October 26, 2013

Breaking down OSU vs. ISU: Who has the edge?

We're getting close to kick off in Ames, when Oklahoma State will take on Iowa State at 11 am.

Let's hit a quick breakdown of what we're expecting out of this matchup.

Quarterbacks
This is one of a handful of matchups the Pokes would win in this category. J.W. Walsh isn't great, and neither is Clint Chelf, yet they're somehow getting the job done. On the other side of the ball, ISU's best passer so far this season has been Sam B. Richardson, who has 1,255 yards on the year with 10 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He's also struggling with a 56.8% completion rate.
Edge: Oklahoma State

Running backs
The leading rusher for the Cyclones Aaron Wimberly, while Richardson is only 140 yards behind him on the season. The one-two punch is about all the Cyclones have in the tank on the ground, while the Pokes can put three proven runners (Walsh, Jeremy Smith, Desmond Roland) on the field, as well as time for the freshman Rennie Childs who showed flashes of brilliance against TCU.
Edge: Oklahoma State

Receivers
Oklahoma State's top four receivers have more yardage than Iowa State's second-leading receiver. Their top guy, Quenton Bundrage, has four scores on the season, but the rest of the group has been so-so. OSU regularly rolls out 9 different receivers who have a touchdown on the season so far, with 6 of them having triple-digit yardage on the season, while Blake Jackson is two yards away from becoming the seventh in that club.
Edge: Oklahoma State

Offensive lines
Iowa's known for the big 'ol, corn-fed boys up front, but this season they've given up a monstrous 23 sacks, five more than anyone else in the league and last-place in the Big 12. The Cyclones are also the eighth-ranked rushing offense in the league, while Oklahoma State comes in at fourth. The Pokes have given up just seven sacks on the season, and lead the league in that category.
Edge: Oklahoma State

Defense
Iowa State currently ranks last in pass defense (293.2 yards/game), eighth in scoring defense (25.2 points/game), and eighth in rushing defense (198.8 yards/game) in the Big 12. Oklahoma State has been much, much better in those categories, coming in at 8th, 3rd, and 2nd respectively. Gotta give this one to the Pokes, especially with how they've played as of late.
Edge: Oklahoma State

Coaching
Mike Gundy's struggling with his offense this season, and it's showing from every angle. Whether it's play-calling, or the players on the field, something is off. On the flip side, we've all seen ISU coach Paul Rhoades do a lot more with a lot less than what he has this season. The 1-5 record isn't telling to his coaching style, and you definitely need to watch out for the Cyclones.
Edge: Iowa State

Overall
I'm trying to think of another team that's been 1-5 and still a legitimate threat to beat almost anyone, and I can't think of one. Every loss has been a one-score defeat except for their 71-7 drubbing against Baylor in their last matchup. I don't know what they do and don't know how they do it, but for some reason they always hang around. I think the Pokes take this one, but based on everything I've seen from the Cyclones this season, they'll be right there until the end. Can the Cowboys keep their late-game winning streak alive, or does Iowa State figure it out and win a close game for the first time this season?

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