SoonersIllustrated.com is going to set the stage every week, breaking down Oklahoma’s upcoming game during the 2015 season.
Iowa State (3-5, 2-3) at No. 15 Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1)
When: 6 p.m.
Biggest question - - Can the Sooners get through one more game and make the most of their soft schedule before November?
This is a different team than the one that played Texas almost a month ago.
Oklahoma has found itself. The Sooners understand their offense, and they seem to get how to play defense in the Big 12. They’ll be tested in November, but they can’t lose the momentum they’ve built during the last three weeks.
Oklahoma believes in the one-game-at-a-time mentality. It’s engrained now. There’s no chance that Oklahoma comes out flat Saturday like it did against Texas.
That doesn’t mean it’s a sure-fire win, but the Sooners won’t be out-motivated.
An educated guess: Iowa State sophomore quarterback Joel Lanning comes back down to earth in his second career start. There’s a clear difference between Texas’ defensive unit and Oklahoma’s defense.
Oklahoma is better than Texas in every defensive category kept by the Big 12. So Lanning has a much different test than a week before when the Cyclones pulled off an unlikely upset.
The Sooners are averaging five sacks, more than two forced turnovers and only barely 90 yards allowed on the ground, where Iowa State does most of its damage.
Iowa State is last in sacks allowed and has the worst turnover margin in the conference, committing the second-most turnovers. It could be a long day for Lanning.
Player to watch: Go with Dakota Austin on this one. He had the breakout outing against Texas Tech. Then he had the steady game against Kansas. Will he be able to keep it up? Lanning has this offense looking a lot different than it was a few games ago. Austin needs to bring that consistency for at least one more game.
Hite – Is there any reason to think this game won’t be different than Kansas State or Kansas or even Texas Tech? Oklahoma explodes in the first half, scoring at will and forcing two turnovers. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield misses the fourth quarter again. The score? 52-10 – one last statement win before the important games start.
Przybylo - Iowa State is a different animal than it was a couple of weeks ago. Played Baylor well and blanked Texas. Not sure the Sooners will be able to put up 50 points or more for the fourth straight game. Cyclones make it a game in the first half before OU gets a key turnover and lets Samaje Perine lead Sooners to an 8-1 record. We'll say, oh, 45-24.