Good Cop/Bad Cop: Oklahoma State


Tyler Coe

Cartevious Norton bounces a run outside against West Virginia on Nov. 5.

Good cop: Payne Blazevich

Coming off its first Big 12 win, Iowa State will hit a stride for its remaining conference slate. Oklahoma State, the next team in the Cyclones’ path, is in a precarious position. 

The Cowboys are recovering from back-to-back stomps from Kansas State (48-0) and Kansas (37-16). Numerous injuries have plagued Oklahoma State, including a shoulder injury to starting quarterback Spencer Sanders. After a strong start, its trajectory has hit a steep decline. 

In contrast, Iowa State is climbing, looking to capitalize on its first conference win over West Virginia. The offense has been lethargic throughout Big 12 play so far, but the unit put together 391 total yards against the Mountaineer defense. 

Quarterback Hunter Dekkers found a connection with his pass-catchers, throwing touchdowns to wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson and tight end DeShawn Hanika. Running back Cartevious Norton also hit his stride, scoring his first two collegiate touchdowns. 

The true freshman’s emergence greatly aided the capability of the offense. If he can keep it going against Oklahoma State, the Cyclones will be able to put up points. 

The Cowboys struggled to stop the run against Kansas, allowing running back Devin Neal to reach 224 yards on the ground. A strong rushing attack will make the difference for Iowa State. If the Cyclones can find success in the running game, the offense will thrive. 

Given Iowa State’s continuous defensive dominance all season, Oklahoma State will have to fight for every score. If the offense can maintain its positive trajectory, the Cyclones could pick up a second straight Big 12 win. 

Prediction: Iowa State 27, Oklahoma State 17

Bad cop: Anthony Hanson

Iowa State gained much-needed momentum last week with its first Big 12 win. The Cyclone offense showed some signs of life for the first time since September. 

The playbook was opened up, and the Cyclones executed both in the air and on the ground. The offensive performance gave Cyclone fans a sigh of relief, but West Virginia sports the worst scoring defense in the Big 12 conference. 

Last Saturday was proof the Cyclones are moving in the right direction, but make no mistake, Oklahoma State is a step up as a team. The Cowboys were ranked No. 18 in the College Football Playoff rankings just one week ago before they lost Sanders to his shoulder injury. 

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy has made no indication if Sanders will play against the Cyclones on Saturday. The Iowa State defense could see Sanders, freshman Garret Rangel or Gundy’s son Gunnar Gundy at quarterback. 

Regardless, Iowa State will need to show that Saturday’s offensive production can be sustained. 

Iowa State’s offense made no turnovers Saturday against West Virginia. The first-year starter Dekkers ranks first in the conference in interceptions but last time displayed some maturity with none. 

Ball security will again be key for Dekkers and the entire Iowa State offense. The Cowboys are 5-1 when forcing a turnover this season. 

Iowa State needs a squeaky-clean game offensively to grab a second consecutive win on the road in Stillwater. Unfortunately for Iowa State fans, I think the Cyclones will lose another nail-biter. 

Prediction: Oklahoma State 20, Iowa State 17