Keys to the Game: vs. No. 10 TCU

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Copy the Iowa State method 

It seems like so much time has passed since the Longhorns’ 17-7 victory over Iowa State on Sept. 28. Since then, Texas has gone 2–2 and has been unable to pull off any upsets versus ranked teams. However, Iowa State has upset Oklahoma and TCU, two top-5 teams.

Iowa State pulled off the upset over then-No. 4 TCU last week with timely offense and a lights-out defense. The only score that TCU was able to achieve was a kick return for a touchdown. The defense was able to force senior Kenny Hill to commit three turnovers, one of which allowed the Cyclones to clinch the win in the fourth quarter.

Texas has the star power to pull off a similar upset. The defense has been able to slow down traditionally powerful offenses such as USC and Oklahoma State, the former of which was in California on the road. In order to beat the Horned Frogs, the Longhorns will need to follow the Cyclones’ lead and play dominant defense.

Stick with Buechele

While certainly not as mobile as his teammate freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger, sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele is the better option at this point in the season. Last week against Baylor, Buechele threw for 256 yards and one touchdown to go with 42 rushing yards and another score on a 28-yard scramble to the end zone.

Buechele showed command over intermediate routes that Ehlinger has yet to show a knack for. With Buechele moving the ball through the air, the run game finally got some life, as freshman running back Toneil Carter rushed for 70 yards and one touchdown. The team ran for a total of 171 yards, a vast improvement over the 42 yards from the previous week versus Oklahoma State.

The only way to beat TCU is to pair a stingy defense with a balanced offensive attack. The best player to put under center for that is none other than Buechele.

Take advantage of turnovers

Against USC, the first key moment occurred for the Longhorns at the end of the second quarter when an interception was returned for a touchdown. In last week’s game against Baylor, the first score of the game for the Longhorns was another interception return for a touchdown.

While the offense is still struggling to find a consistent identity, the defense has to continue to carry a large part of the burden. This involves scoring points on defense and setting up the offense with favorable field position.

In order to pull off the first upset against a ranked opponent this year and put Texas one game away from bowl eligibility, the team must make the most of its turnover opportunities.