ISU hopes for another strong effort vs. Texas

Updated: October 17, 2003, 12:03 PM ET

AMES, Iowa -- Texas has lost to Oklahoma once already and that was bad enough. The Longhorns would hate to be done in by the Sooners again.

They don't want the sting and embarrassment of their 65-13 loss to Oklahoma last week linger into Saturday's game at Iowa State -- or they might lose that one, too.

"We have one half of the season gone and it's time to focus on the second half," Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "We have a lot of hard games left to play and we can't let that loss beat us the rest of the season."

Coach MackBrown and his players at least have some positive experience to draw on as they try to bounce back. No. 20 Texas (4-2, 1-1 Big 12) has lost four straight to Oklahoma, but during Brown's tenure the Longhorns are 5-0 in the games right after OU.

Texas hasn't lost back-to-back games since losing the final three of the 1999 season.

"There is no way this team is going to pack it up," running back Brett Robin said. "We have too much pride around here. We're not going to just lie down and quit.

"We play because we love the game and we want to compete and win every week."

Iowa State (2-4, 0-2), which has lost four straight, also is encouraged by history: The Cyclones have played Texas close the last two times they've met.

A year ago, Iowa State lost at Oklahoma 49-3, then took a 10-7 halftime lead at Texas the following week. The Cyclones trailed just 14-10 in the fourth quarter before losing 21-10.

The last time Texas played at Iowa State, in 1999, the Longhorns needed a field goal on the final play to win 44-41. That Iowa State team finished 4-7.

"We don't go back and talk about it a lot, but we mentioned it in our scout report that we have done some good things (against Texas)," Iowa State coach Dan McCarney said. "That was a really good football team that we went toe to toe with down there. There wasn't any fluke to it. We played real good football."

Iowa State is looking for something positive after two blowout losses. Oklahoma beat Iowa State 53-7 two weeks ago and the Cyclones gave up 775 yards in a 52-21 loss at Texas Tech last week.

"A lot of people are disappointed with what's going on," ISU cornerback Johnny Smith said. "On the other hand, we still have a chance to have a good season. That's what everyone has to think, what everyone has to look forward to.

"We can be 8-4. That's a good season. That's our goal right now."

The Oklahoma disaster did help Texas settle its quarterback question. Redshirt freshman Vince Young will start after passing for 135 yards and running for 127 in that game. Young had been alternating with junior Chance Mock, who started the first six games.

"He is still learning the offense, but he's improving with every play,"Brown said. "Chance is doing a great job, but Vince just made a lot of plays."

McCarney also might change quarterbacks by starting junior Cris Love instead of redshirt freshman Austin Flynn. Flynn started the first six games, but the Cyclones have struggled on offense.

"We've got to be more consistent," McCarney said. "We've got to get the most out of that position."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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