After completely falling apart last week against Kansas State, the No. 18 Oklahoma Sooners need to rebound on the road against Iowa State. Both schools are 1-1 and could use a huge win in Week 3 to separate from the rest of the Big 12 pack.
Oklahoma is a seven-point road favorite, and the over/under is set at 63.5.
Solving the Sooners
Oklahoma’s meltdown in the second half against Kansas State was a stunner, to say the least. The Sooners led 21-7 at the half, and 35-21 to start the fourth quarter.
At one point, Oklahoma had a 98.8% win probability, but no one told the Wildcats. Kansas State came roaring back after blocking a punt, running for two touchdowns, and drilling a 50-yard field goal to take a 38-35 lead.
Any hopes of Oklahoma stealing the win back evaporated when freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler’s pass was intercepted, and Kansas State ran out the clock. The loss knocked the Sooners down 15 spots in the top 25 rankings.
Oklahoma could not get out of their own way throughout the game. While Rattler threw for 387 yards and four touchdowns, his three interceptions proved pivotal, as two of them led to Kansas State touchdowns. Freshman running back Seth McGowan’s fumble on a busted play also directly led to a Wildcats touchdown.
The Sooners were flagged 10 times for 75 yards in penalties and were unable to force any turnovers defensively. It was an inexcusable performance from the 27.5-point favorites.
“We just made critical errors that gave them a chance,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. “Give Chris (Klieman) and Kansas State a lot of credit. When we made errors, he made us pay.”
The good news for Oklahoma is that they do have a very talented football team and a good chance to capture their fourth straight Big 12 Title. Through two weeks, Rattler ranks second in the FBS in touchdowns with eight, and fifth in completion percentage at 75.9%. McGowan has rushed for a touchdown in back-to-back weeks.
The future is bright in Norman, and this young Sooner squad will continue to improve.
Cyclones Keep Storming
Iowa State is looking for their first stretch of four consecutive winning seasons in more than 100 years. After a 31-14 loss at home in Week 1 to the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, where they gave up 21 unanswered second-half points, Iowa State responded in a big way with a 37-34 win on the road at TCU.
Sophomore running back Breece Hall was the star of the show, rushing for 155 yards and three touchdowns. Kene Nwangwu found the endzone on his lone carry of the day, a 49-yard scamper for the score.
Junior quarterback Brock Purdy completed 18 of 23 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown, but he did also provide us with one of the most bizarre fumbles you’ll ever see.
Iowa State’s offensive line allowed the fewest sacks and fewest tackles-for-loss in the Big 12 in 2019. With three sacks allowed through two weeks this year, the group has looked relatively solid, especially after losing four of their five starters from a year ago.
If they can continue to block effectively, Purdy can continue to fire away to JUCO transfer Xavier Hutchinson and tight end Charlie Kolar. Both could have big games against Oklahoma on Saturday.
The Pick Is In
Iowa State responded to their Week 1 loss in Week 2. We expect Oklahoma will answer the call in a similar way Saturday in Ames. Rattler is a star in the making at Oklahoma and will have a breakout performance against the Cyclones.
FREE PICK: Oklahoma (-7)