SoonersIllustrated.com is going to set the stage every week breaking down Oklahoma’s game during the 2014 season.
No. 18 OU (5-2, 2-2) at Iowa State (2-5, 0-4)
When: 11 a.m. CST
OU’s biggest question going into the game
Will OU’s defense return to what it looked like in the first three games? It’s like night and day when talking about OU’s defense in the first three games compared to the last four.
Obviously a lot of that is based on competition, but the Sooners haven’t adjusted as well or executed as well as everybody thought. Wide splits with offensive linemen have caused huge issues as have mobile quarterbacks.
OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops is quick to say dual-threat quarterbacks are effective against just about every team, but OU wasn’t supposed to be like every other team. The Sooners defense is filled with playmakers, and they have to reemerge during the final five games of the regular season.
The two weeks of preparation have given OU time to take a step back and try to fix the problems. We’ll see what Stoops and company have dialed up Saturday in Ames.
Iowa State’s biggest question going into the game
Can quarterback Sam Richardson duplicate his outing vs. Texas? The Sooners offense couldn’t get much of anything going against the Longhorns, but Richardson had one of the best days of his career against Texas a week later.
No doubt the Cyclones didn’t want to be 2-5 at this point or still searching for their first conference win, but it will be interesting to see if Iowa State can use the positives on offense against the Longhorns and put it to use against the Sooners.
OU has said all the right things in the last two weeks about having a lot to play for and not giving up on the season. Richardson’s goal has to be to put on that early pressure and see if that really is the case with OU’s defense.
“We’ve played well, but there’s some mistakes we have got to correct. Everybody sees that. Other than that, we are the ones that are beating ourselves. If we can correct that, we can have a more successful season from now on.” - OU defensive lineman Chuka Ndulue
The seeds have been planted for a couple of games and this is when it all starts to come together for freshman safety Steven Parker. He’s starting to get more comfortable with each game and this will be the first game he comes up with a turnover and starts to realize his potential going forward.
OU 38, Iowa State 20. It’s going to be a good day for the Sooners on both sides of the ball. Two weeks to prepare and work out some issues along with the return of Keith Ford sees the offense roll. The defense creates a couple of turnovers and not even a late ISU touchdown sours the feeling of OU’s road performance.