FanPicks Games of the Week: Texas versus Iowa State

Texas vs Iowa State Preview

Texas will have had 12 days to move on from a bitter 27-24 double-overtime loss at No. 5 USC when the Longhorns open Big 12 Conference play Thursday night (8 p.m. ET on ESPN) at Iowa State. Enter this Game of the Week contest right here.

ABOUT TEXAS (1-2, 0-0 Big 12)

Sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele, who passed for 375 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another TD against Maryland, is expected to return to the starting lineup after missing the last two games with a shoulder injury. The bad news is he won’t have All-American left tackle Connor Williams (sprained MCL and PCL) around to block for him on an already thin offensive line that managed to pave the way for only 68 yards rushing on 35 attempts versus USC. Junior defensive back DeShon Elliott, who had two interceptions and seven tackles against USC, leads a stout Longhorn defense that has allowed 113 yards rushing over its last two games, including 71 on 37 carries by the Trojans. Texas is 16-5 all-time in Big 12 openers while Iowa State is 5-16.

IOWA STATE (2-1, 0-0 Big 12)

The Cyclones are a 44-41 overtime loss to Iowa away from a 3-0 start, opening the season with a 42-24 home victory over Northern Iowa and winning at Akron 41-14 on Sept. 16. Junior quarterback Jacob Park ranks 14th in the NCAA in passing (311.7 yards) and has four 300-yard passing games in six career starts. A big reason for that is senior wide receiver Allen Lazard, a preseason All-American who has 19 receptions for 178 yards and three touchdowns and is the active NCAA career leader in consecutive games with a reception (38). Iowa State leads the Big 12 and ranks sixth nationally with 26 tackles for loss, an average of 8.7 per game.

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