Conference: Big XII
Season Record: 2-5
Last Week's Opponent: Bye
Points Scored Per Game: 27.4 (Ranks 16th Nationally)
Points Allowed Per Game: 35.3 (Ranks 109th Nationally)
Last Meeting With Sooners: November 16, 2013 (L 48-10)
Things aren't going very well for Iowa State as far as wins and losses go but don't let that trick you into thinking Oklahoma's road trip to Ames this weekend is going to be a cakewalk. In defeat, the Cyclones have posted impressive numbers against Kansas State, Baylor, Oklahoma State, and Texas. The, "Close but no cigar" finishes are going to swing in favor of Paul Rhoads soon, we just hope that it happens the following week against Kansas.
The Cyclones are at the bottom half of the conference in just about every statistical category, bottoming out with the worst ranked rushing attack, yet somehow Mark Mangino has still had a game plan that gives defenses fits. For the fourth game in a row the Sooners will be playing against a dual-threat quarterback and for the second game in a row the opposing quarterback leads the team in rushing as well. Sam B. Richardson is completing 61% of his passes for an average of 242 yards per game. He's thrown 13 touchdown passes this season and 6 interceptions. In addition, he's averaging 3.7 yards per carry and has two rushing touchdowns.
Tight end E.J. Bibbs has been Richardson's top receiving target this season. The 6-3/264 senior has caught 32 passes for 392 yards and a team-high six touchdowns. Freshman Allen Lazard (6-5/221) leads the team in receiving yards, with 392, and sophomore D'Vario Montgomery is a solid third option with his 11 yards per reception average.
When Richardson isn't running the ball himself he's putting it into the hands of Aaron Wimberly. Also a senior, Wimberly (5-9/177) is averaging 4.1 yards per carry and has a team-high four rushing touchdowns.
The Cyclones are eighth in the conference in scoring (27.4), sixth in passing (246.9 YPG), and tenth in rushing (117.1 YPG).
If you're looking for the culprit in ISU's five losses this season it's found right here. The Cyclones have been abysmal on defense this season! They are seventh in the conference in pass defense (246.7 YPG) with four touchdowns surrendered through the air to five interceptions. The most notable stat for Iowa State's pass defense is that opposing quarterbacks are completing 63% of their passes which is the highest percentage allowed by any defense in the conference.
The passing stats might be worse for Iowa State if it weren't for the success opponents are having on the ground. The Cyclones are one of just two teams in the conference (T. Tech 246.1) to give up over two hundred rushing yards per game (209).
Linebacker Jevohn Miller leads the team in tackles with 68, and defensive end Corey Morrissey is the team's sack leader with five. Three different Cyclone defenders have recorded interceptions with T.J. Mutcherson and Nigel Tribune tied for the team-high with two each.
The lack of a game-changing running back is what separates Iowa State from Oklahoma's last three opponents. Their inability to make big plays on defense should also be a source of confidence for the Sooners. Even so, OU will still need to contain Richardson, protect the football, and make plays on both sides of the ball for anyone in the Sooner State to feel comfortable about this game.
The lack of a game-changing