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Know Your Enemy: Iowa State

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell runs onto the field with his team before Saturday's game at Oklahoma. The Cyclones were 31-point underdogs but beat the Sooners 38-31. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Know Your Enemy: Iowa State

Oklahoma State Looking To Keep New Years’ Six Bowl Aspirations Alive

WHO: Iowa State (6-3)

WHEN: Saturday, November 11th @ 11:00 AM CT

WHERE:Ames, Iowa


SCOUTING Iowa State: Since the Cyclones shocked the entire college football world in Norman, all they have done is play defense and win more games. This includes another upset win over then top four TCU and an absolute beatdown in Lubbock. Matt Campbell’s team continues to play sound, discipline football for four quarters. He has his team, his program, and his fan base bought in to a certain culture that is allowing them to play football at a high level.

After Jacob Park was dismissed from the team, Kyle Kempt has been everything his team has needed him to be. His accuracy and sharp decision making has allowed their offense to be efficient. His cast of skill players around him is not plentiful, but the Cyclones do have future NFL talent in wide receiver Allen Lazard and running back David Montgomery. Montgomery has been one of the most elusive running backs in college football according to Pro Football Focus. The battle between him and Justice Hill for broken or missed tackles will be one to watch. Defensively, Oklahoma State will need to try and do everything they can to force Iowa State into third and long situations. If not, the Cyclones do have the ability to maintain possession of the football and chew clock.

Joel Lanning is the captain of the defense, and might be one of the grittiest players in all of college football. The former quarterback turned middle linebacker has had such a good year that even NFL scouts are taking notice. However, the Iowa State defense has been predicated on elite communication and discipline. This is why they are able to run the “umbrella” defense against spread teams where they drop eight into coverage. No other team in this conference has had success running the umbrella, but Iowa State has been executing it at a high-level (probably why they beat Oklahoma and TCU). It will be crucial for Oklahoma State to not turn the ball over as the Cyclones will make it a possession-by-possession game. If the Cowboys are not sharp offensively, this game will quickly turn into a dogfight.

After the loss to Texas, no one expected Iowa State to be in the position they are. The Cyclones have become one of the nation’s darlings by how they play and how much different they play football opposed to the normal narrative of the Big 12. Matt Campbell has inserted a culture of winning into that program, and it may pay off again today. Oklahoma State can’t be on a Bedlam hangover, because if they are, Iowa State has the full capability of gaining their third Top 25 win of the year.

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