Iowa State (2-5, 0-4) is coming off their second bye week of the season, and they hope the momentum hasn’t slowed down because of it. The offense is finally starting to come together at the right time and is close to having two straight victories. Because they did lose to Texas, they nearly have to defeat the Big 12’s other football powerhouse, Oklahoma (5-2, 2-2), to have a realistic shot at a bowl game this postseason.
(18)Oklahoma Sooners vs Iowa State Cyclones
Jack Trice Stadium | Ames, Iowa
Saturday, November 1st, 2014 | Kickoff – 11:00 AM CT
TV: Fox Sports 1 | Web: Fox Sports Go
Oct 11, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones offensive lineman Tom Farniok (74) points against the Toledo Rockets at Jack Trice Stadium. Iowa State defeated Toledo 37-30. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
- Injury report / Depth chart
- 5 Cyclones to watch
- 5 Sooners to watch
- 5 keys to victory
- Betting information
- Interview w/ Stormin’ in Norman
A unique storyline coming into the game is brothers that will be playing on the same field for the last time. Iowa State center Tom Farniok has a younger brother, Derek, that plays at offensive tackle at Oklahoma. He’s a redshirt junior this year, and while he was being looked at by Iowa State during his recruitment, he decided to go a different way and landed with the Sooners.
When being recruited, Derek was one of the top offensive linemen in the nation and was the top athlete in South Dakota according to Scout. He’ll still have a year left with the Sooners while Tom’s will sadly come to an end after this season. Tom is an important part of the offensive line that holds it together. When he’s out of the game, it’s a clear disadvantage offensively.
While this matchup between brothers will end, it may not be the last of the Farnioks. Tom said that Matt, currently a high school junior, is the best out of four total brothers in a Des Moines Register article. Better lock him up fast, Paul Rhoads.
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There isn’t any good way to put this. Since the Big 8 days, OU has been smacking around ISU on the gridiron. The last win against OU came in 1990, although now that it’s back to annually facing Oklahoma after the Big 12 conference format change, there’s more chances to possibly beat them (or lose more, whichever way you want to look at it).
Despite 15 consecutive losses to the Sooners and obviously no wins against Bob Stoops, it hasn’t been easy for him to get wins in Ames. Well, at least not AS easy. Oklahoma won 35-20 in 2012 and just 17-7 in 2007. 2003 was a blowout (53-7) and 1999 was convincing (31-10). In Norman, it’s usually a nightmare, so we’ll just avoid those scores.
What to watch for
Nov 16, 2013; Norman, OK, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Sam Richardson (12) attempts a pass against the Oklahoma Sooners in the first half at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Oklahoma has barely played in Ames since the turn of the century. Because the last two games at Jack Trice were closer than they should have been (especially 2007 when ISU was just 1-6 and OU was 6-1), the Sooners could be in for another long day. Especially if both teams are playing the way they are trending.
It hasn’t been easy for Oklahoma, and facing nothing but Big 12 mobile quarterbacks has hurt this Sooner defense. We mentioned that in predictions, and even Stormin’ in Norman acknowledges it. Sam Richardson is another one of those mobile quarterbacks. While Cyclone fans would rather see him throw the ball, he does have the ability to burn defenders with his legs if needed.
When Richardson doesn’t need to run, he’s got three big receivers that have stepped up their game tremendously. Allen Lazard, D’Vario Montgomery, and the Big 12’s best tight end, E.J. Bibbs, are threatening even to the nation’s best defenses — just ask Texas. Add in a Jarvis West who will be back to jumpstart punt returning and adds another threat at receiver.
The question will be if Iowa State’s defense can rebound. Every since their dominance in the first half against Oklahoma State, they’ve been sub-par. It’s almost been as instantaneous as the offense was gaining life, and they need to stop what could be a two-headed monster at running back.
Sophomore sensation Keith Ford is back from injury and should play, and there’s freshman Samaje Perine that did pick up 242 yards in one game against West Virginia. The Mountaineeers rank 75th nationally in rush defense — Iowa State is 107th.
The Cyclones will have to hope that they can both shut down the running attack and hope that Trevor Knight doesn’t repeat what he did last week. Ideally, the defense would like to hold him to under 60 percent passing, and that’s his average on the season. But he completed 81.3 percent of his passes against Kansas State. Again, the Wildcats are 65th nationally in pass defense — Iowa State is 85th.
Oct 18, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Sterling Shepard (3) runs with the ball during the game against the Kansas State Wildcats at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
This is really an ideal spot for Iowa State. You have Oklahoma at home off of a bye week, and a shaky Sooner squad that had national title expectations. Now, those seem to be gone with two losses on the slate and the Cyclones would put the nail in the coffin with a victory. And considering how well the offense has played, I would not be surprised if Iowa State pulled off the win at home.
If Oklahoma does win, it shouldn’t be a blowout. The Sooners have a very average defense and if ISU continues to trend in the right direction on offense, they should easily hit the high 20’s or even break the 30-point mark. However, OU’s running attack and the improvement of Knight over the last few weeks is very worrysome. And it’s not like the Sooners have faced the easy part of their schedule. They started out with road games at West Virginia and TCU — who knew they’d be so damn good this year?
For Iowa State to win, they need to force turnovers. OU has a great offensive line, so don’t expect to reach Knight often. They’d be better off stacking the box and preventing holes from opening up in the running game. The secondary needs to step up and not only defend the receivers well (especially Sterling Shepard), but they need to get some takeaways.
Again, Iowa State has a shot at winning this game. But until the defense gets back to the way they were playing, Oklahoma will win another close, high-scoring affair in Big 12 play.
Oklahoma 38, Iowa State 31