Oklahoma-Iowa St. Preview
After Oklahoma failed in a high-profile contest out of Big 12
play, its next opponent could be a more favorable one.
Iowa State, however, has fared well in recent games against Top
The 14th-ranked Sooners have won 13 straight over the Cyclones
heading into Saturday’s matchup in Ames.
Oklahoma (5-2, 3-1) fell 30-13 at home to then-No. 5 Notre Dame
last Saturday, likely ending its BCS title hopes. The Sooners’
other defeat was 24-19 at home to then-No. 15 Kansas State on Sept.
The Wildcats are currently ranked third and the Fighting Irish
“Nothing’s missing,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops insisted. “We’ve
lost to the No. (3) and (4) teams in the country in two really
good, hard-fought football games. When you schedule Notre Dame and
you know that’s coming, that’s just part of the way it’s
Landry Jones was held without a touchdown pass for the first
time all season despite completing 35 of 51 passes for 356 yards.
The Sooners had a season-low 379 yards of total offense.
Stoops felt some critical decisions by the officials factored
into the defeat.
“We were just on the wrong side of, particularly through the
game, on the wrong side of some judgment calls that in the end, in
a tight football game, they’re part of the game,” Stoops said.
The Sooners also lost leading rusher Damien Williams and
starting left tackle Lane Johnson late in the game to ankle
injuries, and their statuses for Saturday are not known.
Iowa State (5-3, 2-3), meanwhile, has not defeated Oklahoma
since 1990. Fourth-year Cyclones coach Paul Rhoads will finally get
the Sooners on his home field after losing his previous two
meetings with Iowa State by a combined score of 78-6.
“Iowa State’s football record against Oklahoma is dismal and our
guys know that,” Rhoads said. “It’s another great challenge against
a traditional powerhouse in college football. It’s one of the
reasons why you play in this league, you look forward to these
types of games.”
The Cyclones have been known for pulling upsets under Rhoads.
They ended a 36-game road skid against ranked teams two seasons ago
versus Texas and have split their last six overall contests against
Top 25 teams, beating then-No. 15 TCU and losing to Kansas State
Jones has been a problem for Iowa State in the past, completing
52 of 77 passes for 590 yards and three scores over the last two
Iowa State will also get its first look at Fresno State transfer
Jalen Saunders, who matched an Oklahoma record with 15 receptions
for 181 yards against the Fighting Irish.
“I think Landry Jones is as good as a quarterback as there is in
efficiently running this kind of offense,” Rhoads said. “They have
got explosive receivers that will be a great challenge for our
The Cyclones will be without senior linebacker Jake Knott, who
is likely out for the season with a torn left shoulder. Knott, who
leads the Big 12 with 79 tackles, could return for a possible bowl
Knott injured his shoulder Oct. 20 against Oklahoma State, but
he returned and had 11 tackles and forced a fumble in a 35-21 win
last Saturday over Baylor.
“He’s been the voice, if there is such a player with this team,
of the defense,” Rhoads said. “He’s the one in the locker room
who’s challenging them, who’s motivated them.”
Although Knott is a major loss, Stoops believes the Cyclones
will still be tough to attack since they have allowed 19.8 points
“They play very well, very disciplined, very good,” Stoops said.
“You look at them, they’re third in the league in scoring
Offense has been the Cyclones’ problem as they rank ninth in the
conference with 25.0 points per game and an average of 369.4
Iowa State’s passing attack, however, got untracked last week as
Steele Jantz posted career highs of 381 yards and a school
record-tying five touchdowns.