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PICKS FROM JOE’S: A look at Oklahoma State’s Series with Iowa State

Winsipedia is a great resource for football series between D1 schools, and also for comparing historical program achievements.

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Texas Christian Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

This week we take a look at Oklahoma State’s series with Iowa State.

The Cowboys own a 31-18-3 record against the Cyclones and currently hold a six game winning streak. Don’t do the math on that as it will only lead you to a dark place….

This week’s game is in Stillwater, where OSU has won five consecutive times. The last time Iowa State posted a “W” in Stillwater was 2000 (33-26). So, like Texas Tech before them, they will probably win.

Coach Gundy carries an 8-2 record against Iowa State and, as mentioned above, has never lost to them in Stillwater. Like other former Big 12 North residents Kansas and Kansas State, the Cyclones didn’t play OSU every season from 1996-2010. Big 12 realignment after that caused a schedule hiccup that resulted in two consecutive games in Ames, so the Mullet is 4-0 in Stilly and 4-2 on the road.

Since Gundy came on board, the teams have combined for 642 points, averaging 64.2 ppg. Take away last year’s aberration of 91 points, and we drop to 61.2. Either is a relatively low scoring affair by Big 12 standards.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

2017’s contest marked several accomplishments for the overall series…

· Highest combined point total…91

· First time both teams scored more than 40 points in the same game

· First time a team scored 40+ points and lost

In fact, in the 52 games played, OSU has broken 40 eight times while Iowa State has managed that just twice, with the only other time being 1971 in Ames. The Cyclones have never scored more than 34 points in Stillwater (1962), and the most in the Gundy era in Stillwater is 31. FYI…Iowa State has only scored more than 20 points once against Gundy at home.

The series began in 1926, although they didn’t play again until 1960 when both teams belonged to the modern day Big 8 conference. In 1926 both teams were members of what would eventually become the Big 8, but Oklahoma A&M left for the Missouri Valley conference after 1928 and did not return until 1958.

There have only been three shutouts in the series (OSU was shutout in 1971; Iowa State in 1926 & 1969). The lowest combined points…12…came in a 1991 tie in Ames. The last tie, however, came in 1994 in Stillwater (31-31).

The average game score since Gundy took over is 38-26 in favor of OSU. Something to note…the only time Oklahoma State failed to score at least 31 points was Gundy’s first season during a 37-10 loss in Ames. The Cowboys’ average winning score is 43-23. Iowa State averages 37-21. In fact, the Cyclones have scored exactly 37 points in both of their wins in the Gundy era, so if they land on 37, beware…

While still winning by an average of 20 points, the Cowboys post and allow slightly fewer points at home in this series under Gundy...40-20. A win in Ames looks like 44-27. While that looks comfy either way, don’t let averages fool you…

The last three contests have been decided by a touchdown or less, and the Cowboys had to mount big comebacks in all three:

· 2015…Trailed 24-7 with two plus minutes left in first half (won 35-31)

· 2016…Trailed 31-14 with 2:32 remaining in the 3rd qtr (won 38-31)

· 2017…Trailed 42-34 with 8:38 remaining in the game (won 49-42)

In those three games, James Washington, Marcell Ateman, and Jalen McCleskey combined for 36 receptions (12 pg), 659 yards (220 pg, 18.3 ypc), and six touchdowns. None of those players will be present for this event, including the QB who delivered those passes.

I wouldn’t be shocked if this game looked a lot like Iowa State’s close loss to TCU last week.