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OU Football - An Iowa State Preview

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It's pretty ironic that on the podcast we did last week previewing Baylor, we talked about how Baylor would be a decent tune up for Bedlam.  Then the weekend plays out like it did and here we sit a week later with it looking like Baylor was a preview for the team we're about to face this weekend.

Iowa State's upset of Ok. State last Friday was not just shocking in the final result, but almost equally as shocking was the stellar play of their QB Jared Barnett.  While Barnett is nowhere near the athlete Robert Griffin is (who is though really?), his game is pretty similar and as such this OU defense can expect to see from the Clones a lot of the same things they saw from Baylor.  They'll use Barnett on a lot of zone read plays, so the Sooners d-line will have to play very disciplined.  If they're successful, most of what they'll do in the passing game will be within 5-10 yards of the line of scrimmage with the occasional shot down field.

At RB, Jeff Woody (who has come on the last couple games) and James White are the names to know.  White is the smaller of the two and is the guy who will likely see more carries.  Woody is the bigger back and likely to be in on short yardage/goal line situations.  Darius Reynolds, Josh Lenz, and Aaron Horne are just a few of the names to know at WR. The Clones don't have any outstanding athletes at wideout per se, but as this OU defense has proven in the past you don't have to be a dynamic athlete to make a big play against a busted coverage.

On paper what's scary about this game is it screams another upset loss for OU.  The Sooners are a four touchdown favorite, it's a game you could easily see them not getting up for, and Iowa State is obviously playing incredibly well coming off maybe the biggest win in program history.  Normally I'd say it's a good spot for a let down game for them, but with Paul Rhodes at the helm I don't think that's very likely.

On the plus side for OU, I don't think this is yet another game where they come out flat.  It's senior day and I expect emotions to be running pretty high as I anticipate they will do something to honor Austin Box who would have been playing in his final home game were it not for his tragic passing earlier this year.  So I'd be amazed if they are not ready to play and they should also (hopefully) be pretty angry after losing last week.  There is no reason this OU offense can't have a big day as most of the struggles OSU faced last week against this Clone defense were of their own doing.  

If OU plays as I expect, I think this is a big win for our Sooners.  The problem with that premise is outside of a quarter or two here and there this team has been impossibly difficult to predict.  And that is why you have to be at least a little worried heading into this game.  It's a game OU should and maybe will win fairly easily, but given how inconsistent they've been all year there is no way you can make that prediction with any kind of certainty.