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Preview: Longhorns Heavy Favorites At Iowa State

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AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 21:  Case McCoy #6 of the Texas Longhorns runs on the field before a game against the Kansas State Wildcats at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 21, 2013 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Case McCoy and the Longhorns defeated Kansas State last week 31-21. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Texas (2-2, 1-0 Big 12) at Iowa State (1-2, 0-0); 6:30 p.m.

Series record: Texas leads 9-1

Line: Texas by 8 1/2

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Texas and coach Mack Brown would be in rough shape if they lost to the Cyclones _ who appear to be among the weaker teams in the league _ since they already have a pair of defeats on their resume. A win would bring the Cyclones back to .500 and give them a ton of confidence heading into a touch stretch of Big 12 play.

KEY MATCHUP

AMES, IA - AUGUST 31:  Defensive lineman Chris Jepsen #91 and defensive tackle Xavier Williams #98 of the Northern Iowa Panthers both put pressure on quarterback Sam B. Richardson #12 of the Iowa State Cyclones in the second half of play at Jack Trice Stadium on August 31, 2013 in Ames, Iowa. Northern Iowa defeated Iowa State 28-20. (Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images)

Iowa State QB Sam B. Richardson (Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images)

Iowa State QB Sam Richardson vs. the Longhorns defense. Texas’s defense improved under new defensive coordinator Greg Robinson by allowing just 21 points in a win over Kansas State, and they’ve had nearly an extra week to prepare for the Cyclones. Richardson’s ability as a dual-threat quarterback has been compromised by an ankle injury, but he still had 255 yards passing and 2 TDs last week in a win over Tulsa.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Iowa State. RB Aaron Wimberly. He had 137 yards rushing last week and is now the starter. But he’s never seen a defense like the Longhorns.

Texas: WR/RB Daje Johnson. He might be the most explosive playmaker Texas has, and he’s expected back after missing the past two games with an ankle injury.

FACTS & FIGURES

Iowa State hasn’t won a Big 12 opener since pounding Kansas 45-3 in 2002—Texas’s win over Kansas State on Sept. 21 snapped a five-game losing streak against the Wildcats—The Longhorns are 4-0 in Ames and beat the Cyclones on the road 37-14 in the 2011 league opener—The Cyclones are one of just three teams nationally that hasn’t lost a fumble.

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