier made history in 1970 in the season opener against Cal as the first Black football player to start for the Longhorns. He was on the roster for three Southwest Conference titles and a national championship.

The San Antonio native died in 2018 from Alzheimer at 68.

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