Tahlequah Daily Press

OU Sports

November 15, 2013

Ikard still the face of OU's offense


Iowa State at No. 22 Oklahoma

When: Saturday at 11 a.m.

Where: Memorial Stadium in Norman.

Radio: KMOD, FM-97.5.

TV: Fox Sports 1.

Line: Oklahoma by 24.

Series record: Oklahoma 70-5-2.

At stake: With its Big 12 Conference title hopes effectively extinguished after a loss at Baylor, Oklahoma will look to rebound against a foe it traditionally has dominated. The Sooners still have the carrots of a potential 10-win season and a quality bowl bid to motivate them. Iowa State wants to end a 14-game losing streak against the Sooners.

Key matchup: If Iowa State is able to keep the game close, it likely will need help from its special teams — an area in which Oklahoma hasn't excelled this season. Oklahoma's opponents are averaging 24.1 yards per kickoff return and 16.8 yards per punt return. The Sooners gave up a punt return for a touchdown in a loss to Texas and Iowa State has two players who have kickoff returns for a score this season in DeVondrick Nealy and Jarvis West.

Players to watch

Iowa State: Nealy has scored a touchdown in four consecutive games — in three different ways. He caught a touchdown pass against Baylor and scored rushing touchdowns against Oklahoma State and Kansas State before returning the second-half kickoff against TCU. He's the Cyclones' first player since 2011 to have a TD in four straight games.

Oklahoma: LB Frank Shannon, who led the Sooners with 15 tackles last week against Baylor despite missing practice most of that week due to an injury. Shannon's role has become more important and more pronounced since senior linebacker Corey Nelson suffered a season-ending injury.

Notes: With a win, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops would tie Barry Switzer's Oklahoma record for coaching wins at 157. Iowa State hasn't won in Norman since 1990 . If the Sooners can rush for 200 or more yards, they'll probably win — they're 60-1 under Stoops while doing so, while Iowa State is 1-13 under coach Paul Rhodes when giving up 200 or more rushing yards . Against TCU, Iowa State started its eighth different offensive-line combination in nine games, involving 10 players. The Cyclones haven't had a single offensive lineman start every game, mostly due to injuries . Iowa State's starting center, Tom Farniok, and Oklahoma backup offensive tackle Derek Farniok are brothers.

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