Players to Watch: Oklahoma

Charlie Kolar looks to the sideline for a play call against No.10 Iowa on Sept. 11. Kolar returned from a week-one ankle injury to face the Hawkeyes.

Matt Belinson

Iowa State: Charlie Kolar (TE)

The Cyclones’ No. 1 tight end has come alive in recent weeks, even in some up and down results.

But expect Kolar, a Norman, Okla. native, to be a main target of Brock Purdy on Saturday vs the Sooners for a couple of reasons:

1. Kolar has turned it up production-wise in his last two games

The First Team All-Big 12 selection from a year ago caught a season-high eight receptions for a season-high 76 yards against the Red Raiders on Nov. 13. He also caught two touchdown passes to add to his season-best day. 

And in the Cyclones’ win over Texas, Kolar caught five passes for 72 yards and was his usual-self on third down throughout the night.

2. Oklahoma has had trouble containing Kolar in the past

In Iowa State’s last three meetings with the Sooners, Kolar has showed up to varying degrees.

In the Big 12 Championship, Kolar had six catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. In their regular season match-up in Ames, Kolar had four catches for 66 yards. And in 2019, Kolar found the end-zone among in two catches for 29 yards.

Oklahoma: Caleb Williams (QB)

Although he was benched in Oklahoma’s most recent game, and first loss of the year, against Baylor, Williams will be the starter come Saturday against the Cyclones.

Williams came in to replace Spencer Rattler as the Sooners’s starting quarterback on Oct. 16, and played up and down like a freshman would. Williams has 14 touchdowns and three interception for 1331 yards this season.

But Williams was benched on Nov. 13 vs Baylor after going 9-18, with two interceptions and 142 passing yards. Before the benching at Baylor, Williams completed at least 75 percent of his passes in three of his four starts.

And like most Oklahoma quarterbacks have been under Lincoln Riley, he’s a running threat along with his ability to stretch a defense with his deep-ball.

No matter what happens for the Sooners on Saturday, expect Williams to be at the center of it.