AMES, Iowa – Iowa State aims for its fourth straight win while trying to avoid looking too far ahead when it hosts Oklahoma State for a Big 12 clash Saturday afternoon. The Cyclones have surged toward the top of the conference standings with consecutive victories over TCU, West Virginia and Texas Tech.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1. LINE: Iowa State -10.5
Once the Cowboys leave town, Iowa State faces a visit to Oklahoma - one of two unbeatens in the league - and a home game with Texas, and it has a great chance to enter the critical stretch on a good note if it can maintain its momentum. "It will be fascinating to see where this group can be by the time the season ends," Cyclones coach Matt Campbell told reporters of the team's surge. "Can it make that couple of huge strides it will have to if we're going to be the best team we can be down the stretch run?" While Iowa State is looking to secure bowl eligibility for the third straight season, the Cowboys are in danger of falling to .500 after consecutive losses to Texas Tech and Baylor. They've given up 90 points in the back-to-back defeats and will be tested by a Cyclones attack that has averaged 40.3 during the team's three-game winning streak.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA STATE (4-3, 1-3 Big 12)
Sophomore Chuba Hubbard continues to light up opposing defenses with a relentless ground game, piling up 171 yards in last week's 45-27 loss to Baylor to push his FBS-leading total to 1,265 on the season - nearly 300 more than any other player. Freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders, who ranks fifth in the Big 12 with 1,490 passing yards, has thrown eight interceptions over the past four games while getting sacked 13 times. His top target is junior Tylan Wallace, who leads the conference and ranks sixth nationally with 772 receiving yards.
ABOUT IOWA STATE (5-2, 3-1)
Sophomore Brock Purdy tops Big 12 passers with 2,185 yards - 378 in last week's 34-24 win at Texas Tech. Freshman running back Breece Hall has emerged as the go-to option out of the backfield with 315 rushing yards over the last two games after receiving only 18 carries through his first four contests. Linebacker O'Rien Vance leads the defense with 6.5 sacks despite missing last week's game and half of the previous contest with a possible concussion, although the sophomore has returned to practice this week.
1. Cowboys PK Matt Ammendola is one of four kickers in FBS play with a perfect field-goal percentage and at least 10 makes.
2. Cyclones WR Tarique Milton is second in the Big 12 with 22.2 yards per catch.
3. Iowa State snapped a six-game losing streak in the series with a 48-42 win at Oklahoma State last year.
PREDICTION: Iowa State 39, Oklahoma State 28