Oklahoma State Football: 5 Predictions for the Iowa State Game
The Oklahoma State Cowboys will face the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday and will attempt to exact revenge for their loss last season to the Cyclones in Ames. This matchup will take place in Stillwater at Oklahoma State’s Homecoming, which will add even more emotion to the game.
Predicting what will happen in such an evenly-matched game is never easy, and those emotions complicate things even further. Both teams will be attempting to prove themselves after disappointing earlier losses in the season.
Oklahoma State will have its hands full with this team of defensive-minded, determined Cyclones. These predictions you are about to read will give us a good measuring point for this game for the Cowboys.
Joseph Randle Will Bounce Back
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Last week’s game against Kansas broke Joseph Randle’s four-game streak of breaking 100 rushing yards in each game. His 29 rushes for just 80 yards was among the worst performances of his career, and, although the blame cannot be placed on him completely, it was clear that he did not play well.
He will bounce back this week against Iowa State. The Cyclone defense is a talented one, but Randle is a determined runner who gains yards when he really wants to. If the offensive line opens holes for him, he will have a great game. Considering how the line played last week, it’s pretty safe to assume that they have been coached up this week and are ready to play well.
Wes Lunt Will Play
Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE
Forget whatever you have heard this week about J.W. Walsh possibly starting this week instead of Wes Lunt. The true freshman, Lunt, will play this week, because he needs to and because he is ready.
He was actually ready to play last week against Kansas, but he was kept out of that game for cautionary reasons. The Cowboys were able to win that game without him, but this Iowa State game is a different animal. This team beat them last season when they were a Top Five team in the nation. They cannot win this without Lunt, and that is the biggest reason he will start.
Quinn Sharp Will Play an Important Role
John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
In the 2011 version of this matchup, Quinn Sharp missed a crucial, late-game kick that probably would have won the game for Oklahoma State. He will play an important role in this game once again, and the points he adds will likely be the difference between a win and a loss.
Despite Oklahoma State being expected to win this game by double digits, the game will probably be much closer thanks to Iowa State’s defense. In those close games, a great field-goal kicker can be the difference. That is why Sharp will be important. He will make at least two field goals in what will probably be a one-possession game.
Defense Will Force a Turnover
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The Cowboy defense has struggled greatly to force turnovers this season after being the nation’s best at doing so last year. It was easy to forgive the yards it gave up last year because of its turnover-forcing talents. This season, we have seen just how important those turnovers were.
The defense will force at least one Iowa State turnover in this game. It has been good at stopping the run, and it will be again this week, which will force the Iowa State quarterback (probably Jared Barnett) to make big third-down throws. He has struggled with accuracy in those situations, and that will lead to a turnover.
Gundy Will Get His Record
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Right now, Mike Gundy has 62 wins as the head coach at Oklahoma State. Winning his 63rd game this week against Iowa State on Homecoming would make him the winningest coach in Oklahoma State history. He will attain that honor this week.
The Cowboys are more talented than the Cyclones. Their speed alone gives them a big advantage in this game. They also have a wealth of emotion behind them. They want to avenge last season’s lone loss, win this year’s Homecoming, prove that they are better than their effort against Kansas last week and get this win for their old ball coach.
That combination of talent, speed and emotion will get the Cowboys their fourth win of the season and make Gundy even more of an Oklahoma State legend than he already is.