NORMAN, Okla. – It took nearly two months to happen, but an Oklahoma defense that was quickly becoming a strength of the team finally sprung a leak, and it may have cost Lincoln Riley's squad a shot at the College Football Playoff. After watching the nation's longest road winning streak come to an end a week ago, the eighth-ranked Sooners hope to avoid watching their 14-game home winning streak get snapped Saturday when they host Iowa State.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Oklahoma -14.5.
Oklahoma entered last weekend's showdown with Kansas State with the Big 12's best scoring defense (19.2 points) and the second-ranked total defense (306.5 yards) during conference play before falling behind by 25 points and surrendering a season-high 426 yards before a late rally fell short in a 48-41 loss to the Wildcats. "We had a chance to really separate early in that game and we didn't do it. … I thought our mentality … was a little too based on what was happening instead of just playing," Riley said afterward. The Sooners will try to avoid dropping back-to-back games in the same season for the first time since 2014 when they meet the last opponent to beat them at home in the Cyclones, who pulled off a 38-31 upset in Norman in 2017. Iowa State was on the verge of becoming a ranked team before heading into its bye, but lost at home to Oklahoma State on Oct. 26, ending a three-game winning streak.
ABOUT IOWA STATE (5-3, 3-2 Big 12)
The Cyclones are averaging 479.5 yards of total offense - nearly 40 yards more than the school-record pace set in 1976 - and are led by sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy, who is ranked third in the nation in passing (Big 12-best 320.9 yards). Sophomore Charlie Kolar ranks fourth among FBS tight ends in receiving yards per game (60.8) and is tied for eighth at the position in touchdown catches (five) - all of which have come in the last five contests. Breece Hall has taken over in the backfield over the last three games, averaging 130.3 yards rushing while scoring all seven of his touchdowns in that span; the seven TDs are tied for the most by a freshman in school history.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA (7-1, 4-1)
Jalen Hurts accounted for 491 yards of total offense against the Wildcats to raise his season average to 408.8 yards - a mark that is higher than that of 64 FBS teams. The Houston native also ran a season-high 19 times for 96 yards and three touchdowns last weekend; he has rushed 103 times for 801 yards and 13 TDs, giving him 50 more carries, 418 more yards and eight more rushing touchdowns than anyone else on the roster. Junior CeeDee Lamb ranks 10th in the country with 816 receiving yards, third with a Big 12-best 11 receiving touchdowns and fourth in yards per catch (22.7); his five catches against Kansas State moved him into 10th place on the school’s all-time receptions list (147).
1. Oklahoma is 75-6-2 all-time against Iowa State. The resulting .916 winning percentage is the best by one FBS program against another (minimum 50 games played).
2. The Cyclones gave up three plays of at least 50 yards versus the Cowboys after not allowing a single one of more than 46 over their first seven games.
3. The Sooners haven't forced a turnover in the last four games.
PREDICTION: Oklahoma 42, Iowa State 31