“Strength in Stillwater”

Campus Clash

(17) Iowa State Cyclones at (6) Oklahoma State Cowboys

Iowa State: I was expecting a little more from Brock Purdy. In four games played, he only has four touchdown passes. The numbers may seem low, but his play has improved considerably since the opening season loss. Brock has become one of the Big 12’s efficient passes completing. Matt Campbell is coaching a tough group. Outside of the upset against Louisiana in week one, the Cyclones have handled their business. Scoring is no issue for this offense. Since that week one upset, they’ve averaged 35 points per game. My biggest takeaway is how they play in the clutch when it matters most. The comeback win against Oklahoma should speak volumes. They also held off TCU’s comeback. It’s the defense that worries me because they start slowly, but finish well. They’re in Stillwater on Saturday.

Ok State: It’s the other Oklahoma team that’s been making headlines so far. Mike Gundy has the Cowboys off to one of the better starts in recent memory. Entering the year, the offense had large expectations, especially with running back Chuba Hubbard. They haven’t disappointed as they’ve averaged 30 points per game. The talk of this team has been their defense! This is the best group they’ve had in recent memory. It’s talented with lots of depth and speed at all three tiers from the defensive line to the secondary. To survive in this conference, you must have a quarterback that has command of the offense and they do in Spencer Sanders. He can make all the throws and then some. This is one of their bigger games on Saturday.

Iowa State X-Factor: Breece Hall– I know it’ll be challenging for him to run the ball here on this Cowboys defense. He’s also a nice check down back Purdy can get the ball too in the flat. I’d make this defense work early on. Watch for Iowa State to get Hall going in other ways to touch the ball.

Ok State X-Factor: Trace Ford– He’s a relentless force upfront for this defense. Trace plays with a low center of gravity to win each battle presented to him upfront. Furthermore, I look for the Cowboys to unleash him early on to pressure Purdy and collapse the pocket.

Final Thoughts: This game has potential conference title implications early on. The title for this was perfect. Iowa State’s strength is its unique three tight end offense while Oklahoma State’s strength is their speedy, yet physical defense. This calls for an interesting game. I finally get the chance to watch Hubbard play. Iowa State must find ways to keep their offense on the field. Oklahoma State needs to be ready to defend that misdirection.

Prediction: Ok State 30 Iowa State 23

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