The No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) defeated the Iowa State Cyclones (2-3, 1-1 Big 12) 50-20 in a game that stayed interesting for the majority of the first half. The Sooner defense made adjustments at halftime and held the Cyclones scoreless in the second half.
Defense needs to clean things up
The first half against the Cyclones was probably the worst we have seen OU’s defense play all season. Oklahoma allowed 20 points in the first half, which is more than they had given up in any game.
Jaylin Noel hauled in a 51-yard touchdown for the Cyclones with 10:50 left in the first quarter after a bust in coverage by the Sooners. Iowa State’s Jayden Higgins also scored a 67-yard touchdown at the start of the second quarter.
Oklahoma has not given up a tremendous amount of big plays through five games, but they have some things they need to clean up before they face the high-powered Texas offense on Saturday.
Dillon Gabriel looking confident
If Oklahoma wants to have any chance against the Longhorns, Gabriel is going to have to continue his stellar play. He finished with 403 total yards. 366 yards in the air and 37 on the ground, along with five total touchdowns.
Gabriel completed passes to ten different receivers, and he just might be playing the best football of his career. On top of that, he is now officially No. 25 on the NCAA’s all-time passing yards list.
State of the special teams
There is only one part of OU’s special teams that worries me a little bit, and maybe it is because we have not seen them do it a whole lot, but the punting game has not been great.
Flipping the field position is huge in a game like the Red River Rivalry. Josh Plaster has been the go-to punter this season, and he struggled against Cincinnati.
The Sooners played both punters against the Cyclones. Plaster and Luke Elzinga each had one punt. I do not expect OU to make a change at punter, but it will be an interesting area to watch against Texas.
The No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners and No. 3 Texas Longhorns (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) will square off in the Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, Oct. 7.
Kickoff is set for 11:00 a.m. (CT) on ABC.