Fresh off of a homecoming win against the TCU Horned Frogs, the Oklahoma State Cowboys will travel north to Ames, IA to take on the Iowa State Cyclones.
On paper, this looks like a relatively easy victory for the Pokes, as the Cyclones are just 1-5 on the season and have struggled to keep opposing teams out of the end zone.
That said, we said the same thing in 2011 and we all know how that turned out.
Obviously, this game doesn't quite have the National Championship implications that the 2011 contest did, but it's important that Oklahoma State come out, play well, and get their offense back on track before their tough late-season schedule kicks in.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 19
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
Place: Jack Trice Stadium (56,800 cap.) Ames, IA
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network
All-Time Series: Oklahoma State holds a 26-18-3 advantage all-time.
Figure out the running game
The Oklahoma State Cowboys have struggled mightily on the ground this season, which has made it more difficult than usual to chuck the ball downfield.
Jeremy Smith just hasn't been able to live up to the standards set by Joseph Randle and the backs before him. However, it's not all on his shoulders, as the offensive line hasn't played up to its usual elite level either.
Granted, the offensive line has been shuffled around at an alarmingly high rate this season, but something has to click if this team wants to have a chance against teams like Baylor, OU and Texas Tech.
Obviously, this is a key for every team, every week.
That said, it's important that the Cyclones take care of the ball against Oklahoma State's aggressive defense, especially with quarterback Sam B. Richardson struggling of late.
If Iowa State can keep its turnovers to a minimum, they'll keep OSU's offense from getting into a rhythm and insure that their defense is as rested as possible for the Pokes' fast-paced offensive attack.
It's important that the running game and Jeremy Smith, in particular, find success this weekend; however, it's equally important that Josh Stewart puts his mark on this contest.
The star wideout was dominant last week against TCU, tallying 141 yards receiving and adding a 95-yard punt return for a touchdown.
If Stewart can continue his success in the return game, he'll take some pressure off of the offense and his ability as a safety-valve for whoever starts at quarterback this week can't be denied.
Sam B. Richardson
If the Iowa State Cyclones plan to win this weekend, they're going to need their starting quarterback to have a solid game.
That isn't to say that Sam B. Richardson needs to put up huge numbers. He just has to limit his mistakes and keep his offense on the field as long as possible.
That could be tough, considering he's going against one of the best defenses in the Big 12 and a secondary that will make you pay for any poorly thrown balls with game-changing interceptions.
As mentioned, this should be a relatively easy win for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, but this is college football and you never know what's going to happen from week to week.
Look for Oklahoma State's defense to make a huge impact in this one and force Iowa State into at least two or three turnovers.
In addition, this week could finally be the game that sees Oklahoma State's running game get on track. The Pokes need to make it happen with the meat of their schedule beginning next week against Texas Tech.
In the end, it's not going to be a complete blowout—the offense just isn't good enough for that—but Oklahoma State is going to find a way to win this one.
Oklahoma State 35, Iowa State 27