Of all the matchups in OSU’s clash with Texas, the Longhorns figured to hold a distinct edge with their offensive line against the Cowboys’ defensive line. Didn’t play out that way. While Texas won some trench battles, so did OSU, playing to a virtual stalemate up front, according to Cowboys coaches. The Longhorns averaged just 3.1 yards per rush and finished with 275 total yards, well off their average of 438. The Cowboys haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher since the 2008 Holiday Bowl. "The good thing for us there is we have several players,” said Cowboys defensive coordinator Bill Young. "We’re playing about 10 people. We’re building a lot of depth and getting a lot of experience for the future.” From the 10-man rotation, seven will return, including tackles Shane Jarka, Chris Donaldson and Nigel Nicholas, and ends Jamie Blatnick, Ugo Chinasa, Darius Hart and Richetti Jones.
NORTH BOUNDOSU has reversed a bad trend in North Division crossover games. The Cowboys are 20-20 overall against the North, but 15-7 since 2002, 8-2 since 2006 and owning a five-game winning streak heading to Ames. OSU swept its three games against the North last season and is 1-0 in this season.
CLONES GETTING HEALTHYThe pieces – key pieces – are coming together for Iowa State, just in time to take on the Cowboys. The Cyclones should have quarterback Austen Arnaud, tailback Alexander Robinson and center Reggie Stephens in place Saturday, putting the first-team offense on the field together for the first time since a 24-10 win over Baylor on Oct. 17. Stephens’ return is stunning. If he starts, as expected, Stephens will be 10 days removed from an appendectomy. "Fifteen years ago, you’d have an open belly and be sitting out six weeks,” ISU trainer Mark Coberley told reporters earlier this week. "Now, the surgeons say there’s no risk of further damage and he can play as long as he’s feeling OK.”
CHASING 1,000Senior running back Keith Toston is making a run at producing the 18th 1,000-yard rushing season in Cowboys history. With 676 yards to date and assuming a bowl game, Toston would need to average 64.8 yards the rest of the way.