Longhorns Survive Shootout with Cyclones, Win 48-45

The real shootout was this week, not last week in Dallas. Texas outlasted Iowa State 48-45 on a field goal by Nick Rose with three seconds remaining in the game on Saturday night at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. The clutch kick—the first game-winner for Texas since Justin Tucker’s 40-yarder against Texas A&M in 2011—earned Rose the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week award.

It shouldn’t have come down to Rose, who has already had two field goals blocked this season, and has missed one PAT. After Malcolm Brown ran in his second TD of the game with 1:19 left in regulation to make it 45-38, ISU marched down the field, going 75 yards in under a minute, capping off the drive with a touchdown pass from Cyclones QB SB Richardson to WR E.J. Bibbs in the corner of the end zone. No matter, Tyrone Swoopes hit Jaxson Shipley and John Harris deep on consecutive plays to set up the chip shot for Rose. The teams combined 1,036 yards of offense.

The lone standout defensive highlight was Dylan Haines’ 74-yard return of an interception by Richardson, though Duke Thomas also picked off a Richardson pass. Inexplicably, the Cyclones ran and threw on Texas all night, in a way that the Longhorns’ previous two opponents, Baylor and Oklahoma, could not. The offense, led by Swoopes, had to pick up the slack.

It just keeps getting better for Swoopes, who went 24-36 with a TD, and also rushed for 95 yards and another score. The sophomore starting QB had one mental error—a big one, once again inside the red zone—when he threw a first-down interception immediately after hitting John Harris on a deep ball for 45 yards. At this point, Swoopes has a rocket for an arm, is finding his accuracy, especially on deep throws—in addition to the bomb to Harris, he also had completions of 39 and 29 yards on the final drive of regulation—and he’s an underrated runner. If the offense can stay consistent and make fewer errors, especially on easy scoring opportunities, watch out.

“It’s hard to explain,” Strong said after the game, of Swoopes’ big leap so far this season. “He’s fun to watch now.” He sure is.

The win brings Texas to 2-2 in Big 12 play and 3-4 overall. The Longhorns travel to Manhattan—Kansas, not New York, though it would be fun to see Texas play Columbia—to take on #11 Kansas State (5-1, 3-0) next Saturday.

Team Statistics
Game Stats ISU-UT
First Downs: 30-27
Total Offense: 524-512
Passing Yards: 345-321
Rushing Yards: 179-191
Penalty Yards: 5-59-4-33
3rd Downs: 9-19-5-13
4th Downs: 0-0-1-1
Time Of Poss.: 29:46-30:14

Photo by Anna Donlan.


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