As Big 12 Conference play begins, Oklahoma and Iowa State clash on the gridiron. Playing the role of favorite, the Sooners take to the road for the first time this season. Knowing the history of the Cyclones, there’s plenty at stake this weekend. Here are three defensive keys to success.
In week one, the Sooners showcased the ability to shed blocks and fill gaps to slow down the rushing attack of Florida Atlantic. The same tactic and mentality must be employed this weekend as David Montgomery steps onto the field. A year ago, the running back eclipsed 1,000 yards on the ground after carrying the ball 258 times. There’s no denying that Montgomery is a work horse with experience on the field. Behind a stout offensive line, the Cyclones look to punish defenses time and time again. Bottling the explosive back remains vital to success against a team hungry for their first upset of the season.
Capitalize on Mistakes
There a possibility the Cyclones enter the contest without starting quarterback, Kyle Kempt, available. Currently the status of Kempt remains day-to-day and has even been labeled as ‘up in the air.’ Assuming the situation does not change, Zeb Noland will start in his place. The sophomore has just over 70 pass attempts over the course of two years with the program. Yet, underclassman tend to make rookie mistakes.
On the other side of the field waits a confident but young Oklahoma defense. One thing the inexperienced group has proven this season is that they possess the ability to capitalize on any mistakes. Playing with a level of swagger, it’s trend those surrounding the program hope continues late into the season. Against an quarterback lacking experience, this defense may produce the best numbers thus far into the year.
Quiet the Crowd
In the past, the Sooners have proven capable of silencing crowds in various venues. Collecting 16 consecutive true road contest under Baker Mayfield, a new quarterback has the opportunity to extend the number. How will Kyler Murray handle the hostile environment come Saturday without Rodney Anderson to shoulder some of the load? Hopefully with the big play Oklahoma has come to be known for each and every year. A play that ultimately silences the crowd and sets the tone for the remainder of the outing.