Oklahoma got an extra week to think about its loss to Kansas State and then was dealt a further blow with the No. 9 ranking in the initial College Football Playoff rankings.
Four games remain in Big 12 play and none of them are easy with Iowa State up next. The Sooners were still hefty -14.5 point home favorites with an over/under of 66.5 as of Thursday.
Oklahoma’s only chance to reach the CFP again is to win out. It wasn’t troubled in its first seven games of the year and then Kansas State changed that. The Sooners are home for this game, but the Cyclones are far from an easy matchup despite their three losses. In fact, they’ve already shown they can win on the road, taking down both West Virginia and Texas Tech.
These teams met in September last year and while ISU didn’t win, it managed to cover at home in a 37-27 loss. That’s because it was able to score and consistently move the ball against a sub par defense.
The Sooners were thought to be better defensively and then the K State game happened. The reason people are backing the Cyclones is because their offense has found a way to score on everyone, even if games against Iowa and Baylor were more of a struggle.
Quarterback Brock Purdy is the player who is going to keep this game competitive. Consistency has been somewhat of a problem, but he’s completing 68.5% of his passes for 8.7 yards per attempt, which is good as long as you aren’t playing for Oklahoma.
The ground game has been the bigger boon of late as Breece Hall is averaging more than 125 rushing yards over the last three games. If he can find holes against this OU defense that is allowing 3.9 yards per carry, there’s no reason ISU can’t put points on the board.
The other side of the ball will likely be the bigger test for the Cyclones, who are allowing 22.9 points per game. They’ve been good, but not great this year and the goal will be to keep the Sooners below 40 points, similar to last season’s meeting.
Jalen Hurts has kind of come back to earth since his hot start and that’s part of the reason they lost last game.
Sure, his numbers are still awesome, completing 73.9% of his passes on 13.7 yards per attempt for 21 touchdowns and three interceptions, as well as 801 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns, but he led the offense to just six total points in the second and third quarters of the K State loss.
When this offense has faced adversity, he hasn’t done enough and while his numbers were great, a lot of that was because of the fourth quarter comeback.
Oklahoma has dominated almost everyone, but the flaws were shown last game and it’s possible Iowa State could exploit those with Purdy and company. If that’s the case, staying within two touchdowns isn’t a stretch.
The over has hit in Iowa State’s last four games following a straight-up loss, as well as Oklahoma’s last five November games. The over is also 6-1 in the last seven meetings between these teams and the Sooners are 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings played in Norman.
Our Pick – Iowa State +14.5