Cyclones

Quarterbacks

Case McCoy relieved David Ash in each of the last three games, completing 63.2 percent of his passes without an interception. With Ash unavailable, McCoy will have to play well to keep freshman Tyrone Swoopes from taking his redshirt off. Sam Richardson nearly led the Cyclones to an upset win over rival Iowa with 260 yards and three touchdowns while running for 111 yards this year.

Advantage: Iowa State

 

Running Backs

Iowa State has the worst rushing attack in the Big 12 but junior Aaron Wimberly busted out with 137 yards against Tulsa, the first 50-yard rushing performance by a Cyclone this season. Johnathan Gray ran for a career-high 141 yards against Kansas State and Malcolm Brown had his best game of the year. Daje Johnson returns, making the Texas running game even more versatile.  

Advantage: Texas

 

Wide Receivers

Sophomores Quenton Bundrage and Tad Ecby -- the only two Iowa State receivers with at least 10 receptions this year -- are leading the Cyclones youth movement while senior Justin Coleman is averaging 24 yards per catch. Sophomores Kendall Sanders and Marcus Johnson provided depth filling in for an injured Mike Davis, combining for 150 yards in the win against Kansas State. Jaxon Shipley has been consistent, catching at least five passes in every game this season.

Advantage: Texas

 

Offensive Line

Junior center Tom Farniok and senior guard Ethan Tuftee lead a struggling offensive line that has surrendered 11 sacks in three games and kept Iowa State from running the ball effectively. Texas used double tight-end sets against Ole Miss but didn’t need any such help to run it against Kansas State. Tackle Josh Cochran is still out with a shoulder injury but guard Mason Walters returns and sophomore Kennedy Estelle has played well as Cochran’s replacement.

Advantage: Texas

 

Defensive Line:

Like Texas, Iowa State has struggled to stop the run, allowing 446 rushing yards in its first two games before holding Tulsa to 84 rushing yards last week. The pass rush still needs improvement, and senior defensive end Willie Scott is still seeking his first sack of the year. Texas gave up 310 rushing yards per game in its first three contests before making 15 tackles for loss, forcing three fumbles and registering three sacks while holding Kansas State to 115 yards on the ground.

Advantage: Texas

 

Linebackers

Losing Jordan Hicks, who averaged nine tackles per game, is a tremendous blow to the Longhorns linebacker corps. Steve Edmond will sit out the first half after being ejected for targeting in the second half against Kansas State. Sophomores Peter Jinkens and junior Tevin Jackson will have to elevate their play to make up for the losses. Senior Jeremiah George has made 25 tackles in the last two games, an admirable effort filling in for 2012 All-Big 12 linebackers A.J. Klein and Jake Knott. Junior Jared Brackens has also played well with 25 tackles and two sacks on the year. 

Advantage: Iowa State

 

Defensive Backs

Senior safeties Deon Broomfield and Jacques Washington have yet to allow a single receiver have for more than 100 yards. Iowa State will face the best receiving corps it’s seen this year and will want to limit a Texas team that passed for 387 yards against the Cylcones last year. The Longhorns secondary got toasted by junior receiver Tyler Lockett, who made 13 catches for 237 yards .But things are beginning to fall together for the secondary as sophomore corner Duke Thomas settles into his role as a starter.

Advantage: Texas

 

Special Teams

Senior kicker Anthony Fera missed his first field goal of the season, a 45-yarder against Kansas State, who started inside its 20-yard line four times. The Longhorns have yet to pose a threat in the return game. Cyclones freshman Cole Netton missed two field goals of 40 yards or more against Tulsa, but Aaron Wimberly is a solid return man with three kick returns of at least 30 yards this season.

Advantage: Iowa State