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Stats that matter: Iowa State vs. Texas

Ready for some numbers? It's time for our weekly stat digs, in which we team with ESPN Stats & Information to find the numbers that matter most for the Longhorns and their next opponent. Here are the stats to remember going into Texas' meeting with Iowa State on Saturday night (7 p.m. CT, Longhorn Network).

1. 14

If you're looking for little reasons why Texas is 2-4 and not 4-2, start with the third quarter. Texas' defense has struggled after halftime, no doubt, getting outscored by 35 points and outgained by 331 yards in the third quarter. But let's take a closer look at the offense, because some of the numbers are astonishing.

Texas has a brutal streak going on: 14 consecutive third-quarter drives have ended in punts. That stretch includes the entire quarter against UCLA, Kansas, Baylor and Oklahoma -- four straight scoreless third quarters.

Texas' offense has had 22 third-quarter drives this season and 17 have ended with punts, including 10 three-and-outs. These drives are gaining, on average, 16 yards. Only two drives have crossed midfield. Once they passed the 50, they gained a total of minus-11 yards.

The Longhorns are scoring on 9 percent of their third-quarter possessions and punting on 86 percent. Both of those rank worst in the FBS. Charlie Strong says he's looking into it. So is Shawn Watson. I'd imagine it's hard to pinpoint whether that's a halftime problem, a play-calling issue, or something else. But it's something they need to get fixed as soon as possible.

2. 22/29

Texas hasn't been good in third quarters. But its defense was killer on third downs against Oklahoma and Baylor.

You know Oklahoma was 1-of-11 on third downs, not converting one until the fourth quarter. But throw in the Baylor game (6-of-18) and you get the total above: This Texas defense got stops on 22 of its 29 third-down plays against two of the Big 12's best.

A big reason for that success, as you'd expect, is distance. The Sooners and Bears faced third-and-long (7-plus yards) on 15 of those 29 plays. The Sooners' average distance to gain on third downs was 8.5 yards, forcing Trevor Knight to pass on nine of their 11 third-down situations.

Holding those two foes to a combined third-down conversion rate of under 25 percent isn't easy to do, and yet, the result is still two losses. Maintaining this stinginess on third down -- and putting in the work on the first two downs to create those situations -- will pay off big at some point this season.

3. 376

Iowa State quarterback Sam B. Richardson proved against Texas last year, and repeatedly in Iowa State's first six games this season, that he can be a dangerous threat with his legs.

His team-high 283 rushing yards this season rank No. 12 among Power 5 conference quarterbacks, right behind Oregon's Marcus Mariota. And when you ignore sacks, he's actually run for 376 yards this season, a rate of 6.5 yards per carry.

More important, Richardson is picking up first downs on nearly 40 percent of his rushes. He's capable of extending plays and extending drives with his feet, and he's adept at scrambling and grabbing the first down when the pass isn't there. Texas' defense will have to be alert at all three levels on Saturday.

Three more to remember

98.8: Tyrone Swoopes' QBR rating when he throws to John Harris, who's hauled in all five of Swoopes' touchdown passes to wide receivers. His adjusted QBR this season overall stands at 49.5, which is considered average.

4: Iowa State tight end E.J. Bibbs' touchdown receptions this season. He's tied for the national lead among tight ends on Power 5 conference teams and has three TDs in his past two games.

3: The number of remaining games Texas is favored to win, according to ESPN FPI: Iowa State (83 percent odds), at Texas Tech (65) and West Virginia (58). The Longhorns' best shot at an underdog win comes at Oklahoma State (39 percent). They might need that one to hit six wins.