It’s time for revenge.
Sure, it didn’t keep OU out of the playoff last season and several big pieces are gone (see Mayfield, Baker), but you have to think that the Sooners will have a little extra fire after last season’s baffling loss to Iowa State at home.
This time, the Sooners travel to Ames to open the 2018 Big 12 slate against an Iowa State team that is returning several key pieces.
Kickoff: 11 PM CT
Listen: 107.7 The Franchise (OKC), 97.5 KMOD (Tulsa)
Meet the Cyclones
After having it’s season opener cancelled due to lightning, Iowa State kicked off its season against arch rival Iowa last Saturday. The result was very befitting of what you would imagine a battle between two Iowa squads; a slog of a game resulting in a 13-3 Iowa win.
While Iowa State returns several players from their impressive 2017 campaign in Kyle Kempt and David Montgomery, they are also missing some key parts. Ironman QB/LB Joel Lanning, who torched the Sooners last season on both sides of the ball last year, left due to graduation. As did Allen Lazard, the star wide receiver who caught last season’s game winning touchdown. This is a different Cyclone team, but a very capable one under head coach Matt Campbell.
Who to Watch For:
#32 David Montgomery RB
Even though Montgomery had a rather pedestrian game against Oklahoma last season, he is the backbone of the Iowa State offense. The Junior tailback is a hard downhill runner who is one of the toughest to tackle in the Big 12.
Last season, Montgomery carried the Cyclone offense with a total of 1146 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Expect to see him get the bulk of the Iowa State carries.
Why You Should Be Excited
It’s a revenge game. If you share my level of pettiness, you definitely are already excited for this one. Iowa State isn’t a rival or a power. But they sure pissed us off last October and need to pay (my recap last season was an expletive laden rant that was closer to a transcription of an angry Sports Animal caller than football analysis).
In addition to avenging last season’s loss, this is also the Big 12 opener. I love the dogfight style schedule of the Big 12 and this is just a perfect opener to start; not too hard but not unimportant in the least.
Series History (OU Leads 74-6-2)
Nope, that is not a typo. This is one of the most lopsided series in college football history. Iowa State football has long been mired in failure, especially against the Sooners.
As we all know, that changed last fall when the Cyclones shocked the Sooners in Norman, 38-31. Some blame the alternate uniforms, some blame the striped stadium, many blame Mike Stoops. However, the issue was flat out complacency.
After taking a 24-10 lead deep into the second quarter, it looked like OU was starting to play to not lose instead of playing to win. The lack of offensive aggression bogged down the place, allowing for Iowa State to get hot. The Sooners got in scoring position late in the 4th quarter, but a crucial Baker Mayfield fumble put OU in real danger of losing. The Cyclones put on a miracle drive ending in an Allen Lazard touchdown. The usually clutch OU offense sputtered on the final drive, with Mayfield running out of magic.
Iowa State would go on a run, cracking the top 25 and taking down another top 10 victim in TCU before falling apart towards the end of the season. The Sooners wouldn’t lose until the Rose Bowl, where they similarly took the pedal off the gas in the second half, to similar results.
This Iowa State team isn’t great, but if recent history tells us anything, it’s that they are dangerous.