STAFF PICKS: Oklahoma Sooners

OU head coach Brent Venables talks with defensive back Trey Morrison (6) during the Red River Showdown on Oct. 8. © BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY NETWORK

Chris Williams, Publisher – Iowa State 31, Oklahoma 27

I despise picking this game for so many reasons. The fact that both teams are coming off of a bye is interesting. Oklahoma with Dillon Gabriel is a totally different team. The Texas game can essentially be thrown out the window. As tough as it has been so far, Brent Venables isn’t an idiot when it comes to defensive football. The Sooners have likely made some adjustments over the week off. I also think the 11 a.m. kick generally favors the road team. I can’t imagine Ames will be as nuts as it would be in the afternoon or night. But Iowa State has been so damn close so many times this year. It’s a team with an elite defense that is clearly better than its 0-4 Big 12 record indicates. In a toss-up game, I’ll reluctantly take the good guys. I’m looking forward to seeing a healthy Cyclone offense for the first time in a long time.

Get CW’s full Big 12 predictions for this week right here.

Jared Stansbury, Managing Editor – Iowa State 27, Oklahoma 24

If Iowa State figures out a way to get Jirehl Brock and Cartevious Norton going on the ground, this could turn into a long day for the Sooners. Establishing that rushing attack against one of the worst run defenses in the country will be key, though, as Iowa State tries to shorten the game and keep the ball away from the high-powered Oklahoma attack. This feels like a perfect spot for a Cartevious Norton breakout game.

Connor Ferguson, Staff Writer – Iowa State 21, Oklahoma 17

Iowa State can absolutely win this game, but it must rush the football efficiently. Oklahoma’s rushing defense is the worst in the conference and if the Cyclones can’t take advantage, it will be a long game. On the defensive side, the Iowa State defense will stick to what it does best and find a way to shut down Dillon Gabriel. We’ve seen them limit other standout players repeatedly this year and you shouldn’t be surprised when they do it again Saturday.

Jeff Woody, Football Analyst – Iowa State 34, Oklahoma 20

This team feels like it is on the brink of something. I don’t know if it’s this week or next week. But I just get the vibe that—at some point—they’re gonna explode into something unstoppable, no matter the opponent. Not forever because teams are too well coached in this league and will adjust. But for a few games in a row, they’re gonna click and avoid the drive-ending mistakes that’ve hampered them for the first 4 of the conference season. Because I want it to happen against an OUtgoing team, I’m gonna say that happens this week.

Jay Jordan, Football Analyst – Iowa State 28, Oklahoma 20

I don’t think Oklahoma has the juice to consistently overcome ISU D. We will see what Dekkers offers because the OU pass rush is anemic. He will have time and be able to read the field. Give me X and a stout defensive performance.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.