There are only two things that can happen when you play Iowa State, and one of them is good. The Texas Longhorns brung it on Saturday, honoring beloved former coach Darrell Royal (who passed away Wednesday at age 88) by trouncing the Cyclones 33-7.
It seemed as if every Horn who didn't transfer from Penn State had a great game, especially QB David Ash, who completed 25 of 31 for 364 yards and no interceptions. Game ball also goes to the fearless drive extender Jaxon Shipley, who caught eight passes, most in key situations, for 137 yards, That must've been some labor for Mama Shipley, giving birth to twins seven years apart.
The Horns, now 8-2, jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, as Ash hit Magic Mike Davis in stride with a gorgeous 61-yard TD pass for the second score. But conservative play-calling and the erratic kicking of PSU transfer Anthony Fera killed the Horns in the red zone early on. Who called a hand-off to fourth-string running back Jeremy Hills on third and six? And does he need a ride to the bus station? I'll take him and whoever didn't recruit Johnny Manziel, who led A&M to a big upset win over Alabama. The legend of "Johnny Football" starts with a snub by the Longhorns, making him the white RG3.
Fera was benched after missing an extra point, but he's been hobbled with a groin injury all season. Someone should've said, "If no kicker shows up without a groin injury, you've got the job." Maybe Texas will recruit a deep snapper with vertigo next year.
But everything else seemed to work. Running backs Joe Bergeron (12 carries for 86 yards) and Johnathan Gray (14 for 74 and two touchdowns) kept the imaginary yellow line moving, and Mike Davis had seven catches for 113 yards. Our skill players have been coming through, the main difference between 5-7 and 9-3.
The defense gave up random chunkage, but repeatedly came up big on third downs. D coach Manny Diaz kept his jumpy youngsters blitzing, giving Steele Jantz dirty pants. The ISU quarterback, whose porn star name is John Smith, threw a lot of passes on his way to the ground.
With last week's defeat of Texas Tech and the stomping of Iowa State, the Horns are playing their best football down the stretch. The legitimate rape by Oklahoma should've counted as two losses, but since that atrocity, the Horns have won all four, each in different fashion. They've won a game they should've lost (Kansas), an offensive shootout (Baylor), a tough win on the road against a hated rival (Texas Tech), and now, a game with domination on both sides of the ball.
Two guys who had a bad game were the comedy duo of Mike Patrick and Ed Cunningham. These announcers didn't need replays to blather, incorrectly, that Shipley threw a forward pass to Ash on the first play from scrimmage. Then they kept confusing Johnathan Gray and Joe Bergeron, because "32" and "24" look so much alike. And once they even called Gray "Garrett." Since much of the money from the Longhorn Network deal went to the salaries of coaches, who complain about network demands on their time, Patrick and Cunningham were, apparently, all the LHN could afford.
This is turning out to be a pretty good season for a team we all buried on Oct. 13. They'll be feasting on Horned Frog on Thanksgiving, then they'll go up to Manhattan – the one that goes to bed after Leno's monologue – with the chance to destroy Kansas State's dream of a national championship. There is talk of Texas vs. A&M in the Cotton Bowl, which is not favorable for Texas. Do you think Mack Brown wants to see any more photos of him and lapsed orangeblood Manziel on ESPN? Besides, let's allow the Aggies to grieve a bit longer over last year's final-second loss to Texas before they seek revenge.
With the Circlejerk of the Americas taking over Austin this weekend, I'm outta here. I'll be gone a month, so no "Hornucopia" columns until the bowl game.
Texas 2012 Schedule
Sept. 1 Texas 37, Wyoming 17
Sept. 8 Texas 45, New Mexico 0
Sept. 15 Texas 66, Ole Miss 31
Sept. 29 Texas 41, Oklahoma State 36
Oct. 6 West Virginia 48, Texas 45
Oct. 13 Oklahoma 63, Texas 21
Oct. 20 Texas 56, Baylor 50
Oct. 27 Texas 21, Kansas 17
Nov. 3 Texas 31, Texas Tech 22
Nov. 10 Texas 33, Iowa State 7
Nov. 22 vs. TCU 6:30pm
Dec. 1 at Kansas State TBA
Copyright © 2015 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.