College Football Pick
The season didn’t start to plan for Oklahoma, but things have turned around for them in Big 12 play. The Sooners sit atop the Conference with a road test at West Virginia possibly being for the title. But looking ahead never does anyone any good and while Iowa State isn’t very good, they can’t be taken lightly.
The Cyclones weren’t supposed to be good this year, but losing is never fun, especially to in-state rivals as they did earlier in the season. That said, the Cyclones have continued to fight in Conference Games, most notably a 45-42 loss against Baylor a month ago and a 38-31 loss at Oklahoma State. We know Oklahoma can score, but at the least, Iowa State should find the end zone plenty, as well.
The Sooners haven’t lost in Conference play, but it hasn’t been the easiest route. Just a couple weeks ago they fought in a record-breaking battle at Texas Tech, winning 66-59. But that wasn’t the only close call. They struggled to put away Texas in a 45-40 Game and also kept TCU around 52-46.
Oklahoma continues to struggle defensively and Iowa State appears to have a decent enough offense to stay around. The main issue starts at quarterback for the Cyclones, as they’ve used two guys throughout the season. Joel LAnning is the starter, but sophomore Jacob Park has appeared in five Games. To help, they have one of the better receivers in the Conference in Allen LAzard. As long as they can get him the ball, good things usually happen.
But the main thing they’ll need to do in order to keep the Oklahoma offense off the field is run the ball. After having a great freshman campaign, running back Mike Warren has seen a drop in numbers across the board. In that Baylor Game, he ran it 30 times for 130 yards and two touchdowns, his best outing of the season. That’s what they want to do every time out, but it just doesn’t work like that.
It doesn’t work because Iowa State doesn’t have much defensively, and that’ll be the case against Baker Mayfield and company. Mayfield struggled some in the early season but has come around as of late, now throwing for over 340 yards in the last three Games to go with 14 passing touchdowns. In addition, he’s completing over 70% of his passes on the year, which not many QBs can say.
But part of the reason for Mayfield’s improvement has been a better ground Game between Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon. Perine is battling an injury, but Mixon is doing just fine by himself. In the Texas Tech Game, Mixon ran for 263 yards and two touchdowns to go with 114 receiving yards and three more touchdowns.
This is an explosive offense and so far, Iowa State hasn’t been able to contain any explosive offense they’ve faced. With the Sooners expected to reach 40, or even 50 points again, the Cyclones will need to get Warren going somewhat. If not, it may be up to LAnning and Park to keep the team around and that’s a tough ask.
This Game opened Oklahoma -19.5 and the early money has been on the Sooners. We now see -21.5’s out there. If you like the Sooners you want to lay -21 or less. We have the Sooners winning by rough;y 3 TD’s so no play for us here, however we’d lean towards Iowa State at the current line. Iowa State +21.5