Stat Guy: Trips to Ames bodes well for Longhorns

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Iowa State celebrates its 44-41 win over rival Iowa on Sept. 10. The Cyclones are 3-0 for the first time since 2005 and appear to be a team on the rise in the Big 12 Conference.
Iowa State celebrates its 44-41 win over rival Iowa on Sept. 10. The Cyclones are 3-0 for the first time since 2005 and appear to be a team on the rise in the Big 12 Conference.

Believe it or not, this Saturday will mark just the third time that Texas has traveled to Ames, Iowa this century.

When the Big 12 actually had 12 teams, north and south division schools played home-and-home games sets against one another every other two years.

With the new format of the conference however, the two teams will be facing off every year, making the journey to the Hawkeye State a more common occurrence. The Longhorns have always fared well against the Cyclones, home and away: they hold a 7-1 all-time record against Iowa State, with the lone loss coming last season in Austin.

So just how good has Texas been at ISU’s Jack Trice Stadium? Let’s take a look at — what else? — the stats.

In the 2003 trip to America’s Heartland, Vince Young passed for 136 yards and rushed for 56 more in his first start in 2003. Colt McCoy showed off his dual-threat ability in 2007, with 298 passing yards, four touchdowns and 50 rushing yards and one touchdown. Things just seem to go the Longhorns’ way in Ames.

Texas averages 546 yards of total offense there, compared to the Cyclones’ 228. Cedric Benson torched Iowa State with 140 yards and three touchdowns in 2003, a 40-19 Texas win. In that 2007 game, sophomore Jordan Shipley snagged two of McCoy’s four touchdown passes.

The Longhorns average 321 yards through the air in Ames, amassing six touchdowns in the process. Between McCoy, Young and Chance Mock, the Longhorn quarterbacks have compiled a 75 percent completion rating, overshadowing Iowa State’s 42 percent mark. Between the ’03 and ’07 seasons, 23 different Longhorn skill position players touched the ball, similar to the diversity the 2011 Texas offense boasts.

All those offensive numbers have accounted to some pretty big blowouts — the Longhorn offense has averaged 48 points in its two trips to Ames in the past decade. But hey, lets not forget about defense.

When they host Texas, the Cyclones average 99 yards on the ground and 154 yards through the air. The Longhorns have forced three turnovers, both coming in its 56-3 win in 2007. Texas has posted seven sacks in two games, holding Iowa State to a mere 11 points per game.

This year however, Iowa State isn’t the little brother of the Big 12 anymore. The Cyclones are 3-0, and are on the cusp of breaking into the top 25 in the nation. With NFL prospects in guard Kelechi Osemele and cornerback Leonard Johnson, the Cyclones are more athletic than ever. Running back Shontrelle Johnson is averaging five yards a carry, and quarterback Steele Jantz is passing for about 233 yards a game.

“They’ve upgraded their speed so much,” said Texas head coach Mack Brown. “You used to be able to beat Iowa State because they couldn’t run with you.”

This Saturday, two teams vastly improved from last year will meet in Ames, Iowa. If historical statistics paint any picture, expect the Longhorns to score a few points.

Printed on Thursday, September 29, 2011 as: UT holds advantage in Ames