OU vs. ISU Pregame: Breaking It Down

Sooners Illustrated digs deeper into this weekend's big contest between No. 6 OU and Iowa State.

The Matchup:

The Sooners are coming off their bye week following their 28-20 victory over Red River Rival Texas and bring a perfect 5-0 record into the contest, while Iowa State is a week removed from suffering a 68-27 defeat at the hands of No. 10 Utah, and it arrives at 3-3. OU is 11-0 in its next outing after the Texas game under head coach Bob Stoops and hasn't lost a home game following a bye week, so the odds favor the Sooners, but the Cyclones have played competitive in each of their conference games, winning their last one against Texas Tech 52-38. So, they arrive with plenty of confidence to take on the Sooners and their 33-game home winning streak.

OU players to watch:

1. RB DeMarco Murray--He's only two touchdowns away from tying the OU all-time record for all-purpose touchdowns. Heisman Trophy winner Steve Owens holds that mark at 57, but barring any injury for Murray, it stands to be broken. And a break out came could shatter it this weekend.

2. LB Austin Box-The long awaited return of the 6-foot-2, 232 lb. veteran is this weekend. He's sat out the first five games after a disc issue sidelined him prior to the opener, but all signs are that he is ready to go and nearing 100 percent, so that is healthy news for the Sooner linebacking corps.

OU will win if: It doesn't make mental mistakes. Even an improved Iowa State team really doesn't figure to have much of a chance in this game for a number of reasons. First off, they are overpowered on both sides of the ball. Second, it's in Norman, where as previously stated, the Sooners haven't lost in eternity. And the game comes after that bye week and Texas game, both scenarios where OU rarely to never loses.

ISU players to watch:

1. QB Austen Arnaud--He's a talented athlete that can operate the Cyclone offense with efficiency given the right circumstances. But his numbers aren't anything to talk too much about. Arnaud is 96-for-168 for 958 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. Still, though, Stoops has complemented senior and Ames native as being a big, strong guy that can move around well.

2. LB A.J. Klein--The sophomore enters the weekend second in the conference with 62 total tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss, along with three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown against Kansas State. Klein also has three pass deflections, a quarterback hurry and fumble recovery.

ISU will win if: It can force the Sooners to do what they haven't done so far in the first five outings: turn the ball over. OU ranks first in the nation in turnover margin at plus-2.0, but if the Cyclones can get a few takeaways, they'll have a chance.


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