Texas Keeps Big 12 Title Hopes Alive with 24-10 Win over Iowa State

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2018

AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 17:  Sam Ehlinger #11 of the Texas Longhorns signals after a first down in the first quarter against the Iowa State Cyclones at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on November 17, 2018 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

The 15th-ranked Texas Longhorns snapped Iowa State's five-game winning streak and defeated the 16th-ranked Cyclones 24-10 at Texas Memorial Stadium on Saturday night. 

Texas is now 8-3 and has rattled off two straight wins after dropping a pair of games versus Oklahoma State and West Virginia. 

The Cyclones, meanwhile, dropped to 6-4 with their first loss since Sept. 29 against TCU. 


Texas in Position to Dash Oklahoma's College Football Playoff Hopes

It may have seemed unlikely entering Saturday's slate, but the Longhorns are suddenly in position to play spoiler in a serious way. 

Thanks to their win over the Cyclones and Oklahoma State's come-from-behind win over West Virginia, there's now a clear path for the Longhorns to square off against Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game, as The Athletic's Max Olson explained: 

Max Olson @max_olson

Updated Big 12 title game scenarios, assuming OU and Texas beat Kansas. https://t.co/PngVbkURaS

With those scenarios in mind, all Texas and OU have to do is take care of business next week to clash in an epic Red River Rivalry rematch on Dec. 1 in Arlington, Texas. 

Oklahoma, of course, would be looking for revenge after the Longhorns escaped with a thrilling 48-45 win at the Cotton Bowl on Oct. 6. And with Kyler Murray playing Heisman-caliber ball, the Sooners would almost certainly be favored in a game that could be rife with College Football Playoff implications. 

However, everything we saw six weeks ago suggests the Longhorns can keep the Sooners from wiggling their way into the final four. 

When healthy, Sam Ehlinger is among the most dynamic dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation. (He threw for one touchdown and ran for another Saturday night before he was lifted as a precaution after taking a hard hit late in the second quarter.) 

Jim Vertuno @JimVertuno

Ehlinger has accounted for 30 touchdowns (20 passing, 10 rushing) this season #hookem

Plus, he's surrounded by a bevy of game-breaking playmakers in Lil'Jordan Humphrey, Collin Johnson and Keaontay Ingram who have proved capable of slicing up OU's 84th-ranked scoring defense (entering Saturday). 

Justin Van Zuiden @stlcardinals84

Oklahoma's last three games: 473 yards allowed to Texas Tech 640 yards allowed to Oklahoma State 524 yards allowed to............. Kansas.

There's still work to be done, of course, but the Longhorns have laid the groundwork for a sweet ending to a season that's proved they are back. 


What's Next? 

The Longhorns will close out their regular-season slate on Nov. 23 against the Kansas Jayhawks. Iowa State is headed for a home tilt against Kansas State on Nov. 24.