Football

STAFF PICKS: Oklahoma Sooners

Oct 26, 2019; Manhattan, KS, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (2) breaks away from Kansas State Wildcats defensive backs Jahron McPherson (31) and AJ Parker (12) during the fourth quarter of a game at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Williams, Publisher – Iowa State 34, Oklahoma 31

I question how healthy Iowa State was against Oklahoma State. I also love the fact that Jon Heacock gets two weeks to prepare for the daunting task that is going head to head with Lincoln Riley and Jalen Hurts. Brock Purdy has barely slept since throwing three crucial interceptions in the fourth quarter of his last outing. Iowa State deserves to be an underdog in this one but not by 14-plus. The Cyclones will turn Jalen Hurts over a couple of times, take advantage of them and pull off another road upset in Norman. 

Jared Stansbury, Staff Writer – Iowa State 31, Oklahoma 30

I have flipped on this game in recent days, which actually somewhat concerns me. I think Brock Purdy will come out ready to play and that could lead to one of his best games of the year. Breece Hall carries the load while a healthier Greg Eisworth helps the defense force a pair of turnovers, including a crucial one late in the fourth quarter.

Brent Blum, Columnist – Oklahoma 30, Iowa State 24

Oklahoma has lost one Big 12 game at home since 2015. We all remember that game. I do think Texas and K-State have found a bit of the antidote to the OU offense and that is to make Hurts beat you throwing the ball 25+ times and perhaps he’ll make a mistake. If OU is running the ball all day, it makes it very difficult. I think Iowa State holds up well for most of the game, but too many dudes on that OU roster and they get separation late.

Rob Gray, Senior Writer – Oklahoma 41, Iowa State 30

It appears Greg Eisworth will be healthy for this game and that greatly boosts the Cyclones’ hopes. I’d expect the Sooners to try to use Jalen Hurts a lot in the run game and along with Trey Sermon, that’s a heck of a 1-2 punch behind an elite offensive line. I also expect a bounce-back “clean” game from Brock Purdy, but that’s unlikely to be enough to rekindle the magic the 2017 team bottled in Norman. It doesn’t help that the Sooners are also coming off a bye week — and a borderline shocking loss to markedly-improved Kansas State. OU has something to prove and unless ISU forces multiple turnovers, it will be able to avoid a rare two-game losing streak. 

Jay Jordan, Football Analyst – Iowa State 40, Oklahoma 30

Iowa State’s style of play is problematic for Oklahoma. The key is whether ISU has cleaned up some of the sloppiness that has resulted in three losses. I think we will see a team with a chip on its shoulder play it’s most complete game of the year…

Jeff Woody, Football Analyst – Iowa State 34, Oklahoma 30

This game will come down to 1) turnovers 2) turnovers and 3) converting on opportunities (I.e. 3rd downs and points off turnovers). Those things are so variable and inconsistent from game to game that it’s incredibly difficult to predict or even guess. They don’t happen often within the flow of the game, so their impact is enormous. Like if on a 3rd and goal, a cleat slips out from under a guard, the DT gets penetration, gets a TFL which forces a field goal, that’s 4 points of unconverted offense that could lead to a win but is now a loss. I’ve had the least confidence with this game as any all season because the margin between winning and losing is minuscule. Out of optimism, I think Iowa State pulls it out. But it’s up to them to not make mistakes/turn the ball over.

Protect the ball and convert more than you don’t and you get a win. It should be a really fun game to watch.

Kevin Fitzpatrick, Contributor – Oklahoma 39, Iowa State 31

Brock Purdy should be laser-focused in this game because of the way his day against Oklahoma State finished two weeks ago. That’s good news. The bad news is, Oklahoma should also be laser-focused themselves after losing their first game of the season to K-State on top of remembering what happened the last time Iowa State came to Norman. I give the edge to the home team in this one, though the Cyclones should have a shot late in the game.

Kirk Haaland, Stats Nerd – Oklahoma 37, Iowa State 28

I suspect that both teams will move the ball but this game will be decided by Iowa State’s offense converting yards into points and the defense limiting Oklahoma’s explosive plays and forcing them into methodical drives. The talent gap is a small as it has ever been between these two teams but the turnover battle will still loom large.

Jared Stansbury

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Jared is in his sixth year covering Iowa State football and basketball for Cyclone Fanatic. He's the site's lead reporter for ISU recruiting. He worked as the site's intern for three years while studying Journalism in Iowa State's Greenlee School of Journalism. He started as the full-time staff writer in May 2016. Jared spent five falls covering Iowa high school football as a reporter for KMA Radio, 1460 KXNO and 1430 KASI.