A Big 12, top-25 contest between the 18th ranked Iowa State Cyclones and the 6th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys will take place in Stillwater, Oklahoma, at Boone Pickens Stadium at 3:30 pm EST. Oklahoma State remained undefeated on the year in picking up their 3rd straight win in destroying the Kansas Jayhawks on the road while covering the spread as 21.5-point favorites to go 2-1 ATS in 2020. After dropping their home opener to the Louisiana-Lafayette Rajin' Cajuns as two touchdowns favorites, the Cyclones won their 3rd straight game versus the Texas Tech Red Raiders at home in their last time out on October 10th as ten point favorites to go 2-2 against the number thus far in the season.
Again, the Cowboys have dominated this series in winning eight of the last ten outright. However, it should be mentioned that the Cyclones have recently excelled as underdogs in going 4-1 ATS in their last five matchups versus their conference foe. In fact, the underdog has covered the spread in the last five contests including the Cowboys covering as 11.5-point dogs last season in a 34-27 road win.
Currently, the line favors the Cowboys by 3.5 points while the total stands at 52 points, down from 53 at opening.
Cyclones ground and pound Red Raiders in victoryDespite a bye last weekend, the Iowa State Cyclones covered the spread for the 2nd straight week when they took out Texas Tech on October 10th. This was mainly due to their consistency in running the football as they accumulated 214 yards on the ground, led by sophomore running back Breece Hall with 135 yards and two touchdowns. Hall has racked up over 500 yards thus far in the season while also crossing the goal line eight times for a rushing attack that is posting 180 yards per game in 2020. Important to note that QB Brock Purdy, aside from going 32-43 for 302 yards along with two touchdown strikes, his 4th of the year, he ran for 42 yards on seven rushes.
However, the Cowboys have recently been the kryptonite to the Cyclones' punishing rushing attack, illustrated by Iowa State's 86 yards rushing in last year's matchup. Expect the road team to bring their focus to winning the trenches versus an Oklahoma State team that is only allowing 94 rushing yards per game, good for 10th in the nation. On the other hand, Purdy must be able to somehow exploit a secondary that is ranked 13th in defending the pass.
I will.— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) October 10, 2020
Freshman Xavier Hutchinson (5 rec, 221 yds, TD) led the receiving corps with 77 yards on nine catches versus Texas Tech and serves as their number one option on the outside for a passing attack that has been a bit underwhelming, yet, is putting up 235 yards per game. Seniors Chase Allen (9 rec, 126 yds, TD) along with tight end Charlie Kolar (12 rec, 134 yds, TD) are also top targets for Purdy as they each scored on touchdown receptions versus the Red Raiders while catching a total of seven passes for just under 100 yards. Important to note that the offensive line for the Cyclones will be affected if junior Trevor Downing, who is questionable for this contest with an ankle injury, cannot go.
It will be interesting to see if a tough rush defense for the Cyclones fare versus a rushing attack for the Cowboys that are putting up over 200 yard per game in 2020. Junior defensive end Will McDonald IV leads the team with 4.5 sacks on the year while senior linebacker Jake Hummel (17 tackles) has tons of talent and experience at the linebacker position. However, one can certainly expect the Cowboys to attempt to exploit the secondary for the Cyclones as they have been less than stellar in allowing 266 yards per game. Important to mention that Iowa State's defense has only two turnovers on the year.
Cowboys blitzed Jayhawks in 47-7 victoryOklahoma State has not taken the field since October 3rd when they put up some huge numbers versus Kansas as they racked up over 570 total yards, including 295 yards on the ground along with just under 300 passing yards. Freshman Shane Illingworth (478 yds, 3 Td's, INT) has remained efficient since replacing starting signal called Spencer Sanders in completing 74% of his passes on the year. Most importantly, he has not hurt the Cowboys with turnovers as he only has one pick in three starts. The passing attack is only averaging around 190 passing yards per game with senior Tylan Wallace (19 rec, 320 yds, 2 TD's) being the go-to guy on the outside. However, a dominating rushing attack has certainly helped Illingworth's maturity under center.
Chuba Hubbard is averaging five yards per rush for 339 total yards and four TD's while coming off a 145 yard, two touchdown day versus the Red Raiders in their last outing. However, things will certainly not come as easy on the ground for their upcoming matchup with the Cyclones, who have not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season. To make matters worse, sophomore guard Cole Birmingham may sit out the contest due to a foot injury. This only means that Illingworth may have to test a sometimes shaky defensive secondary for Iowa State at some point in the contest.
Defensively, the Cowboys are not a team that is opportunistic in taking the ball away from opponents; However, they are giving up just 247 total yards per game along with nine point per in 2020 in wins over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, West Virginia Mountaineers, along with the Jayhawks. The linebacking corps is stacked with talent with senior Devin Harper (9 tackles, INT, sack), Calvin Bundage (3.5 sacks), along with Amen Ogbongbemiga (12 tackles, 1.5 sacks). Also, defensive ends Trace Ford and Tyren Irby have been active within the trenches in acquiring a combined three sacks on the year along with seven tackles and a forced fumble.
Stats & Trends
- Cyclones are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing less than 275 total yards in their previous game.
- Cyclones are 9-2-2 ATS in their last 13 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.
- Cyclones are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Cowboys are 1-4 ATS in last 5 meetings versus Cyclones
- Cowboys are 2-3-1 ATS in last 6 games
The Cyclones are no stranger to being an underdog versus Oklahoma State as this has been the case in four of their last five matchups, to where the Cyclones covered in four of those contests. Oklahoma State has had an easy go of it up to this point while the Cyclones have had three huge wins over the Red Raiders, the TCU Horned Frogs, along with the Oklahoma Sooners in 2020 and will certainly be focused on continuing their winning ways this weekend. Expect Purdy to play a key role in kick-starting the offense as he is primed for a breakout game after a relatively slow start this season. Most importantly, I happen to believe that he will execute a pivotal moments to keep this game close. In all, take the road team with the points.