When it comes to fixing your defense, it takes practice. It takes discipline. Even takes some luck.
And it sure doesn’t hurt to have Kansas and Iowa State back-to-back on the schedule either.
Such is life these days for the Sooners, who have proven to be non-contenders against the elite of college football, but have shown themselves to be King of the Nerds.
So, bring on the Cyclones and 25 predictions for tonight’s game in Ames.
Back in July, when we were all handicapping the season for the Sooners, this Thursday game on the road in November at Iowa State seemed like a dangerous spot. After all, it takes something special for the Cyclones to rise up and steal a win. They did it in recent history, beating Oklahoma State and we’ve seen ISU come close a few times this year. But generally, a mid-week game against a team overlooking the Cyclones is the kind of formula it takes for Iowa State to manage a win.
1. That’s not happening tonight. 2. There will be no overlooking Iowa State, because there’s no reason for the Sooners to overlook anyone, not at this point, anyway. OU has essentially played itself out of the college football playoff, so the pressure it would normally have on a November night in Ames won’t be there. 3. The Sooners will score the first two touchdowns of the game and they’ll do it with a 4. Baker Mayfield touchdown pass and 5. an interception return for a touchdown, too.
Now, that doesn’t mean you won’t be slightly panicked when Iowa State takes the field at 6:30 tonight. 5. You will be. That’s natural, because playing on a Thursday is an un-natural occurrence for the Sooners. However, beating Iowa State is all kinds of normal for Oklahoma and for coach Bob Stoops who has never lost to the Cyclones. 6. That’s what you’ll be saying to calm yourself knowing the Sooners will be without running backs Samaje Perine, Joe Mixon, Marcus Dupree, Keith Ford, Daniel Brooks, Brandon Williams, Damien Williams and Dom Whaley. Sure would be nice to know if Abdul Adams is capable. Or if Devin Montgomery is the next Adrian Peterson. We’ll all find out together because 7. Adams will have at least 15 carries. 8. Montgomery will have more than eight. 9. Three others will carry the ball, too. 10. Even Dede Westbrook will, and 11. Westbrook will have a rushing touchdown, too.
The thing is, despite not having an established running back, 12. Adams will still go for 100 yards and 13. You’ll be thankful the Sooners are facing Iowa State instead of literally anyone else. Against everyone else, Westbrook has been great, but against Iowa State 14. Westbrook will be even better. 15. Westbrook will have at least three carries, 16. throw a pass and 17. catch at least 10.
That’s sort of to be expected from this offense that 16. will score 44 or more points. Be more concerned about the Oklahoma defense. 17. The Sooners won’t hold Iowa State to three points, but 18. Iowa State won’t score until the Cyclones are at least 17 points down. Feel good about the defense. It’s gotten better, but not a lot better. 19. ISU will successfully run at least two trick plays. 19. One will go for a TD.
The Sooners are the best team in the Big 12. Iowa State isn’t the worst, but 20. you won’t believe Stoops after the game when he tells you how the Cyclones are better than their record indicates. 21. But you will start thinking if only that one against Houston didn’t get away. The Sooners aren’t going to the playoffs but the win against Iowa State certainly doesn’t hurt their chances of going to a New Year’s Eve bowl game.
22. Mayfield passes for more than 300 yards. 23. You’ll say he’s a Heisman candidate and then realize, well, maybe if that one didn’t get away against Houston, he would be. This upset in the making when the Big 12 put the schedule together doesn’t happen. 24. Neither does the normally cold Ames weather the announcers make mention of at least three times. 25. Sooners cover the 20 points, win 51-17.
Last week: 11-14