Oklahoma gets ready for Thursday night thunder at Iowa State
1. Post Halloween Scare? The Sooners play in a rare, Thursday night game and on the road to boot. Will OU be able to play well in Ames in, arguably, Iowa State's version of its 2016 “bowl game?”
2. The OU 'D:' Can maligned DC Mike Stoops' defense put two stellar performances together in a row in Big 12 play as “business picks up” in league play in what will be a season-defining November?
3. Joe Mixon: ISU will sell out to stop Joe so what, other than creatively getting the pigskin to Dede Westbrook, will OC Lincoln Riley have ready to dial up to start fast and keep the home crowd silenced? (Update: Mixon has been suspended and will miss the game).
4. Could the Cyclones be due? ISU led Baylor most of their game earlier this season as a 17-point underdog before losing via a field goal. The Cyclones led vs Oklahoma State, with OSU favored by doubled-digits before losing 38-31. What does the home team have to lose in this nationally televised game? Nothing. Expect a wild, unpredictable Thursday night in a series that OU has won 17 games in a row.
5. Injuries: Few teams this time of the year are healthy and OU is certainly no exception. At what point do these litany of injuries come back to haunt the Sooners? Or do OU's younger players continue to compete on a winning level? To discount OU's injury situation would be foolish.
6. November to remember: OU still has to play the Big 12's best three teams in November and Iowa State isn't one of them, which should be a concern for Sooner fans. ISU is 5-1 on games played on Thursday or Friday night's since 2008, including knocking Oklahoma State out of the BCS Title game.
7. Focus: The bottom line, as Stone Cold Steve Austin used to exclaim, is that if Stoops Troops aren't mentally ready to play and the allow Iowa State to hang around, this one has the potential to get spooky. This league game has the potential to be bowling shoe ugly.
This game should not be close but something tells me that this road game will be closer than the experts predict. The established routine that includes five days of practice and playing on Saturday is altered. OU is dangerously thin on their depth chart due to an incredible amount of injuries. This one will be scary at least for longer than Sooner fans will like. To win in Ames, the Oklahoma defense must be closer to what we saw versus Kansas at home and not what the Sooner Nation suffered through vs Texas Tech the week before in Lubbock.
Prediction: Oklahoma 41 Iowa State 14
Jim Ross @JRsBBQ
Jim Ross is a member of three halls of fame, a two time NYT Best Selling author, host of the popular Ross Report podcast, CBS Sports Network boxing broadcaster, voice of New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXSTV, and creator, along with wife Jan, of JR'S condiments which includes BBQ Sauces and more available at www.wweshop.com.