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IOWA STATE vs OKLAHOMA STATE: Offensively speaking...

Barnett should have fond memories of his last meeting with the Cowboys.

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

On the surface, I would go to the same place that I went with Kansas.

Iowa State is not very good offensively.

Less yards per game, both rushing and passing, than Kansas.

More turnovers per game than Kansas. More interceptions per game than Kansas.

But yet here they sit at 4-2. Granted, they are 1-2 in the conference, but all three of those games are against "quality" opponents.

A loss to Tech

  • 4 Cyclone turnovers and less than 200 yards of total offense;

A win over TCU

  • Horned Frogs' first game without veteran QB Pachall
  • 5 TCU turnovers
  • The Cyclones were to TCU what Arizona was to OSU...outgained by the opponent, but TCU mistakes turned things in Iowa State's favor

A loss to undefeated Kansas State

  • Kansas State essentially played keep away...40 - 20 edge in TOP
  • Iowa State did have the ball at the end with a chance to win, but got stuffed near their own goal line;

What does this necessarily tell us? Not a whole helluva lot, as the Big 12 doesn't really know who it is this season.

So about the only thing I can say is this...

If the Cyclone defense can keep OSU's offense from blowing the game open, their offense is good enough to win the game against the Cowboys' "4th quarter" defense.

For proper comparison, and since there is now a large enough sample size, I'll focus on conference games only.

Against Tech, TCU, and KState, Iowa State averaged

  • 23.6 ppg...however, take away 2 interception returns for TD and that drops to 19.0 ppg for the offense;
  • 257 ypg on 58 plays...4.43 yds/play
  • 97 ypg rushing...32 attempts at 3.03 ypc...While both Jantz and Barnett are mobile, they are not going to put up Colin Klein stats. They will, however, keep the play alive. James White, Shontrelle Johnson, and the QB carry the load with 27 carries for 90 yards per game. White, who was averaging over 5 ypc, logged no carries against KState, so he may be working on an injury. Barnett averages over 4 ypc.
  • 160 ypg passing...13 of 26...6.15 ypa...Passing attempts have gone down with Barnett at the helm, and consequently rushing attempts have gone up, relative to the average above...22/35 pass to rush against TCU...20/40 against KState

    Hard to tell who the receiving threat is with only 13 completions per game. The yardage leader is Josh Lenz, who had a HUGE game against TCU (5-147 & 3 TD's), but had only 2 catches against Tech and none against Kansas State. Aaron Horne leads in receptions (10), but did virtually nothing against Tech & TCU before going 7-84 against KState.
    Ernst Brun Jr at TE has been the most consistent, logging 2-3 catches per game for about 30 yards. RB screens are obviously a part of the scheme.
  • 5 penalties for 42 yards
  • almost 3 turnovers per game (1 fum/2 int), but most of that was against Tech. With Barnett getting the bulk of the snaps in the last two games, the Cyclones have only turned the ball over once in each (interceptions), which is very interesting. Jantz is the more accurate QB in completions, but has a higher int/att ratio.
  • 4-13 on 3rd downs
  • 22:51 in TOP
  • 11.6 possessions per game
  • Scoring by quarter...excluding defensive scores

Odd stats from those 3 games that might apply to OSU's defense:

  • Have not scored a single point offensively on any drive that STARTED in the 4th quarter;
  • Average 2 possessions in the 4th quarter (excluding end of half possessions);
  • Average 5 plays per possession
  • Here's all the Cyclone possessions that originated in the 4th quarter from the last 3 games

    9 26 Fumble
    6 30 Interception
    4 6 Turnover on Downs
    4 5 Turnover on Downs
    3 3 Interception
    3 5 Punt

  • On 35 possessions in those 3 games, the Cyclones averaged 4.8 plays and 22.7 yds per possession;
  • 54% of those possessions (19) have been 3 plays or less
    -13 were 3 and out
    -5 ended in turnovers
    -1 ended in a TD
  • Only 8 possessions of 7 or more plays
    -75% (6) of those drives resulted in points, 5 of those were TD's;
    - all but one of those drives started in either the 1st or 3rd quarters;
These stats point me in the same direction as the Kansas game. This offense sucks.

Our defense will be fine. The question will be can our offense move and score points on the Cyclone defense.

Many will point to last year. The Cowboys' offense turned the ball over 5 times. Even with that, our defense held Iowa State to 24 points in regulation, allowed 1 score on 3 possessions in the 4th quarter, and gave the ball back to the offense in a position to win the game late.

This game is on Monken and company. Look sharp and function without turnovers, and OSU will justify the point spread on the game, and then some. The Cyclones will run, run, and run, dump off screens, and take some shots downfield, but they have obviously made an effort to limit turnovers in the last two games, which means a low risk offensive plan.

Stumble around with poor play calling and execution, and we will have what we have seen a couple of times already this season...

A gassed defense trying to withstand an opponent who is suddenly rejuvenated by opportunity late in the game.

Don't know about you, but I would rather not sit through that anymore.