At the half in Austin, No. 15 Texas holds a 17-3 lead over No. 16 Iowa State.
Thanks to Oklahoma State’s upset of No. 9 West Virginia earlier Saturday, the winner of this game will control their own destiny to reach the Big 12 Championship.
Texas forced an Iowa State punt to open the game, then moved 80 yards in nine plays, scoring on a 7-yard Sam Ehlinger run.
The Cyclones answered with a field goal but, after a pair of punts, the Longhorns moved 94 yards in 10 plays to push the lead to 11, scoring on a 19-yard swing pass from Ehlinger to running back Keaontay Ingram.
Texas had a chance to break the game wide open when Chris Brown caught a tipped interception of Brock Purdy at the Iowa State 36 with 5:53 left in the first half, but the Longhorn drive stalled at the Iowa State 10-yard line and Cameron Dicker‘s 28-yard field goal was pulled wide right.
After forcing an Iowa State punt, Texas again drove inside the Iowa State red zone but was again turned away as Ehlinger’s 3rd-and-14 scramble was stopped a yard shy of the line to gain. Dicker converted a 22-yard field goal this time with two seconds left in the half.
Ehlinger, who accounted for 169 yards and two touchdowns in the half, took an apparent shot to the right shoulder on the final offensive play of the half and returned to the locker room ahead of the rest of the team.
Iowa State played the first half without star running back David Montgomery, who was suspended for fighting in last week’s win over Baylor, but he will return for the second half. Without Montgomery, Iowa State has run for 53 yards on 15 carries — nearly half of those on one Kene Nwangwu run. Purdy was 6-of-17 for 63 yards with an interception.
Texas will receive to open the second half. It remains to be seen if Ehlinger or Shane Buechele takes the opening snap.