No. 7 Texas stays alone atop Big 12 after pulling away from Iowa State for a 26-16 win

Iowa State linebacker Will McLaughlin (23) congratulates place-kicker Chase Contreraz (19) on...
Iowa State linebacker Will McLaughlin (23) congratulates place-kicker Chase Contreraz (19) on a field goal during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Texas, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Matthew Putney)(Matthew Putney | AP)
Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 11:18 PM CST
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AMES, Iowa (AP) — Quinn Ewers passed for 281 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 7 Texas pulled away from Iowa State for a 26-16 victory Saturday night.

The win keeps the Longhorns (10-1, 7-1, No. 7 CFP) alone atop the Big 12 standings and moves them closer to the conference championship game.

“I haven’t won 10 games since high school,” Texas receiver Jordan Whittington said. “A lot of people expect greatness. That’s human. But people need to take a moment and realize where we are and what we’re doing and be grateful.”

Ewers completed 23 of 33 passes and C.J. Baxter rushed for 117 yards, helping Texas extend its winning streak to five after an Oct. 7 loss to Oklahoma.

“This was not one phase or one aspect,” Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian said. “This was a lot of different players making plays tonight, making plays in some pretty critical moments.”

Rocco Becht threw for 323 yards and two touchdowns for Iowa State (6-5, 5-3), but the Cyclones netted only 9 yards rushing and averaged less than a half-yard per carry.

Ewers’ second touchdown came on the first play of the fourth quarter. His 31-yard strike to a wide-open Gunnar Helm and toss to Whittington on the 2-point try made it 23-9.

Iowa State pulled within 13-9 when Becht threw a 14-yard touchdown to Eli Sanders, but the Longhorns’ T’Vondre Sweat blocked the extra-point kick and Austin Jordan ran it back 82 yards for two points and a 15-9 advantage.

Jerrin Thompson then intercepted Becht at the Texas 40-yard line to set up Ewers’ TD pass to Helm.

The Cyclones answered with a 66-yard touchdown pass from Becht to Easton Dean, trimming the margin to 23-16.

Bret Auburn’s 42-yard field goal for Texas made it a 10-point game with 6:10 left and extended his streak of makes to 14.

“To get the ball, possess the ball and then get that field goal was a really big drive in the game,” Sarkisian said. “And Bert Auburn does it again.”


The Longhorns probably won’t move up because every team ahead of them won Saturday. Texas has been ranked No. 7 the past four weeks after peaking at No. 3.


Texas: Host Texas Tech on Friday.

Iowa State: Visits Kansas State on Saturday.