AMES, Iowa — Defense reigned supreme on Thursday night as the Texas Longhorns opened Big 12 play with a 17-7 road win at Iowa State.
After holding USC two 6-of-21 on third and fourth down two weeks ago, the Texas defense stepped up again, intercepting Cyclones quarterback Jacob Park three times and limiting Iowa State to just 256 yards from scrimmage.
The defensive pressure gave Texas' offense plenty of room to work, as Iowa State had possession for less than 20 out of the 60 minutes of game time.
However, the offensive struggles continued for the Longhorns, who managed just 2.7 yards a carry in the run game.
In what remained a mystery up until kickoff, Shane Buechele, the sophomore quarterback from Arlington, got the start for the Longhorns over Westlake standout Sam Ehlinger. Buechele went 19-of-26 passing for 171 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Texas scored two first-half touchdowns, with Chris Warren III rushing for an 11-yard score to cap off a 12-play, 82-yard drive. Midway through the second quarter, Buechele connected with Toneil Carter for a 22-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 14-0.
After being shut out 24-0 last year at Ames, setting off a season of chaos that ended with Charlie Strong's firing, a conference-opening win over the Cyclones marks a step forward in new head coach Tom Herman's first season.
Texas improves to 2-2 (1-0), while Iowa State falls to 2-2 (0-1).
Texas will host Kansas State next Saturday, Oct. 7.