Oct 3, 2013; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones running back Aaron Wimberly (2) runs past the Texas Longhorns linebacker Timothy Cole (30) during the fourth quarter at Jack Trice Stadium. Texas beat Iowa State 31-30. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State Cyclones vs Oklahoma Sooners: Game preview and prediction


Two Thursdays ago, the Baylor Bears had redemption all in one game. They blew out the Oklahoma Sooners, 41-12, and beat them for the second time in the last three years. Those two victories are the only two that the school have over the football powerhouse. Iowa State shares a similar “success” story.

Nov 7, 2013; Waco, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Blake Bell (10) throws in the pocket against the Baylor Bears at Floyd Casey Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State Cyclones vs (18)Oklahoma Sooners

Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium | Norman, Oklahoma
Kickoff – Saturday, 11:00 AM CT | TV – FOX Sports 1

The Cyclones have more of a history with the Sooners than the Bears; a 77-game history that has resulted in five ISU victories, 70 losses, and two ties. The last victory came back in 1990, back in the Big Eight days.

It’s safe to say that Iowa State only playing Oklahoma every two years under the 12-member Big 12 format was preferred.

However, this 2013 Sooners squad has been hard to figure out. Their defense is still top-notch, checking in at 13th nationally in total defense and giving up just 330.3 yards per game. But the tandem of Trevor Knight and Blake Bell at quarterback has been disastrous.

By disastrous, I mean by Oklahoma standards. Bell has a completion percentage of 60.4 and has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of plus-six (11 TDs, five INTs). After going through the “Steele Jantz and company” era, Iowa State would gladly take Bell with open arms. But that’s not good for the Sooners, and Knight’s been much worse in his five appearances.

There’s a lack of star players on Oklahoma. That’s been the case for the last couple of years and reasons why both the Sooners and the Texas Longhorns don’t have their firm grip on the Big 12 conference anymore. But even at their worst, it’s a hell of a lot better than Iowa State’s anything this season.

What to watch for

To put it simply, Aaron Wimberly and Jeremiah George are expected to be the leaders on offense and defense, respectively. If the offense wants to stay on the field, Wimberly needs to accumulate over 100 yards on the ground by himself. If the defense wants to keep Oklahoma from reaching the endzone, George needs to have another double-digit day in tackles.

The question is…who else wants to step up? Can Rohach overcome a very horrible day passing the ball last Saturday and show some improvement at the quarterback position? Can a receiver break some tackles and make a huge play? Can the defense take advantage of average quarterback(s) and force some turnovers?

If all else fails, there’s Kirby Van Der Kamp. He’ll be fun to watch if the game gets out of hand. And the rest of the special teams unit.

Prediction

Iowa State has a lot of ground to catch up if they want to be in the position Baylor is currently against Oklahoma. That winning trend will probably start in a different season.

The Cyclones’ defense has shown signs of improvement over the previous weeks, but the offense has regressed all season. Combine that regression with being on the road, in a hostile environment, against a team that just got blown out by Baylor, a university that’s only beaten the guys in Norman once before in their entire football history.

Unless the defense can put Iowa State in red zone field goal range, or the offense is able to make some plays, this is going to end up as a blowout loss against a ranked opponent.

OKLA 49, IAST 10 (Odds: OKLA -24, O48.5)

Tags: Aaron Wimberly Blake Bell Football Iowa State Cyclones Jeremiah George