Texas was supposed to be vulnerable.
Making his first start after missing two games with a sore shoulder, Shane Buechele threw for 171 yards and a touchdown. But even that game was hardly the Longhorn defense's fault.
"Iowa State's sports teams have been known as the Cyclones since 1895 when Coach Pop Warner's team upset Northwestern 36-0 and a Chicago Tribune headline the next day reported "Struck by a Cyclone: It comes from Iowa and Devastates Evanston Town".
"[The defense] learned a very costly but valuable lesson in the Maryland game", Head Coach Tom Herman said in his postgame press conference.
The Longhorns held the Cyclones to only 10 total yards in the game. 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. A review overruled a fumble on the kickoff by Armanti Foreman and two plays later Buechele's incomplete swing pass was returned for a TD but the review correctly showed it was a forward pass, not a lateral. From there, the Longhorns forced the Cyclones to punt on its first four drives, and intercepted Park twice.
Texas was downright giddy in the immediate aftermath of its 17-7 win over Iowa State.
At one point, the makeshift offensive line had four holding calls on 11 plays in the third quarter. But, they have a lot of work to do on offense to compete with the high-powered offenses coming up in the conference. "But we're going to celebrate winning because it's hard to come by", Herman said.
The Cyclones will introduce a secondary helmet logo against the Longhorns, according to a post on the team's Twitter account - and it lives up to the team's name by all means. Like, do Iowa State players trot about campus as normal humans during school hours, then morph into differing versions of Batman?
Buechele certainly spread the ball around, completing passes to 11 different receivers.