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“The thing is, he can hurt us with his feet by extending plays, but at the same time he can help us because when something is not there, he’ll start to panic and he’ll look for making a play when a play is not there,” Texas linebacker Keenan Robinson said. “And that’s when we can get turnovers and make big plays on defense.”

The Cyclones are expecting their third consecutive full house on Saturday night and are poised to set a record for their highest attendance through three home games.

Ticket sales are just one indication of the buzz Iowa State fans feel about the encouraging start, a welcome respite from all that talk about the Cyclones being left without a home when the Big 12 was on the brink of potential collapse.

Still, these aren’t the same Longhorns the Cyclones rolled past a year ago.

“There’s a different energy with their ballclub. You can see from snap through whistle,” Rhoads said. “They’re playing fast offensively. There’s a lot of movement to what they’re doing. They’re playing with great enthusiasm on defense, having some success with pressure and turnovers. Even without being in the stadium or hearing the sound, you can see the energy in their football team.”