The No. 14 Oklahoma Sooners (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) will be back home to face the Iowa State Cyclones (2-2, 1-0 Big 12) on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. (CT). Both teams are coming off a win in their conference openers. Oklahoma defeated Cincinnati 20-6, and Iowa State beat Oklahoma State 34-27.
Points of emphasis for Oklahoma
Don’t overlook the Cyclones before Red River Rivalry
The Sooners are 20-point favorites, and this game comes just one week before perhaps the biggest matchup of the year for Oklahoma… the Red River Rivalry. Some people might like to call this game vs Iowa State a “trap game,” but I like to call it a “get-right game.”
OU can use this game as a chance to get their issues fixed before the big game in Dallas. Oklahoma can’t go into this game overlooking Iowa State because as we saw last week, the Cyclones can put some points on the board.
Get the offense rolling
Oklahoma’s offense struggled against Cincinnati last week. Gabriel fumbled the ball to Cincinnati when the Sooners were in scoring position, and he also had a backward pass in their own territory that was almost disastrous. OU could not get the running game going, which has been a big question through four weeks. This game is an opportunity for the Sooner offense to begin firing on all cylinders, and give them some confidence heading into OU-Texas.
Points of emphasis for Iowa State
Revive the running game
Like Oklahoma, Iowa State has struggled to get things going on the ground. The Cyclones only rushed for 74 yards against Oklahoma State last week, but they still managed to score 34 points. Iowa State’s rushing offense is now ranked No. 123 in the nation. If the Cyclones are not able to run the ball effectively against Oklahoma, I don’t see it going well for the Cyclones.
Get pressure on Dillon Gabriel
If Oklahoma’s running game is struggling again and the Sooners are forced into situations where they have to throw the ball, some pressure on Gabriel could go a long way for the Cyclones. I know that Gabriel had just one turnover against Cincinnati and only two on the season, but he did have two near-interceptions in that game when Cincinnati got some pressure on him.
Prediction: 35-14 Oklahoma