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Preview: Oklahoma State vs. Iowa State

The Cowboys go for another conference win against the Iowa State Cyclones.

NCAA Football: Texas at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

When: Saturday, October 8th, 2:30pm CST

Where: Boone Pickens Stadium (Stillwater, OK)

Watch: ESPNU

Listen: Cowboy Radio Network

Oklahoma State University vs. Iowa State University

Talk about a roller coaster of a season. The Cowboys have yet to string together two wins in a row, but it feels like there is optimism around this team despite it’s 3-2 record. Mason Rudolph has been firing on all cylinders, they have magically found their running game, and the defense has been fighting beginning to end. Gundy and the staff seem to have the boys focused on winning ball games, and their chances look good tomorrow.

Iowa State has had a rough beginning to their season, losing to Northern Iowa, Iowa, TCU and Baylor, but a win against San Jose State in Week 4 and a strong showing against Baylor last week has the Cyclone fans keeping their heads up. Iowa State will be looking for their first win against Oklahoma State since 2011... **single tear runs down cheek**

Things to watch for — OSU

NCAA Football: Texas at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports
  • Yurcich will look to get Justice Hill going. It’s not very suprising that the Oklahoma State offense is best when there is a bit of balance in the play calling. If anyone can carry an entire offense on their back, it’s Mason Rudolph, but it has been clear the past two weeks that Rudolph enjoys getting some help from the rushing attack. Justice and Rennie have to be licking their chops for this matchup, as Iowa State has the 125th ranked rushing defense in division one football. Baylor ran for FOUR-HUNDRED AND SIXTY NINE YARDS last week...
  • Contain Joel Lanning. Lanning has a huge impact on the success of the Iowa State offense, so Glenn Spencer and the Cowboys must make it a point of focus to disrupt Lanning in the backfield. He can do it all. He an throw it, he can run it, and he has the weapons around him to lead a successful offense, like he did against Baylor last week.
  • Bolster the rushing defense. Oklahoma State gave up 329 yards on the ground to the Longhorns last week, and they aren’t catching a break this week with Mike Warren coming to town. Warren was last season’s Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. After a slowish start to the season, Warren has ran over 100 yards the past two weeks with three touchdowns. He’ll look to continue his recent success against a OSU rushing defense who has had trouble as of late. Also, the Cowboys may think about having a defender spying Joel Lanning at all times. Last season, Lanning ran for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Cowboys. Not ideal.

Things to watch for — ISU

NCAA Football: Baylor at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
  • Which Joel Lanning will show up for the Cyclones tomorrow? Will the Iowa Joel Lanning show up, or the Baylor Joel Lanning? If the Cyclones want to keep up with the high powered OSU offense, they will need Lanning to be on the top of his game. The ISU QB may be in rhythym, as he is coming off his strongest showing of the season, throwing for 261 yards and 2 touchdowns and running for 57 yards and a touchdown. If Lanning is struggling, look for Iowa State to try out backup QB, Jacob Park, who is a bit more of a pocket passer.
  • Can they score enough? Oklahoma State scores 41.2 points per game. Iowa State scores 25.8 points per game. That’s just not going to cut it, Cyclones...
  • To stack the box, or not to. That is the question. Iowa State REALLY struggles at defending the run. Do they shore up that problem by committing another defender to the box, or do they keep an extra secondary player in the game to counteract the dangerous Oklahoma State passing game? The Iowa State secondary has been rather formidable this year, but I think any team in the country would have trouble with the Oklahoma State air raid. I think Iowa State is going to find themselves in a bit of a pickle tomorrow.

Oklahoma State will win if...

they keep the turnovers low, and win on special teams. Our offense will likely not be a problem tomorrow. If we can protect the ball, and win the field position battle, I predict that we will win easily.

Iowa State will win if...

they can keep the ball away from the Oklahoma State offense, and cause a few turnovers. Aside from last week, turnovers have been a problem for the Oklahoma State offense, and if Iowa State can minimize the time of possession for the Oklahoma State offense, they have a real shot of stealing this win away. The more time Mason Rudolph is sitting on the sidelines, the better shot Iowa State has of winning.

Stats

Mason Rudolph - 1688 yards / 9 TD’s / 2 INT’s

Justice Hill - 346 yards / 2 TD’s

James Washington - 579 yards / 4 TD’s

Joel Lanning - 866 yards / 7 TD’s / 3 INT’s

Mike Warren - 386 yards / 3TD’s

Allen Lazard - 328 yards / 2 TD’s

Total offense ranks (yards) - OSU 22nd / ISU 71st

Total passing ranks (yards) - OSU 8th / ISU 49th

Total rushing ranks (yards) - OSU 96th (double digits, whoop!) / ISU 89th

Prediction:

OSU 52 ISU 32