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IOWA STATE DEFENSIVE PREVIEW: How to avoid repeating horror in Ames

Curse you, Squinky, and all that you stand for. This time is going to be different. The Cowboys have enough to deal with without having to avoid your meddling.

David Purdy

I'm not going to remind you of what happened last time Oklahoma State traveled to Ames, Iowa. Everyone knows how it ended. So, let's not talk about it.

Instead, let's talk about this year. The Cowboys travel back to Jack Trice Stadium in hopes of returning to Stillwater with their quest for another Big 12 title intact.

In last year's meeting, J.W. Walsh had no trouble ripping apart the Iowa State defense. He was 32-47 while gathering 415 yards through the air.

This time around, quarterback confusions aside, OSU isn't going to have much of a problem throwing down field. The Cyclones are last in the league in pass defense by giving up an average of 293.2 yards per game. That stat may be slightly skewered (thanks a lot, Baylor) but nonetheless, it should be a pretty good sign no matter who is starting under center.

The run game for the Cowboys will look to be sitting pretty fair as well. The Cyclones give up an average of 198.8 yards per game on the ground. Rennie Childs will have himself a field day, should Gundy decide to put him into the game.

Sounds like an easy walk in the park, right?


Let's not forget, this is Ames. Head coach Paul Rhodes knows how to coach to an upset, and Jack Trice Stadium is where team's football dreams go to die. Texas is what Texas is, but you can't deny the level of intensity the Cyclones played with that game.

  • 71 total tackles
  • Eight of those tackles were for a total loss of 20 yards
  • the quarterback was sacked three times for a total of 12 yards

A pair of backs, Jeremiah George and Jacques Washington, dominate the Big 12 defensive stat sheet, going 1-2, respectively. The two have combined for a total of 132 tackles for an average 21.8 yards per game. With Oklahoma State's offensive line woes, you can bet that this will be one battle the Cowboys will struggle against.

Also, George was responsible for this:

(via ESPN)

Another red flag for the Pokes will be raised by Deon Broomfield and Sam Richardson (No, not that one. This one has an E as his middle initial). Broomfield has recorded 36 tackles through the season so far and is tied for second in the conference for forced fumbles and first for fumbles recovered while Richardson has gathered up 44 poor souls and took them to the ground.

Now here's some good news.

  • Oklahoma State is third in the conference for scoring offense with an average of 35.7 points per game;
  • Third in pass offense with 303.7 yards per game;
  • First in Big 12 in turnover margin at +7.

So, to make a long story short, if the Cowboys take care of business and keep the mistakes to a minimum, they should make the return trek to Stillwater with a rare victory out of Ames and a shot at the Big 12 Championship still within reach.