AUSTIN, Texas – Iowa State rolled into Austin in 2010 and pulled off the upset that ruined Texas' season. The Cyclones came back Saturday and this time ran into a red hot quarterback and a Texas program determined to honor the memory of former coach Darrell Royal with a big win.
David Ash passed for 364 yards and two touchdowns and the No. 19 Longhorns whipped Iowa State 33-7. Ash had a 61-yard touchdown pass to Mike Davis in the first quarter and Johnathan Gray ran for two touchdowns as the Longhorns (8-2, 5-2 Big 12) won their fourth in a row.
"I said going into the week that I thought Texas was a very hot football team. They are," Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said.
The loss left the Cyclones (5-5, 2-5 Big 12) still one win shy of becoming bowl eligible. They have two games against Kansas and West Virginia left to play.
"We can't have a hangover," Rhoads said.
The Cyclones were up against a Texas team playing with extra emotion to honor Royal, who died Wednesday at age 88.
Royal coached Texas to national championships in 1963 and 1969, a share of a third in 1970, and won 11 Southwest Conference titles. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983. Flags flew at half-staff inside the stadium that bears his name, and Royal's "DKR" initials were on the burnt-orange Longhorn logo at midfield and on the Texas players' helmets.
Texas even lined up in the wishbone, the formation Royal introduced to college football in 1968, on its first play. Instead of a run, though, Texas ran a trick play pass that went for 47 yards.
"That's great that they honored their coach by doing that but we had to defend it and we didn't get the job done," Iowa State defensive tackle Jake McDonough said.
Steele Jantz passed for 133 yards and a touchdown for the Cyclones, but was under constant pressure from the Texas pass rush and threw two interceptions.
Ash had his second stellar game after getting pulled late in Texas' 21-17 win over Kansas two weeks ago. He rarely had to throw into coverage against Iowa State because Longhorns wide receivers seemed to be wide open on almost every play. Jaxon Shipley had eight catches for 137 yards and Davis had seven for 113.
Texas rolled up more than 600 yards to total offense and held the ball for nearly 40 minutes. The Longhorns pounded out 222 yards on the ground.
"(Ash) was putting the ball right on the money," Iowa State defensive back Durrell Givens said.
Texas led 7-0 on Gray's 5-yard touchdown run before Ash connected with Davis on a perfect deep post route for a 61-yard touchdown. It was Davis' third TD catch in two weeks and his fourth of the season of 44 yards or longer.
Ash was 15-of-16 passing for 245 yards in the first half and his 3-yard scoring toss to tight end Barrett Matthews made it 20-0 before Iowa State finally responded with a long drive that ended on a 14-yard TD pass from Jantz to Quenton Bundrage.
Iowa State had three other drives push inside the Texas 40 in the first half, but they ended in a punt, an interception and a missed field goal.
Texas led 23-7 in the third on a 37-yard field goal by freshman Nick Jordan, who replaced Anthony Fera after a blocked field goal and missed extra point in the first half. By then, Texas started to wear down the Cyclones up front and turned to bruising running back Joe Bergeron with smashing runs up the middle.
Gray scooted 13 yards early in the fourth to push the lead to 30-7 before Jordan kicked a late 25-yard field goal for the final score.
"Six wins to get to a bowl game," McDonough said. "We want to finish out the season strong. We have two games that we can win. We just need to show up."