Big 12 Previews

Oklahoma vs. Iowa State: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Oklahoma

Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 match-up in our Iowa State vs. Oklahoma preview and prediction.

Game Info

Saturday, November 20, 2021; 11 am Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium; Norman, OK

TV: FOX (Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt)

Radio: ISU: Cyclone Radio Network (John Walters and Eric Heft); OU: Sooner Sports Network (Toby Rowland and Teddy Lehman)

Spread: Sports Betting Dime is predicting the Sooners to beat the Cyclones but they don’t think they will cover the spread of 4.5 points

Records: Oklahoma 9-1 (6-1 in Big 12); Iowa State 6-4 (4-3 in Big 12)

Rankings: OU No. 12 in AP and No. 11 in AFCA Coaches Poll; ISU unranked.

Last Week: OU lost to Baylor 27-14; Iowa State lost to Texas Tech 41-38

Fun Fact: Oklahoma leads the overall series 77-7-2, but Iowa State has defeated Lincoln Riley’s Sooners twice in the last five years.

 

Key Players

Iowa State Cyclones

Tight End Charlie Kolar

Kolar, a product of Norman, Oklahoma, was named all-Big 12 tight end the past two years and should be named to this year’s first unit again. He leads ISU, and all Big 12 tight ends with 41 receptions for 506 yards and 4 TDs. He hauled in 8 passes for 76 yards and a pair of scored against the Red Raiders last week. Kolar has caught 12 passes for 187 yards and 2 TDs in three meetings against the Sooners, including 6 for 92 yards and a TD in last year’s Big 12 Championship Game.

Running Back Breece Hall

The junior ranks second in the Big 12 with 1,172 yards on 216 carries (5.4 ypc) and 16 touchdowns. The Red Raiders held Hall to 51 yards on 18 carries (2.8), but he still scored twice. In the last three meetings vs. the Sooners, Hall has rushed 69 times for 328 yards and 4 TDs. His best performance against OU was a 139-yard outing in last year’s 37-30 victory. 

Defensive Ends Eyioma Uwazurike and Will McDonald IV

Uwazurike, a redshirt senior, and McDonald, a redshirt junior, have combined for 22 tackles for loss, including 17.5 sacks. Uwazurike leads the duo with 10.5 stops behind the line, and McDonald leads with 10 sacks. Both defenders also have logged 6 QB hurries each.

 

Oklahoma Sooners

Quarterback Caleb Williams

Williams struggled in last week’s loss to Baylor. He completed 10 of 19 for 146 yards but tossed two interceptions. The freshman signal-caller had his hand stepped on while running out of bounds in the second quarter, which caused him to have trouble tossing the pigskin. Lincoln Riley said it affected Williams’ grip. Williams is second nationally and leads the Big 12 with a 187.8 passing efficiency for the season by completing 88 of 128 (68.8%) for 1,335 yards with a TD/INT ratio of 14/3. 

Linebacker Brian Asamoah

The redshirt junior logged 10 tackles against the Bears last Saturday, including 1.5 behind the line of scrimmage. Asamoah also forced a fumble in the game. He also leads OU with 64 tackles for the season.

 Punter Michael Turk

The redshirt senior and transfer from Arizona State leads the Big 12 with a 51.5-yard average. Turk kicked three times for a 53.3-yard average vs. Baylor last Saturday. For the season, 11 of his 19 punts have traveled for 50 yards or more, and 7 inside the 20-yard line.

Key Storylines

Iowa State Cyclones

The Cyclones lost to Texas Tech (41-38) last weekend when the Red Raiders booted a 62-yard field goal as time expired. The loss dropped ISU to 4-3 in the conference, thus dashing any hopes for returning to the Big 12 Championship Game. I-State’s conference losses are by a combined 12 points. The Cyclones trailed Tech by 17 at halftime and 10 after three periods and then stormed back to tie the game at 38-all on Andrew Mevis’ 29-yard field goal with one minute remaining. The Raiders answered with Jonathan Garibay’s 62-yard boot as the clock hit zero. I-State’s run game at 89 yards (3.6 ypc) was disappointing. QB Brock Purdy threw for 256 yards with 3 TDs but tossed 2 INTs. ISU’s defense allowed a season-high 41 points and 529 yards to the Red Raiders after allowing an average of 18.2 points and 282.4 yards per game entering the contest.

Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners were sloppy on both sides of the ball in last weekend’s loss to Baylor. Oklahoma failed to get the run game in gear with 28 carries for 78 yards. In the past two games, OU has averaged 3.1 yards per carry on the ground. OU’s defense forced two turnovers, but many missed tackles allowed the Bears to put up 414 yards. Baylor also held Oklahoma’s passing game to 178 yards. The Sooners’ offense is struggling because the front line can’t open any holes for the ground attack, which usually sets up a brilliant passing game. The Sooners still have a shot for a berth in the Big 12 title tilt in December, but winning the next two games will remove all doubt of playing for a seventh straight title.

 

Prediction: Oklahoma 35 Iowa State 31

The Sooners are now a long shot (19% chance according to Five-Thirty-Eight) to reach the College Football Playoff. The Sooners and Cyclones each struggled on both sides of the ball last Saturday. The team that makes the necessary corrections should win this contest. Oklahoma’s offensive line will have its hands full with Uwazurike and McDonald. Lack of discipline has been a problem for the Sooners O-line this year. OU’s front wall gave up 5 sacks, along with 2 holding penalties and an unnecessary roughness penalty. In the last six years, Oklahoma has lost a game or two and then bounces back all the way to the Big 12 Championship. Only because OU is at home this weekend is the reason for picking them to win the game.

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