Iowa State +6 -105 3.3% Play
Both teams have impressive coaches, and are off a bye here with Texas playing in the most recent impressive loss at USC. Iowa State has an impressive road loss as well at Iowa that they should have won. Now Iowa State is at home and this game means a lot to them. We know Iowa State is better than last year. They beat Northern Iowa 42-24 this year (L20-25 last year), and lost to Iowa 41-44, but should have won (L3-42 last year). Texas, I am not really sure at this point. We know Tom Herman is a master at getting his team up for games against ranked opponents, but can he do it here? Let's take a deeper look into this match up.
When Iowa State has the ball they are looking to pass it 56% of the time. Jacob Park has done his part with 8 TD's and 2 INT's 8.2 yards per attempt 66.7% completion rate and he has an efficient RB in David Montgomery (5.73 yards per carry) for an overall balanced attack. They rank 14th in yards per play which is better than Maryland and USC (Texas opponents that they struggled against). Texas defense is worse vs. the pass than it is against the run so I like the strength of Iowa State's offense vs. the weakness of Texas defense here. Texas struggled to both Maryland and USC on the defensive side of the ball and the jury is still out on this unit despite the USC game.
When Texas has the ball they sport the 49th ranked offense at 5.74 yards per play. Iowa State's defense is stepping up in competition here, but they are getting key players back to their secondary in Payne and Moya that should help their pass defense which has looked to be the weakness despite having the most experience. Texas has not relased who is going to start at QB, but I don't think it will matter either way. Texas needs to set up the run to win games and allow their QB's to have good games. So the question is can Texas run the ball? In both of their losses against USC and Maryland the answer was a resounding NO. They were unable to eclipse 100 yards. Maryland ranks 98th in run defense and USC ranks 76th allowing 4.34 ypc. Iowa State's unit comes in ranking 21st allowing 3.14 ypc. Now I do see Texas being able to run if they go with Sam Ehlinger at QB, but Ehlinger is not a passer yet and I think he will be forced into mistakes. Texas also has a ton of injuries on the offensive line and TE which could impact their ability to block on the road. Iowa State ranking 38th in sack %, and Texas is 94th allowing 7.58% sacks. Iowa State is 6th at protecting their QB with a 1.25% sack rate.
Matt Campbell is a very good coach and is flying under the radar this is a huge game for his program and with the extra time off I see them being in a position to win the game late. He went 4-1 ATS in the home dog role last year. Tom Herman at Houston last year much better in the dog role than the favorite role.
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