Week 8 – Iowa State at Oklahoma State

Posted Oct 19, 2012

Week 8 Fearless Prediction – Iowa State at Oklahoma State

Iowa State (4-2) at Oklahoma State (3-2) Oct. 20, 12:00, FX

Here's The Deal: Oklahoma State might want to bring up the revenge factor after missing out on the BCS championship thanks to a season-turning loss to Iowa State, but this year the game is big enough on its own to matter beyond the narrative.

Iowa State might be 1-2 in the Big 12, but it gave Kansas State a run in a 27-21 dogfight and the loss to Texas Tech now looks more acceptable than it did at the time. The offense might not be high-flying, but the defense has been terrific and the special teams fantastic. Head coach Paul Rhoads has his veteran team in a position to come up with a winning season and to go bowling, but there are still plenty of fun battles ahead and lots of big tests. Being able to come up with another win over Oklahoma State would be a nice piece to the season's puzzle, forgetting about what happened last year.

The Cowboys are far different this year and they're still trying to get all the pieces back in place after the epic 2011 run, and while the numbers are there with the nation's No. 1 offense, the production has been spotty. The best win so far came against Louisiana-Lafayette, and while beating Iowa State wouldn't make up for getting blasted by Arizona or losing in a heartbreaker to Texas, it could be a must with a brutal back half of the season coming up.

And yeah, if the game can be half as good as last year's classic, it'll be worth the watch.

Why Iowa State Might Win: Which Oklahoma State offense will show up this week? The Cowboys were explosive and amazing against Louisiana-Lafayette and blew up in the loss to Arizona, it fell amazingly flat against Kansas and hasn't quite been consistent enough to know exactly what's going to show up this week. The Iowa State defense has been a rock against the midrange passing games keeping the big plays to a minimum even though Texas Tech threw for 332 yards and three scores. The Cyclone defensive back seven did a great job of mixing things up to give TCU's Trevone Boykin a nightmare of a day, and it kept Kansas State's Collin Klein in relative check. With nine picks on the year, even though the secondary will give up a few yards, it should come up with its share of big play against an OSU team that's awful in turnover margin.

Why Oklahoma State Might Win: There's no pop or explosion to the Iowa State offense. The O hasn't been awful, and it's been extremely opportunistic when the defense comes up with takeaways, but it's not equipped to hang around in a firefight. The other problem for the Cyclones will be the return game – it might not be the plus it normally is. Field position is a must for an offense that can't do too much with long fields, but OSU's Quinn Sharp is one of the nation's best punters with the ability to keep the ISU O pinned deep. Second in the nation in net punting, the Cowboys are getting over 43 yards per kick.

What To Watch Out For: Even though Wes Lunt appears to be getting better, the Oklahoma State coaching staff is sticking with sophomore J.W. Walsh for the foreseeable future. Great against Louisiana-Lafayette and solid against Texas, he has come through just fine considering his lack of experience, but he didn't get much moving against Kansas with just 255 yards through the air. However, his mobility and running skills continue to be a nice plus for an offense that doesn't really need another added dimension.

What Will Happen: Iowa State is better than you think. Oklahoma State might think about wanting to get back at the Cyclones after losing last year, but it won't matter. The defense will be solid, the offense will do enough to get by, and in a fun back-and-forth game, ISU will survive and move on after coming up with four takeaways.

CFN Prediction: Iowa State 34 … Oklahoma State 27
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Oklahoma State -14 O/U: 60.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Seven Psychopaths, 1 – Here Comes the Boom): 3