With Iowa State off to a 1-3 start, no one would call a seventh straight win over the Cyclones a high point this year for the Cowboys. ISU is slogging through a rough six-game stretch that also includes Iowa, Oklahoma, TCU and West Virginia. On top of that, the Cyclones are on the back end of consecutive road games after traveling to Fort Worth last week.
As the losses pile up, Iowa State desperately needs a win to get back on the path to a bowl game.
Iowa State at Oklahoma State
Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 6 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Spread: Oklahoma State -10
Three Things to Watch
1. David Montgomery’s health
Iowa State’s star running back is working through a variety of injuries, including one to his arm that forced him out of the TCU game. Given that he has made a go of it in every game so far this season, look for Montgomery to take the field on Saturday. But how effective will he be against the Big 12's top rushing defense? Oklahoma State is giving up 113.4 rushing yards per game, which also places them 27th in the country.
2. Will pressure cook Corn Dog?
Oklahoma State senior quarterback Taylor “Corn Dog” Cornelius is making the most of his time in the spotlight. Through five games, he has exceeded the expectations of most outside of OSU’s program – and probably quite a few in Stillwater.
Iowa State’s defense could be Cornelius’ stiffest test yet this year. He needs to be especially cognizant of the Cyclones’ funky blitz schemes.
3. Oklahoma State's mounting injuries
The Cyclones aren’t the only ones dealing with health concerns. Injuries are starting to pile up for the Cowboys as well.
Starting defensive tackle Darrion Daniels is the latest casualty as a finger injury has put him on the shelf for the year.
After the Cowboys imploded versus Texas Tech two weeks ago, they got back on track last week with a sharp performance versus Kansas. Of course, that’s Kansas, so it seems a bit premature to declare Oklahoma State to be back on track.
The Cyclones are probably tiring of moral victories at this point after losing to TCU on a last-second field goal a week ago, and they will want revenge after squandering an opportunity to knock off OSU in Ames in 2017.
Does that add up to an upset? Maybe, but it also seems likely that Iowa State will continue to struggle moving the ball, especially if running back David Montgomery is hampered by his injuries more than we’ve been led to believe.
Chances are this one ends in heartbreak again for the ‘Clones.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 27, Iowa State 24
— Written by Allen Kenney, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Kenney is founder and editor of BlatantHomerism.com and host of the Blatant Homerism Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BlatantHomerism.