Third-ranked Oklahoma will put the nation’s longest active winning streak on the line Saturday afternoon when it hosts Iowa State. The Sooners have won 14 consecutive games, a streak that dates back 385 days to a 45-24 home loss to Ohio State on Sept. 17, 2016.
That’s not the only streak that will be on the line for first-year Lincoln Riley’s squad. Oklahoma has also won 17 consecutive Big 12 Conference games, has defeated Iowa State 18 straight times and has scored at least 30 points in each game of its current 14-game win streak. The Sooners and quarterback Baker Mayfield, one of the top candidates for the Heisman Trophy, have made no secret that their goal is to win a national championship so they can ill afford to get caught looking ahead to next week’s Red River Rivalry showdown with Texas. “I think it goes back to having a championship mentality and understanding that every single game is important and that at the end of the year. They all count the same,” Riley said. “We know what it takes to win this conference, and I think that’s been big. And I think also, you’ve got to understand, at Oklahoma, you’re going to get everybody’s best shot.”
TV: Noon, FOX. LINE: Oklahoma -28
ABOUT IOWA STATE (2-2, 0-1 Big 12): The Cyclones come in off a 17-7 home loss to Texas last Thursday night, a game in which they managed just 10 rushing yards and 256 total yards. No doubt much of the extra practice preparation for Saturday’s contest centered around protecting quarterback Jacob Park who was sacked four times and was hit numerous other times while also throwing three interceptions. Park still ranks 15th in the NCAA in passing yards (295.2 yards per game) and has thrown nine touchdown passes, thanks in great part to senior All-American wide receiver Allen Lazard who has 24 receptions for 241 yards and three TDs despite constant double-teaming.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA (4-0, 1-0): Mayfield, who hasn’t thrown an interception in his last six games dating back to last season, leads the nation in passing efficiency rating (228.3) and passing yards per attempt (13.2) and has thrown at least two touchdown passes in 17 consecutive games. The Sooners come in off a closer-than-expected 49-41 win at Baylor that saw OU roll up 625 yards with Mayfield completing 13-of-19 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns. The defense, led by DE/LB Ogboonia Okoronkwo (4.5 sacks. 7.5 tackles for loss), has limited its first four opponents to an average of 198.5 passing yards and 19.5 points per outing.
1. Oklahoma hasn’t lost to Iowa State since a 33-31 setback in 1990 in Norman and is 45-1-1 in its last 47 meetings with the Cyclones.
2. Iowa State has lost its last 20 games against ranked opponents dating back to a 37-23 victory at No. 15 TCU in 2012.
3. Iowa State is one of eight teams in the nation to not have lost a fumble this season.
PREDICTION: Oklahoma 56, Iowa State 14