The independent student newspaper of Iowa State and Ames since 1890

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Game-Talk Tuesdays: Oklahoma

Jacob Rice
Zachary Lovett awaits the Oklahoma offense during the Iowa State vs. Oklahoma football game at Gaylord Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma, on Sept. 30, 2023.

Going into this game, Iowa State was riding off of a high in its 34-27 win over Oklahoma State to open up its Big 12 schedule. 

Although many were projecting Iowa State to fall to No. 14 Oklahoma, it seemed that the Cyclones would make it closer than expected.

That was the case throughout most of the first half, as they were down by one midway through the second quarter.

It then went downhill quickly as Iowa State did not score for the rest of the game, while Oklahoma put up 29 points and finished the game with a score of 50-20.

Iowa State will need to make some adjustments not just for their upcoming matchup against TCU, but for the rest of the season if they want to still compete for a bowl game.

The defense has to get more pressure on opposing quarterbacks

Iowa State’s pass rush was definitely a huge factor in their loss to Oklahoma, as they only got one sack against Sooner quarterback Dillon Gabriel.

That one sack did not come until late in the second quarter when linebacker Zachary Lovett got Gabriel for a six-yard loss in the waning seconds of the quarter.

Other than this sack, the defensive line could not get through the Sooners’ offensive line which had only let up three sacks prior to this game.

This has been a general problem for Iowa State recently, as ever since its game against Northern Iowa where they had five sacks, it has put up a combined three sacks against opposing teams.

Defensive coordinator Jon Heacock will have to work on his defensive line if they want to find success at stopping the opposing offenses from building momentum and scoring points.

Becht needs to be consistent

Rocco Becht, during pregame at the Iowa State vs. Oklahoma football game at Gaylord Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma, on Sept. 30, 2023. (Jacob Rice)

Cyclone quarterback Rocco Becht was following a career performance with 348 yards through the air on 27 completions for three touchdowns in their win over Oklahoma State.

It had seemed that Becht had finally found his groove after putting up such a performance, but he could not carry it over on the road in the loss against Oklahoma.

Becht ended up completing 15 of his 33 passes for 188 yards for a pair of touchdowns and two interceptions against the Sooners.

He started the game throwing an interception on a bad throw which resulted in a pick-six, Becht’s second pick returned for a touchdown this season, which put the Cyclones in a hole early.

Becht did have some nice completions to wide receivers Jaylin Noel and Jayden Higgins for touchdowns that kept the game within reach early on.

However, he couldn’t sustain his play throughout the game as he and the offense had trouble getting down the field against the Sooner defense.

Becht ended up getting replaced on Iowa State’s final drive by JJ Kohl when the game was already out of reach with the Cyclones down by 30.

He should look to tweak his play following this performance if he wants to keep his starting role throughout the rest of the season.

Continue to utilize the run game

Iowa State seemed to have something working in the loss to No. 14 Oklahoma. It ended up being the run game, as the team ran for a combined 150 yards on the ground led by running back Abu Sama III.

Sama had himself a career-best in his first year at Iowa State, as he had a total of 67 yards on his seven rushes against the Sooner defense. His longest run was a 39-yard breakout run in the middle of the first quarter.

Running back Eli Sanders also had some nice runs himself, as he collected 41 yards on seven carries on Saturday. Sanders was coming off of a game where he had 15 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown against Oklahoma State and was still used in the loss against Oklahoma where he had his longest carry for 13 yards.

Some other notable runners were Becht and running back Cartevious Norton, who both broke out some nice yardage for Iowa State. 

The Cyclones did improve running the ball following an 87-yard performance from the offense in the win over the Cowboys.

The run game has shown promise, especially with the depth at the position. If Iowa State can continue to find ways to include the run game into the passing offense, that could be something of note to watch throughout the remainder of the season.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Iowa State Daily
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of the Iowa State Daily. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, send our student journalists to conferences and off-set their cost of living so they can continue to do best-in-the-nation work at the Iowa State Daily.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jacob Rice, Visual Editor
Donate to Iowa State Daily
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Iowa State Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *