Oklahoma’s attempt at a perfect season is over, and its chances of reaching the College Football Playoffs are slim.
If the 12th ranked Sooners are not careful, things can quickly get much worse. They come after a loss to Baylor – their first November loss in five years under coach Lincoln Riley. Now they face a dangerous Iowa State team on Saturday.
Iowa State (6-4, 4-3 Big 12) opened the season in the preseason top 10, but has recently stumbled in losses to West Virginia and Texas Tech. But when Riley watches the movie, the only thing he sees is the talent that led to the hype beforehand.
He also knows the recent history between the programs. Oklahoma (9-1, 6-1, No. 13 CFP) has won three of the last five meetings, but Iowa State won at Norman in 2017 and last year of the regular season. Oklahoma beat Iowa State 27-21 in the Big 12 title fight last year.
“If we did not know this team as well as we know them and had the matches, you may be worried that a team is looking at the record and thinking, you know, maybe it’s just an average football team coming in here,” Riley said. “This is not an average football team coming in.”
Iowa State still has quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Breece Hall. Purdy is in fourth place nationally in completion rate (73.4%). Hall is number six nationally in rushing yards per. match (117.2) and is number two nationally in both scoring (108 points) and total touchdowns (18).
And the Cyclones will be motivated after Texas Techs Jonathan Garibay hit a 62-yard field goal as time went on, to give the Red Raiders a surprising 41-38 victory last Saturday.
Although the Cyclones have not lived up to their expectations, they are still a talented, battle-tested team trying to make this a memorable season despite probably missing the 12 major title fights.
“We really wanted to go there this year, and it looks like it’s not going to be like that,” said Iowa State tight-end Chase Allen. “But what then? We’ve only been away once before. So what are we going to do, wrap it up just because we’re not going to that match? No, we have so much to play for and so much to do, and we would like to finish. ”
TO QUARTERBACK SYSTEM?
Riley has at times used both Caleb Williams and Spencer Rattler this season to give a spark when the other struggled. He said he remains committed to Williams as his starter:
“I have not really at any time made a guy think, okay, I want to put him in a series and shoot him out right away, something like that.… But no, I still strongly believe that I can like having a regular starter and backup. ”
Iowa State tight-end Charlie Kolar is one of the best in the country. The red-shirted senior from Norman, Oklahoma has 41 catches on 506 yards and four touchdowns. He had eight receptions on 76 yards and two touchdowns against Texas Tech last week.
He is looking forward to returning to his hometown.
“It’s always exciting to go back, but like I said with the Texas Tech loss, we should not need that motivation to play hard,” Kolar said. “If you suggest you can play harder against someone (state) that you come from, there is something wrong with me. There are a few more emotions, but how you prepare and play should be the same. ”
Campbell said Iowa State defender Will McDonald was bothered by a lower body strain against Texas Tech, but he has trained this week and should play. McDonald is in second place in the Big 12 with 10 sacks this season.
Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks has 2,920 yards rushing in his career – 12th on the school’s all-time list.
He has 853 yards rushing this season and could become the fourth Oklahoma to run back to rush for at least 1,000 yards in three different seasons, along with Samaje Perine, Adrian Peterson and De’Mond Parker.
Oklahoma’s linebacker said on social media that his career is now over after he tore an ACL against Baylor. It’s the last setback in a career filled with injuries. Kelly started playing in Oklahoma started in 2016. He was red-shirted in 2019 due to an injury and missed the 2020 season due to an injury.
“I feel really ok with it,” he said. ‘Last year I was really, really sad. And I tried to fight it. This year I’m not sorry. That’s just what it is. “
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