No. 19 Oklahoma travels to Iowa State
AMES, Iowa (AP) Saturday’s matchup with Iowa State could be considered a classic trap game for Oklahoma.
Then again, the Sooners never seem to have a problem pounding the Cyclones.
No. 19 Oklahoma (5-2, 2-2 Big 12) has dropped two of its last three to fall out of playoff contention. The Sooners still have an outside shot at a share of the Big 12 title, though, and they’d be forgiven for looking past Iowa State (2-5, 0-4) and toward next week’s home game against No. 12 Baylor.
But Iowa State can’t seem to compete with Oklahoma under any circumstances.
The Sooners are 71-5-2 against the Cyclones and 42-1-1 since 1962.
The Cyclones haven’t defeated Oklahoma since 1990. Their last win over the Sooners in Ames came all the way back in 1960 – three days before John F. Kennedy was elected president.
Oklahoma also had an extra week to prepare following a 31-30 loss to 11th-ranked Kansas State.
”They could be a factor in our league for a championship,” Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. ”They’re talented on both sides of the ball. Their losses have come against very good football teams.”
Here are some keys to consider as Sooners coach Bob Stoops looks to improve to 10-0 against Iowa State:
BOUNCING BACK: The one thing Oklahoma has done as well as any team in the country under Stoops is bounce back from a loss. The Sooners are 31-0 since 2000 following regular-season defeats. But Stoops said the atmosphere in Norman doesn’t change all that much whether the Sooners are coming off a win or a loss.
”It can’t be different because we have to go about our process of winning, practicing and getting prepared to play the same whether we win or lose. Each week is its own business,” Stoops said.
RACKING UP POINTS: Iowa State’s offense is finally clicking behind offensive coordinator Mark Mangino, who once held the same position under Stoops in Norman. The Cyclones have scored 82 points in their last two games, including 45 in Austin against a talented Texas defense.
”They kind of get overlooked because of who they are, but they’ve got some athletes on their offense,” Oklahoma cornerback Zack Sanchez said. ”Obviously they’re a lot better than they show on paper. They’re not defined by their wins and losses. They’re a good team.”
HUNNI-CUTTING IT: Sooners kicker Michael Hunnicutt was considered one of the best in the country until a poor showing against the Wildcats. Hunnicutt, who was 8 of 9 on field goals entering play, missed a pair of short ones – including a 19-yarder that would have given Oklahoma the lead with 3:53 left – and had an extra point blocked. Iowa State’s Jack Trice Stadium can be one of the tougher places in the league for kickers because of how the wind swirls through both end zones. But Stoops is confident Hunnicutt will be fine after watching him practice on Tuesday.
”He was killing it. He went back to doing a few little fundamentals and making sure those were all sharp. He hit the ball better than I’ve ever seen him hit it,” Stoops said.
FARNIOK TIMES TWO: Iowa State senior center Tom Farniok will look to beat his brother’s team for the first time. Derek Farniok, Tom’s little brother by a year, is the backup right tackle for the Sooners. The two were teammates at Washington High in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
”I don’t think none of us really realize how awesome it’s been until now. As time winds down, we’re starting to realize, `Wow it’s a pretty cool thing,”’ Tom Farniok said.
30 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: Oklahoma has scored at least 30 points in 11 straight games and is 9-2 in that stretch. Iowa State has allowed at least 30 points six times in seven games this season.
”It’s not about how many completions or how many points we can score offensively. It’s what we can limit them to,” Rhoads said.
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