The Iowa State at Texas pick is a great start to Friday’s college football slate as both teams are in the hunt for a potential berth in the Big 12 Championship Game. The 6-2 Cyclones are ranked 15th in the nation, but haven’t won in Austin since 2010. Texas is ranked 20th, and will be trying to avenge last year’s 23-21 loss in Ames as +7 point underdogs that broke a 3-game win streak in the series.
Texas is a -1 point favorite in this tilt, down from a -2 open with a slight 52% of the public liking the Cyclones. Iowa State does have the nation’s leading rusher, and comes in off a 45-0 whitewashing of Kansas State last week. There’s value on Texas too, 3-1 at home this season and well rested after last week’s game with Kansas wasn’t played due to COVID.
Cyclones Can Taste It
Iowa State still has some obstacles to overcome, but a berth in the conference championship game for the 1st time in program history is within reach. The Cyclones are playing like a team that controls their own destiny too, riding a three game win streak with two of those victories by 30+ points.
Everybody knows the Cyclones are going to try and run the ball in the Iowa State at Texas pick. ISU RB Breece Hall leads the nation in rushing yards with 1,169 and is coming off a 15 carry, 135 yard performance against Kansas State last week. Hall has multiple TDs in six of the last seven games. Texas has the #4 rush defense in the Big 12 however, and held West Virginia to 43 yards on the ground on 26 carries their last time out.
The Texas defense does have a bit of an advantage after being idle last week, an important factor against the Iowa State offensive line that is one of the best in the nation. While ISU runs the ball great, they also have a very underrated QB in Brock Purdy, who was 16-20 last week vs. K-State. Purdy also had 3 INT the game prior vs. Baylor, but will be up against the Longhorns’ worst pass defense in the Big 12.
Texas In the Hunt as Well
Make no mistake, while Iowa State controls their own destiny in the Big 12 Friday’s meeting is also very critical for Texas. It’s a bundle atop the conference with Iowa State leading the way at 6-1, but Oklahoma (5-2), Texas (4-2), and Oklahoma State (4-2) all in the mix for the title game as well.
The Sooners hold the tie breaker over Texas via OU’s 53-45 OT win in the Red River Shootout, but the Longhorns should be amped up to try and bring Iowa State back down to a level playing field. The thing is, Texas has had to squeak out their three wins since playing the Sooners, 27-16 against Baylor, 41-34 in OT against Oklahoma State, and 17-13 vs. West Virginia.
The Texas offense looked great early in the season, and QB Sam Ehlinger appeared to be a potential Heisman candidate with 14TD passes in his first three games. The Longhorns managed just 17 points last time out vs. West Virginia however, and even though the Mountaineers defense is tops in the Big 12, Iowa State is right behind them as the 3rd best squad.
Free Iowa State at Texas Pick
Iowa State has been great this year, but they also won by just a TD at home a couple weeks ago against 1-5 Baylor and have also dropped a game on the road at Oklahoma State. It’s a tough task going into Austin and on a strange early Friday game to try and get the W.
Texas 28 – Iowa State 24
Free Pick: Texas -1