Oklahoma football: Sooners need to ride momentum into Ames

Oct 15, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Eric Gray (0) celebrates with teammates after the game against the Kansas Jayhawks at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 15, 2022; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Eric Gray (0) celebrates with teammates after the game against the Kansas Jayhawks at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

Upon first glance, the series between the Oklahoma football and the Iowa State Cyclones seems to be rather lopsided in favor of the Sooners.

The Sooners lead the series, with an incredible margin of 78-7, and indeed before the 2020 game, Iowa State had only beaten Oklahoma twice in Ames dating all the way back to when the series started in 1928.

So, some might consider it not exactly a stretch to say that the Sooners have dominated the Cyclones for the entirety of this series.

Perhaps it is just my rather loquacious and garrulous nature (not to mention my need to throw up weekly clickbait into the ethos of the internet), but I am here to tell you, don’t be fooled by these misleading numbers.

Iowa State has been a rough outing for Oklahoma the last several years (particularly when the game is played at Jack Trice Stadium, in Ames Iowa). And because Oklahoma has had a rather arduous season up to this point, despite the fact that the Cyclones season seems to be somewhat toilsome as well, the Sooners would do well to not take the Cyclones lightly, especially surrounded by all their fans in Ames Iowa

It is safe to assume, that the Sooners should be feeling well rested after their by-week, which followed a victory over Kansas at home. Now, it is fair to say that in most seasons, a victory over Kansas wouldn’t be much to write home about, nor would it be much momentum to ride into a by-week and into the upcoming game, but this ain’t your grandma’s Kansas team.

Kansas has been one of the up-and-comers in the big 12 this season, and frankly has a better record than Oklahoma. Coupled with the win over Kansas that broke a three-game OU losing streak, the game with Iowa State offers a golden opportunity for a statement victory on the road for this reanimated Sooner team, but it will not come easy.

The game is being played in Ames Iowa, at Jack Trice Stadium, and for reasons that are only known to the football gods, this has proved to be a black widow of a stadium in which for the Sooners to play.

The last time Oklahoma traveled to Ames was during the 2020 season, with Alabama transfer Jalen Hurts taking the snaps for the Sooners. Oklahoma was leading by a touchdown roughly halfway through the fourth quarter, hanging onto a score of 30-23.

Iowa State scored 14 points during the last 7.5 minutes of the game and upset the Sooners to the tune of 37-30.

At the end of the game, the Iowa State offense had amassed three more yards than the Oklahoma offense, ending the day with an offensive output of 417 yards to Oklahoma’s 414.

The Sooners (with Kyler Murray at quarterback) emerged victorious from the 2018 road game in Ames, after nearly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. At the half, the Sooners seemed to have this one in the bag with a halftime score of 24-10.

But OU allowed Iowa State to score 17 points in the second half, making the game much closer that it probably should have been at the end. Oklahoma kicked a field goal with three minutes left in regulation time, giving the Sooners a ten-point lead with only three minutes to go and effectively icing the game. The Sooner defense still allowed Iowa State 447 yards of offense, but Oklahoma outgained the Cyclones with 519 yards of their own.

During the 2016 season, with Baker “Magic” Mayfield at the helm, The Sooners traveled to Ames to give a 1-7 Iowa State team what everyone thought would be an absolute molly whopping.

The Sooners would take home the win, but it was not the epic beating that was expected of a Sooners team of that caliber, and against that particular Iowa State team, which was frankly, just bad.

Oklahoma maintained the lead for the duration of the game, but Iowa State just kept clawing forward. Oklahoma led by a score of 28-17 at the half, but Iowa State pulled within a touchdown, the score sitting at 31-24 with 13 minutes to go in the game.

Oklahoma put the game away with a field goal, beating Iowa State by 10 points, 34-24, but this was an Iowa State team that the Sooners should have hung half a hundred on by the third quarter, then allowed the second and third string players to come in and mop up the rest.

Finally, just to emphasize my point that Iowa State is not to be taken lightly (regardless of record or rankings) this last example was not played in Ames Iowa, but instead was played in Norman Oklahoma, in front of Sooner nation, making the outcome all the more embarrassing.

During the year of our lord 2017, Oklahoma was ranked No. 3 in the nation and had Baker “Magic” Mayfield at quarterback.

The Sooners were playing at home, in what was guaranteed to be an absolute thrashing of the Iowa State Cyclones. Oklahoma was favored by 31 points (if that gives you any idea how Vegas odds makers predicted this game to go) Oklahoma entered the game with a 4-0 record, including a whipping of Ohio State in the Horseshoe, but that didn’t seem to matter as Iowa State was able to stun the college football world, pulling off a 38-31 road upset over the heavily favored Sooners.

Not only did the Cyclones roll into Norman as astronomical underdogs, not only did they upset the No. 3 team in the country at home, they did so without their starting quarterback… or their second-string quarterback… but their third-stringer in Kyle Kempt.

At half time, the game was going roughly how it was predicted to have gone, and it seemed the Sooners had the game well in hand with a 24-13 halftime score, but despite the Cyclones 13 points, the first half had been all Sooners.

Iowa State showed up in the second half with a vengeance, however, scoring 25 points in the second half to Oklahoma’s 7.

Oklahoma would amass more offensive output with 513 yards to Iowa States’ 449, but unfortunately for the Sooners, that impressive stat would ring hollow with the team and their fans, for those numbers don’t matter nearly as much as the numbers on the scoreboard when the clock strikes 00.and the Sooners turned into a proverbial pumpkin.

The unranked Iowa State Cyclones, (with their third-string quarterback) handed the Sooners their only regular season loss of the 2017 season and went on to finish their own regular season 8-5. But I dare say that upsetting the #3 Oklahoma Sooners, in Norman Oklahoma, in front of the crimson and cream Sooner nation, was the highlight of Iowa State’s 2017 season.

I shall bring my pontifications to a close, but heed my words. Other than its nonconference opponents, Oklahoma has struggled to put teams away this season. The Sooners are sitting on a 4-3 record, meaning they are absolutely out of playoff contention, and it is very likely they are out of big 12 conference championship contention as well (unless something crazy happens, but this is college football). Iowa State is nursing a 3-4 record but would love nothing more than to pick up a win over the Sooners in front of their fans in Ames Iowa.

You heard it here first, this game will be an absolute slugfest, I mean a real barn burner, and one in which Oklahoma will emerge the victor is far from a foregone conclusion.