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Texas’ reward for going into the Coliseum to take on Sam Darnold and the USC Trojans is a weekend off to recuperate and assess before conference play. They then draw a Thursday night game in Ames, which has been a troublesome place for Texas this decade. Then they get another weekend off before entering the gauntlet portion of the schedule against K-State, Oklahoma, and then Oklahoma State in successive weeks.
Texas has faced Iowa State before a tough stretch before, particularly in 2011 and 2013. In 2011 it didn’t matter as the new look ‘Horns rolled over the Cyclones 37-14. In 2013 it was a big deal as they were obviously looking ahead to Oklahoma and not ready for the fight they got from Paul Rhoads’ crew in a narrow 31-30 win that could just as easily have been a loss if not for some lucky breaks with officiating. I’m not saying the officials were wrong, I’m just saying there were some big and close calls that went in Texas’ favor in a one-point game.
Herman and his staff will unquestionably be tempted to ignore Iowa State over the extra week and look ahead to the tougher games on the schedule ahead. The challenge will be for a young team managing to balance giving the Cyclones enough of their attention to win that game while figuring out how to divvy out prep time for a stretch of three consecutive games that feature the three most likely Big 12 champions.