OSU-Iowa State: Key Match-ups & Prediction

It is very tough to gauge what is going to happen week to week in the Big 12. These two teams appear to be even matched, but when you really analyze the numbers, it's easy to see why Oklahoma State is favored. I do like the Cowboys to win the game, but it could get crazy. One thing is guaranteed, and this is the color and spirit of another edition of Oklahoma State's famous Homecoming.

1. OSU Secondary vs. Iowa State slot Josh Lenz
You have to wonder looking at these match-ups if Iowa State shouldn't be favored by 14 points. The reason is because we are using match-ups that are really close or that favored Iowa State.

This match-up is really interesting for a couple of reasons. One, Lenz is red hot with a 15.5 yards per catch average and four touchdowns. Iowa State has only had four touchdowns in the run game. The other reason is that Lenz lines up as a slot, normally drawing a safety.

The Cowboys need to be smart and try to match-up with somebody that can really cover. The Cyclones have been enemic in the run offense and the quickest way to change that is to hit a couple of big plays in the passing game to get the defense thinking about backing up. Lenz needs to be kept under control.
Edge: Even

2. OSU fullback Kye Staley
vs. ISU linebackers A.J. Klein, Jake Knott and Jeremiah George
This is just a part time match-up as Staley is only on the field for about 20 to 25 percent of the plays. But when he is, this will be worth seeing if he finds one of those linebackers.

It will not just create sparks, but maybe a sonic boom as Staley has grown to love to hit, and Klein and Knott live for big crashes. It would also be fun to what happens in the passing game when Staley is covered by one of the Cyclones linebackers. This match-up is for fun.
Edge: Even

3. OSU center Evan Epstein
vs. ISU nose tackle Jake McDonough
The Cowboys coaching staff has a lot of respect for McDonough as he has proven to be a really good interior defender with 19 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks. Those are excellent numbers.

McDonough is a tough guy-kind of player and he will meet his offensive match in Epstein, who played through a bad ankle against Texas, and to a degree last week at Kansas. He is now very healthy and ready to get ugly with some defensive tackles.

From a physical standpoint, Epstein is a legit 6-3, 300 pounds, and McDonough is 6-5, 285. If you like to isolate and watch two big men beat up on each other then grab the binochulars and watch this pair in the trenches.
Edge: Even

OSU-Iowa State Prediction
Who is ready to challenge Las Vegas after last week? The point-spread makers say Oklahoma State is a 14-point favorite, and no big money has moved that line. After the Vegas call on West Virginia and Texas Tech, I am a big believer of the "wise guys" out in the desert.

As for this one, Oklahoma State will run the ball much better than the Cowboys did last week against Kansas, will throw the ball enough to keep the Cyclones off balance, and I am predicting that the Oklahoma State defense will live up to its preseason hype on Homecoming Saturday. My prediction is liberal as I think it is quite possible that Iowa State struggles to get to 20.

Oklahoma State 34, Iowa State 20

Week 8 Predictions
No. 21 TCU 28, No. 20 Texas Tech 20

No. 7 Oklahoma 38, Kansas 9

No. 3 Kansas State 41, No. 15 West Virginia 35

Baylor 35, Texas 31

Last Week

Oklahoma State 59, Kansas 6
Actual Score: 20-14 Oklahoma State

No. 10 Oklahoma 35, No. 15 Texas 31
Actual Score: 63-21 Oklahoma

No. 5 Kansas State 41, No. 25 Iowa State 27
Actual Score: 27-21 Kansas State

No. 4 West Virginia 66, Texas Tech 28
Actual Score: 49-14 Texas Tech

Baylor 45, No. 23 TCU 35
Actual Score: 49-21 TCU

Last Week: 3-2 SU/2-3 ATS

Record: SU 38-5/ATS 24-10 (Games involving FCS teams don't have point spreads.)

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