As the Oklahoma Sooners get set to play the Iowa St. Cyclones, we’re joined by Jared Larson of Wide Right & Natty Lite — SB Nation’s Iowa State site.
Also make sure to check out this week’s episode of the Oklahoma Breakdown Podcast featuring special guest Levi Stevenson (also of WRNL).
With the Cyclones starting the year at 5-3, how are ISU fans feeling about this season (relative to expectations) through eight games?
ISU fans are surely a little disappointed in the three losses. Football is all about margins and we didn’t focus on the following three glaring marginal situations in each of our losses:
- Iowa - a game in which I wore a wrestling singlet and got pneumonia after the two rain delays - SPECIAL TEAMS, running into your teammate who’s trying to catch a punt isn’t the best. Also, what sealed the game to me happened at the top of fourth quarter. Nate Stanley, on a 3rd and 11, (Tyler Goodson lost a yard and Stanley threw an incompletion) rushed for 14 yards until Lawrence White IV (11) forced him out of bounds. This man has a career average of -1 rushing yard per attempt and he busts one for 14.
- Baylor - At 12:43 in the second quarter Assalley (96) had a very “for the brand” field goal. Instead of going down “buttcrack boulevard,” (thank you to my friend Drew for shouting that before every attempt) it went Wide Right. The very last second of the quarter also featured an attempt from 49 that James Lynch blocked and Blake Lynch recovered and returned 46ish yards. Making either of these likely would’ve tipped the scale of winning in the margins and likely even the game.
- Oklahoma State - Three interceptions late doomed the Cyclones, especially the pick six that Malcolm Rodriguez got to enjoy the fruits of.
The ‘Clones obviously lost some great players to the NFL in David Montgomery and Hakeem Butler, but different faces have picked up the slack at the slack at the skill positions. Which names should Oklahoma fans be aware of in this area?
Breece Hall (28) can really run the the breeze when he has the ball, and Deshaunte Jones (8) can become DeGONEte Jones. However, it’d be amiss to not mention the current blue ribbon winner for Tight End U Norman native Charlie Kolar (88). Our tight ends are mountains (≥ 6’6” and ≥ 245 lbs.) so, also that whole position group.
How has Brock Purdy progressed between years 1 and 2?
Brock (15) has been steadier this year (apart from the three-interception game from two weeks ago). He might have a fewer passing yards per attempt (happens when Hakeem Butler gets drafted in the NFL) but he is more accurate and about to throw more touchdowns than he did a season ago. (2018 saw 16 TDs in 10 games, 2019 currently sees 15 TDs in nine games).
On the defensive side, Jon Heacock’s groups have never made things easy for Lincoln Riley’s offense, but how does this defense compare to the ones we’ve seen the past two seasons?
So, my favorite defensive player Ray “Machine Breaker” Lima (58) is an anchor on that defensive line. With the absence of JaQuan Bailey for the rest of the season because of a lower body injury, Zach Petersen (55) has filled his void well. Greg Eisworth II (12) if he’s good to go is one of the surest tacklers on the team. I’m really excited to see the Dean of Defense vs. maybe the department chair of defense.
Your site is called Wide Right & Natty Lite, but Iowa State fans have a noted affinity for Busch Light. Which do you prefer?
What a great question for someone battling a hangover. I notably don’t like beer (the one above meh beer I’ve had was from Backpocket Brewing, “Slingshot”) and instead prefer cocktails or chocolate martinis (might’ve had… three? last night into this morning).
Who’s your favorite ISU alum outside of sports?
Outside of sports I’m a big Mildred Day fan. A 1928 Iowa State College grad in Home Economics invented the Rice Krispie Treat. My mother would make the best scotcheroos for giving out for my birthday growing up. So, if it wasn’t for Mildred, I wouldn’t be able to share this sweet culinary treat with my classmates.
What’s the worst thing about Iowa fans?
Having them as relatives? Claiming they’ve invented everything including the color black™? Oh well, as long as they give the one-finger wave when I’m on gravel roads I’ll still give it back.
Who is your all-time favorite Iowa State football player, and who is your all-time favorite Iowa State basketball player?
Football: I’ve met and interacted with lots of players. Blaise Bryant (1989-1990) has been one of my favorites, as fun as our interview was in November 2017 we still text about Iowa State and life. Honorable mention would have to be Stevie Hicks Jr.
Basketball: Zaid Abdul-Aziz had a book signing at the public library in town when I was 10. I went to go see him, and after reading his book Darkness to Sunlight we stayed in contact for about six years. It was cool knowing Abdul-Aziz because as a K-5 Catholic Schooler, this was the first Muslim person I got to know beyond just their name or religious affiliation. It was nice because Abdul-Aziz himself grew up Catholic. But yeah, we’d talk about basketball and the good old days and what Ames was up to. He was actually the person that told me that the Brooklyn Nets would become a team.
Same question as the one above, but with Oklahoma…
I’m including question number six. One of my very best friends from Ames is currently a student at Oklahoma and she works with SoonerVision, so, when she graduates, she will be my favorite Sooner alum of all time.
Football: uh.. Uwe Detlef Walter von Schamann. Idk. I did get to meet DeDe after the 2016 game and he seemed alright.
Basketball: Hannes Pöllä. As a fellow Finn, it’s always fun to chirp “isäs oli ku sua teki” to other Finns.
What does ISU have to do to pull off another upset in Norman, and do you think it will happen this time?
I guess play walk-on quarterback Devin Larsen (18)? Redshirt senior John Kolar really isn’t the Kyle Kempt type of big unknown. I meant to find a common theme — got inundated with classwork — in the six wins in the series.
I say whoever wins, wins by six.
#9/8 Oklahoma 44 - RV Iowa State 38