Coming off a 41-12 blowout loss to the Baylor Bears, the Oklahoma football team returns home to face the Iowa State Cyclones on Nov. 16 at noon ET.
What better timing to get back on track then with a team the Sooners have dominated constantly? Head coach Bob Stoops is 8-0 all time versus the Cyclones, as Oklahoma has won 14 straight in a series it leads 69-5-2.
No. 18 Oklahoma (7-2, 4-2 Big 12) led 5-3 before Baylor scored 21 unanswered to close the first half to take a 24-5 lead into the locker room.
Junior Blake Bell finished 15-of-35 for 150 yards and threw two interceptions. He has started seven games after freshman Trevor Knight struggled with his passing while starting the first two. Knight saw limited action against the Bears, but only in plays where he handed the ball off or ran for a quarterback keeper.
Baylor would go up as much as 31-5 before Oklahoma found the end zone when Bell connected with senior Roy Finch for a 10-yard touchdown at the 4:25 mark of the third quarter.
Oklahoma has been Goliath against Iowa State since they first started playing. The Sooners defeated the Cyclones 35-20 last season in Ames, Iowa, and 26-6 two years ago when the teams last met in Norman, Okla.
The Sooners played in consecutive national title games after the 2008 and 2009 seasons. During the past five seasons, Oklahoma has lost six games by 14 points or more, with three coming in the last 16 outings – against Texas A&M, Texas and Baylor.
Bell isn’t a bad passer, of course, he’s a better runner, as evident with his 24-career rushing touchdowns (none of which have come this year), but he has to be on the lower end in terms of quarterbacks that have played under Stoops.
If Bell doesn’t get his act together, and the Sooners end the season on a down note, Bell could be replaced before season’s end, and more importantly, not in the quarterback race come next spring when he becomes a senior. Knight is a great runner too, but his struggles at passing has been far too examined. As for sophomore Kendal Thompson, he injured himself in August, so I can’t speculate on how his passing is.
Things need to be done in Norman to ensure the Sooners finish strong, and a win over rival Oklahoma State in Bedlam would be a nice bonus for fans like me.
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