The Oklahoma Sooners—a preseason National Title contender—played host to undefeated Notre Dame last week and experienced a prime-time flop.
The 30-13 loss propelled Notre Dame to No. 3 in the BCS Rankings, while the Sooners—now with two losses on the season—are struggling to outgun Kansas State for the Big 12 crown.
Oklahoma has to build confidence before even thinking of a conference title and a great start would be silencing Iowa State in this weekend's Big 12 showdown.
Kickoff is on Saturday, November 3, at 12 pm ET.
Oklahoma vs. Iowa State Overview
Oklahoma's potent spread offense has its aerial attack ranked top-20 in the country (300.6 yards per game).
QB Landry Jones—a four-year starter—is one of the more capable passers in the nation and is coming off three consecutive 300-yard games.
Iowa State has surrendered 841 passing yards over the last two weeks and is clearly vulnerable in the secondary, which is something Oklahoma will exploit.
Oklahoma's Kenny Stills and Justin Brown form one of the more formidable receiving tandems in all of college football and will look to have a field day.
This game will come down to Iowa State's ability to keep the pressure on Jones while playing physical, hard-nosed football in the secondary.
Players to Watch
RB Damien Williams (Oklahoma)
Damien Williams tweaked his ankle during last week's game against Notre Dame and is questionable against Iowa State (according to NBC Sports).
Williams—the leading rusher for the Sooners—will force the Oklahoma offense to become one-dimensional if he's on the sidelines.
Even if he plays, the nagging injury will still limit his effectiveness and hurt the ground game.
QB Steele Jantz (Iowa State)
Senior passer Steele Jantz—who was benched for several weeks due to poor performance—returned to the starting lineup against Baylor last week and lit it up.
Jantz picked up 381 yards through the air and found the end zone five times.
Oklahoma's Landry Jones garners more national praise but can Jantz beat Jones in a shootout this weekend?
Fact of the day: Despite being benched for 3 games, Steele Jantz has the same amount of passing TDs (12) as Landry Jones.— WRNL (@WideRtNattyLt) October 29, 2012
WR Justin Brown (Oklahoma)
Kenny Stills has been the go-to-guy for Landry Jones this season, but Justin Brown has been a nice complimentary receiver.
Iowa State will look to shutdown Stills, which means Brown will have to step up with a big game.
Brown has been kept out of the end zone for the last two games, but he'll be looking to change that this weekend.
Injury Reports (According to USA Today)
DB Demontre Hurst (Knee)
OL Lane Johnson (Ankle)
DB Quentin Hayes (Suspension)
RB Damien Williams (Ankle)
DE Chaz Nelson (Knee)
WR Josh Lenz (Quadricep)
OL Shaban Dika (Undisclosed)