Oklahoma State football (6-0, 3-0) visits Iowa State (4-2, 2-1) for a crucial road visit in Big 12 play this Saturday. The matchup is set for a 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff on FOX and will feature two Big 12 teams in seemingly reversed positions.
The No. 8-ranked Cowboys have started the regular season 6-0 for the first time since 2015. Coming off a 32-24 road win at Texas, OSU has to feel confident that their stingy defense and punishing rushing attack can help them escape a tough environment in Ames in Week 8.
With an undefeated record on the line, Oklahoma State football faces a tough road trip to Ames to take on Iowa State in Week 8.
Iowa State and OSU seem to have switched positions. Many preseason prognosticators had pegged the Cyclones as a Top 10 squad that would challenge the Sooners for Big 12 conference supremacy, while the Pokes were unranked. Those August assessments on paper seem like a distant memory now, as the Cyclones have lost twice (to archrival Iowa and to Baylor) and the Cowboys have won their first six contests, including two tough road trips at Boise State and Texas.
Here are some key numbers to know before OSU takes on Iowa State:
1. Iowa State only allows opponents 16.3 points per game.
It sets up a daunting task for quarterback Spencer Sanders the rest of the OSU offense to face a tough Cyclones defense. The Cowboys got off to a slow start before outscoring the Longhorns 19-0 after the midway point of the third quarter in Austin last weekend.
It’s worth mentioning that several of Iowa State’s wins (and defensive stats) are against some, ahem, less quality competition. Kansas is the laughingstock of all Power Five conferences, UNLV is winless, Iowa is inept offensively, and Northern Iowa is an FCS team.
2. OSU has won eight of nine vs. Iowa State since 2012.
After that nightmarish loss in 2011, Mike Gundy and the Cowboys have gone 8-1 against the Cyclones. The Cowboys’ only loss in that span was a 48-42 Iowa State victory in 2018 in Stillwater. This stretch includes four straight wins in Ames for the Cowboys, including a 34-27 OSU win in 2019.
These positive trends for the Cowboys don’t seem to alleviate the dread for OSU fans heading into this weekend, of course, but they’re worth mentioning. And this stat might be the most illuminating before Saturday: each of the teams’ past six meetings have been decided by one possession. Gundy has won four of five against his Iowa State counterpart, Matt Campbell.