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.
Thankful - 11 - Senior Day @sehlinger3 https://t.co/TSWPxQU9Tt— Texas Football (@Texas Football) 1606269718.0
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.
Sam Ehlinger ahead of his final home game at Texas: "I hope to be remembered as a quarterback and leader that led… https://t.co/SGKMOKJo9n— Jeff Barker (@Jeff Barker) 1606239718.0
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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Despite a 2-0 deficit, there was a pot of gold for Austin FC after all as it celebrated its annual Pride Night with rainbows and a 2-2 comeback draw to FC Dallas Saturday night.
After three FC Dallas losses last season, the Dallas derby draw marks the first time Austin FC has tied against its Copa Texas rival. Austin continues to edge over FC Dallas as it sits at 3rd in the MLS West.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the match:
A somber start
Decked out in colorful hues for LBGTQ+ Pride, Verde fans started the match on a somber note as they held up banners to take a stand against gun violence before the match.
As the national anthem began, fans held up banners with the names of each child that was killed in the Uvalde school shooting and a plea to "end gun violence."
The supporters' section was also dotted with Pride flags and a "Bans off Our Bodies" banner in protest of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
FC Dallas earns a 2-0 lead
That sober tone continued onto the pitch. With midfielder Daniel Pereira's absence due to a red card, the Verde and Black lost two goals to FC Dallas by the 70th minute of play.
FC Dallas played it sneaky for the first half of the match, giving Austin FC plenty of room to hold possession as it waited to strike on a Verde error. That mentality proved dangerous for Austin as Dallas' Paul Arriola took advantage of Brad Stuver's deflection to score the first goal of the night in the 57th minute of play.
Dallas struck once more as Brandon Servant pushed past the Verde line to score the second goal of the match.
Austin FC strikes back
But energy quickly returned to Austin's favor thanks to Designated Player Sebastian Driussi, who scooted past several FC Dallas defenders alongside Moussa Djitte to snag an unlikely first goal for Austin.
A full Verde comeback
Austin's subs proved deadly as momentum returned to the home team toward the end of the match. A well-placed cross from Nick Lima—and a diving header from a fresh-legged Danny Hoesen—helped the team secure the draw with a second Verde goal in the 84th minute of play.
Hoesen, who was Austin's first starting striker last season, has now scored two goals with the team after a yearlong injury stuck him on the bench.
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Hours following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion, on Friday, about 1,000 people gathered in Republic Square with signs calling for change.
The rally, organized by the group Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights Texas, started at the federal courthouse on Republic Square on Friday at 5 p.m. before the crowd marched to the Texas Capitol. More protests are expected to ensue over the weekend.
People showed up with all types of signs like Mindy Moffa holding up, "Keep your filthy laws off my silky drawers."
Austin joined cities across the country that saw protests for a women's right to an abortion after the ruling.
According to a recent UT poll, 78% of Texas voters support abortion access in most cases.
Sabrina Talghade and Sofia Pellegrini held up signs directed at Texas laws. A Texas trigger law will ban all abortions from the moment of fertilization, starting 30 days after the ruling. When state legislators passed the trigger law last summer, it also passed laws for more protection of firearms, including the right to open carry without a permit.
Lili Enthal of Austin yells as around 1,000 Texans marched to the Texas Capitol.
From the Texas Capitol, Zoe Webb lets her voice be heard against the Supreme Court ruling.
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