Two years ago, the Iowa State Cyclones walked off Owen Field with one of their greatest wins in school history, beat Oklahoma just under a month after Baker planted a flag at Ohio Stadium’s 50 yard line. To say Sooner fans were shocked would be….an understatement (Check out my less than clean reaction article here).
Walking out of that stadium gave you the feeling that only a crushing upset can bring. The entire season feels like a loss. All that emotional effort you gave in the long summer months, the recruiting updates, the optimism of the early wins; it all feels empty.
That feeling we felt in early October 2017 is pretty much the same one we felt a few weeks ago watching the Sooners inexplicably fall to Kansas State. Now, as OU looks to move on and get the 2019 season back on track, their next opponent is the one who last delivered an upset blow to the crimson and cream.
This time, the Cyclones won’t be a starry-eyed Cinderella.
Meet the Cyclones
Iowa State has taken their lumps this season. They entered 2019 with high hopes, bolstered by a promising quarterback and a rising star of a head coach. However after three close losses, the Cyclones are in desperate need of a win.
Norman, Oklahoma normally isn’t a great place for a bounce back win. With that being said, Iowa State is actually very equipped to compete on Saturday.
Of all the Big 12 teams OU has faced this season, Iowa State easily is the most sound. In preseason, it was a basic coinflip between Texas and ISU for the “best defense” title. With the Longhorns being massively injured, the choice is obvious.
On offense, the Cyclones are actually just a better version of Kansas State without the large running quarterback. Iowa State paces the game out slow and gets the ball into the hands of their large receivers. TE Charlie Kolar is a legitimate red-zone threat that has been tearing it up with touchdown receptions.
Overall, this is going to be a massive test for a reeling Oklahoma defense.
Who to Watch For:
Brock Purdy, QB #12
Brocktober may have ended, but Brock Purdy is still dangerous. If you don’t remember him from last season, it’s because you didn’t watch an Iowa State game outside of their matchup with OU in Ames. Purdy’s first start came after a turbulent few weeks for quarterback Zeb Noland and he has been impressive ever since.
Iowa State’s offense has seen a dip in production this season with the loss of Hakeem Butler and David Montgomery to the NFL. However, several players have stepped up in their wake…
Breece Hall, RB #28
In typical Iowa State fashion, it didn’t take until mid-October for the star of the Cyclone backfield to emerge. In the past three games alone, Hall has nearly 500 all purpose yards and has been the playmaker ISU desperately needed in September. The Sooners will need to contain him if they want any shot at making this a comfortably win.
Why You Should Be Excited
Remember how we kept saying the OU schedule is backloaded? Well, here we are, in Championship November, with four solid tests to build that potential playoff resume. Do the Sooners need help? Most likely. However, step one is beating a very good Iowa State team on Saturday.
Series History (Oklahoma Leads 75-6-2)
One of the most lopsided series in college football history. The Cyclones haven’t won a game in Ames since 1906 for gods sake. With that being said, Matt Campbell has this program in the best shape since Seneca Wallace was under center; don’t take them lightly.