Every Sooner fan remembers the 2nd half collapse and the loss to to Iowa State last season, a loss many believed was basically the end of the year for Oklahoma. The Sooner defense sputtered all game, and allowed Iowa State’s back-up quarterback to step in and lead to them to a come back win 38-31.
This year, the Sooners wont look over Iowa State, and I expect them to head into Ames and walk out with a big win.
This week, the Sooners head into their game with some uncertainty as to who will be leading the Cyclone offense after Kyle Kempt suffered an injury in week 2 against Iowa. If Kempt can’t go, it should be good news for the Sooners. Last season, Kempt went off for 350 yards and three TD’s in his first career start. If he doesn’t play, then Zeb Noland looks to replace him, and he struggled with his accuracy against Iowa.
Another player the Sooners will have to focus on is RB David Montgomery. Montgomery has struggled to find room early this year, but was tremendous last season, and expects to turn things around heading into conference play.
Last week against Iowa, the Cyclones averaged less than 1 yard per run. The Sooners have been great at getting in the backfield this season, racking up 21 TFL through the first two games. If they can take advantage of an inexperienced O-Line, then they should walk out of Ames happy with the performance from their D-line.
One key piece from last years win is gone, and it’s QB turned defensive captain LB Joel Lanning. Last season he had four tackles and a sack, but he was basically a defensive coordinator on the field. He really kept the Iowa State defense locked in during their comeback. One player to watch this season for the Cyclones D is interior lineman Ray Lima. If he can break through the line, he can cause a lot of havoc for Kyler Murray and the rest of the offense.
For the Sooners, this will be their first game without Heisman hopeful RB Rodney Anderson who went down with a season ending injury last week. Trey Sermon, T.J. Pledger and Marcelias Sutton will all have a lot of opportunities to take over the lead back position, and against the Cyclones, expect Lincoln Riley to test their defensive line early and often.
Oklahoma should win this game, and by a large margin if everything is clicking. Iowa State only mustered three points against the Hawkeyes last week, and if their offense starts slow then the Sooners should have a field day on the offensive end.
Score Prediction: Oklahoma 49 Iowa State 10
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