Oklahoma football 2017 kickoff preview: Part I

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 02: Baker Mayfield
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 02: Baker Mayfield /
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AMES, IA – NOVEMBER 19: Quarterback Joel Lanning
AMES, IA – NOVEMBER 19: Quarterback Joel Lanning /

October 7 – The Cyclones storm into Norman

Last season, the Sooners defeated the Cyclones 34-24 in Ames. That seemingly close score was indicative of an Oklahoma defense still finding its footing after the debacle that was the Texas Tech game and the simple fact that Iowa State, no matter the record, is always a tough opponent in Ames.

Still, the Sooner offense rolled up 477 yards of total offense, paced by Baker Mayfield’s four touchdowns. The rushing offense, however, was definitely affected by the absence of Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine, although fullback Dimitri Flowers filled in admirably with 115 rushing yards and a touchdown.

In 2017, the Cyclones come to Norman, where the outcome is usually far more lopsided. In 2015, the Sooners prevailed at home, 52-16. So 2017 will most likely be another decisive Oklahoma home victory over the Cyclones, serving as a tune-up before the all-important Red River Showdown game the following weekend in Dallas.

As with most games against overmatched opponents, the keys for the Oklahoma coaching staff will be to execute crisply on offense and defense, rest the starters and get the backups some reps if things get out of hand and, above all else, avoid any significant injuries. Pursuing a Big 12 title — and perhaps more — is a marathon, not a sprint.

Prediction: Sooners 52, Cyclones 7