Do You Still Have Your Horns UP? You Should

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Devin Duvernay

For Texas Longhorns fans this was a tough loss, hard to watch, and let's just be honest ... a bummer. OK, time to move ahead. We can not change yesterday, but tomorrow is a new day. Read more about the game below from Steve Habel in his 5 Questions: Iowa State

Here are a few reasons to keep those Horns UP!

Are they still UP? Read on...

  • Devin Duvernay had another 100-yard game
  • Duvernay became the 10th player in school history with at least 2,000 career receiving yards (2,099)
  • He surpassed 1,000 receiving yards for the season (entered with 910). He is only the second receiver in Texas history to reach 1,000 receiving yards in 10 or fewer games (Jordan Shipley, 2009)
  • Duvernay became the sixth receiver in school history to log at least 80 receptions in a season (87)
  • Saturday marked Duvernay's eighth game with at least eight catches this season, tying Shipley (2009) for the most in a season in school history

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Men's basketball defeats Prairie View A&M, 70-56

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Five Questions: Iowa State

By Steve Habel, Senior Contributing Writer

What was the most disappointing aspect of the loss to Iowa State?

The Longhorns came into the game knowing they had to muster a solid rushing attack and had shown the ability to do just that in their 27-24 win Nov. 9 over Kansas State.

But the Texas ground attack was AWOL Saturday, racking up just 54 yards on 26 carries, for an average of just 2.1 yards per attempt. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger had 27 of those yards (on a team-high 12 carries), and running back Keaontay Ingram was limited to just nine yards on eight carries.

“(It’s) very frustrating, especially in the running back room coming off a week that we had last week,” Ingram said afterward. “That (Iowa State) defense … hats off to them. We’ve just go to keep pounding them, soften them up. Some games it’s going to take 12 (carries), sometimes it’s going to take 30.”

The Longhorns came to Ames averaging 173 yards per game on the ground, but they didn’t get even half of that total Saturday, and that affected everything.

“Coming off a 200-yard rushing game last week against Kansas State, one of the best defenses in our conference, I thought we had a really good plan,” Herman said. “When you look at our time here, we have a really, really good winning percentage when our running backs carry it over 20 times and we rush for a certain number of yards.

“We know that for us, that’s a formula for success. It was last week and it has been in a lot of big games that we’ve won around here the last three years. We just couldn’t get it off the ground today.”

UT’s offense produced more drives resulting in zero or negative yards than drives ending in touchdowns. The Longhorns punted a season-high nine times and had eight three-and-out possessions.

What made the difference in the fourth quarter?

Texas finally started to find its stride on offense late, and the gutsy call by Herman and dead-on 7-yard scoring pass from Ehlinger to Malcolm Epps on fourth-and-goal with 5:55 to play seemed to have pushed the Longhorns over the hump.

After the teams traded punts, the Cyclones got the ball back with three minutes to play and produced a victory with a lot of help from the Longhorns. A great catch on the sideline by La’Michael Pettway while he was being interfered with by Jalen Green, gave the Cyclones the ball in Texas territory.

Then a 15-yard pass interference call on Caden Sterns pushed the Cyclones into field goal range and a 5-yard offside flag on Joseph Ossai on fourth down (actually multiple players jumped on the hard count on an attempted field goal) moved Iowa State even closer and allowed it to take every second off the clock.

The Longhorns have to be more disciplined at that time of the game, with Herman calling the late penalties “as backbreaking as it gets.”

“Obviously the last drive hurt,” he said. “I was proud of the offense for continuing to fight and not giving up, but it was too little, too late.”

Did the Texas defense answer any questions about its improvement?

Yes, and save for a few very costly breakdowns that led to Iowa State touchdowns, the Longhorns’ defense played about as well as it could have against one of the nation’s top offenses.

Those two plays were killers, though, in a game that came down to a final field goal. On the Cyclones’ first possession of the contest, the Texas defense fell for Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy’s pump-fake to another receiver, leaving tight end Charlie Kolar wide open in the end zone for a 2-yard score.

On the first play of the third quarter, Purdy rolled away from the defensive pressure and threw deep down the middle to a wide-open Deshaunte Jones for a 75-yard touchdown and a 17-7 ISU lead. The closest defender was safety Brandon Jones, who had no chance to corral the Cyclones’ wideout.

The Cyclones did amass 466 yards of offense (compared to 327 by the Texas offense), but were forced to punt five times and were stopped on both their fourth-down conversion attempts. Take away the 75-yard pass that opened the second half and the Longhorns would have held Iowa State to its lowest output of the season … but you can’t take that away.

Who was UT’s best player against Iowa State?

This the hardest choice of the season so far, as plenty of players made good plays, but most were countered by plays that were not so good.

It was, in this opinion, Texas’s most uneven performance of the year, and that’s saying a lot considering the inconsistency shown in the three losses, and maybe even two of the before the loss to Iowa State.

Given those parameters, let’s give the nod here to two players: cornerback D’Shawn Jamison and wide receiver Devin Duvernay.

Jamison produced the game’s only turnover, intercepting a Purdy pass in the second quarter when he knocked the intended receiver off his short route and made a great reaction play to make the pickoff. He also had tied for the team high in tackles with nine, eight of those solo.

Duvernay continued his stellar season, catching nine passes for 107 yards. He has been the Longhorns’ most consistent player this season, and has improved his NFL draft stock from week to week.

What’s next for the Longhorns?

There will be no trip to the Big 12’s championship game and no chance to play in an important bowl game. How do you feel about a trip to Memphis, Orlando, Houston or even Phoenix for the postseason?

“This was our last chance and last opportunity to get to that point (a Big 12 title),” Jones said. “But it doesn’t end here. We’ve still got some season ahead of us. Obviously it hurts — especially, I know, for the seniors.”

The Longhorns will have their hands full the rest of the regular season, beginning when they travel to Baylor, which fell Saturday to Oklahoma, 34-31, also by a late field goal. It’s safe to assume the Bears will be steaming mad that their undefeated season was ruined.

“I believe the guys in the locker room love each other enough to keep each other focused and keep working,” Ehlinger said.

Texas will close the year with a home game the day after Thanksgiving against Texas Tech.

Terry Middleton

I like exploring the why's and have three objectives. First is to give value to those who would spend time with our content. Second is to be respectful of others and for the opportunity to tell a positive story about all of the Texas Longhorns teams, players, and coaches regardless of their record. Lastly, to put wind in the sails of others using the Horns Illustrated platform. Life is GOOD!

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