Oklahoma returns home to play host to Iowa State. Before the season, many had this matchup pegged as a potential Big 12 championship game preview.
At 6-4 overall and 4-3 in Big 12 play, Iowa State has fallen short of expectations. While the Cyclones could still get into the Big 12 championship game under two different scenarios, the likely case is that Iowa State has already played its way out of a return trip to Arlington, Texas.
Still, on paper Oklahoma is in for another challenge against an Iowa State defense that is one of the best they’ve seen. The Cyclones rank No. 10 nationally in total defense. Let’s take a look at several of the keys for the Sooners to find offensive success.
Up First: Playing at the Palace
Home sweet home
It’s probably not this simple, but Oklahoma can take solace in the fact that going into this matchup its true freshman starting quarterback has been marvelous in a pair of home starts.
In home wins over TCU and Texas Tech, Caleb Williams completed 41-of-53 passes for 697 yards and 10 touchdowns with no interceptions in the two games combined. He also ran in a 41-yard touchdown against the Horned Frogs.
Again, Iowa State defensively is a far cry from either TCU or Texas Tech, but there is a home track record for Williams that OU can feel comfortable about.
The Cyclones boast the nation’s No. 23 passing defense. It will be the highest-rated group that Williams has seen to date.
Williams had his worst start of the season this past Saturday against Baylor. The Bears forced Williams into a pair of interceptions and held him to just 9-of-18 passing for 142 yards.
Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley said earlier this week that Williams’ confidence wasn’t shaken from his outing in Waco.
“I think if you’re confident in what you do, then just because you don’t get the result that you…