46F Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK
Though its national championship dreams have been dashed, Oklahoma still has a chance to win the Big 12 title. That's assuming it does not become Iowa State's second straight upset victim.
The 12th-ranked Sooners look to bounce back from their latest defeat and post a 13th consecutive victory over the upset-minded Cyclones on Saturday in Norman.
One night after Iowa State stunned then-No. 2 Oklahoma State with a 37-31 double-overtime home victory, Oklahoma (8-2, 5-2) lost 45-38 at then-No. 25 Baylor last Saturday. The defeat not only ended the Sooners' national title hopes but dropped them to third in the Big 12, 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Cowboys.
"We've just got to keep playing ball, our goal to win the Big 12 championship is still out in front of us," quarterback Landry Jones said.
The Sooners and Cowboys meet next weekend in Stillwater for the annual Bedlam Game that could decide the conference championship. Oklahoma hopes to remain in position to claim the league title if it can continue its dominance over Iowa State (6-4, 3-4), which has not beaten the Sooners since 1990.
"We still have a lot in front of us," Oklahoma defensive back Demontre Hurst said. "We just have to really bite down and try to get to it. We have to bring our mentality and bring our swagger back.
"We'll be all right. We just have to learn from (the Baylor loss), own up to it and just become a man down the road."
Oklahoma has outscored Iowa State 135-12 in three home games under coach Bob Stoops. The Sooners, however, could face a stiffer challenge Saturday against a confident Cyclones squad that has won three straight with freshman quarterback Jared Barnett at the helm.
Barnett, who went 31 of 58 for 376 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions versus Oklahoma State, faces a Sooners defense that has allowed at least 379 passing yards in three of the last four games.
Baylor star Robert Griffin III torched Oklahoma for a school-record 479 yards and four touchdowns last week. His 34-yard TD pass to Terrance Williams with 8 seconds left was the difference.
"We were all pretty frustrated after the game because that's not the standards of the University of Oklahoma to just come out and let people run and gun all over the field," defensive end David King said. "I'd say our pride was a little bit hurt, but we've just got to put it behind us and move forward."
In their first game since star receiver Ryan Broyles was lost for the season with a knee injury, the Sooners racked up 605 total yards and rallied from 14 points down to tie the game before Griffin's late heroics.
Jones was 36 of 51 for 447 yards but had his streak of 24 straight games with a touchdown pass snapped. He threw three TD passes while completing 30 of 34 passes for 334 yards in last season's 52-0 home win over Iowa State.
With Broyles out, sophomore Jaz Reynolds could continue to see more balls thrown his way. Reynolds caught seven passes for 114 yards against Baylor.
Though Iowa State should have some confidence coming into Norman off the biggest victory in school history, Jones and Reynolds could be in for a big afternoon against a Cyclones defense that allowed a season-high 476 passing yards to Oklahoma State's potent offense.
The Cyclones, who overcame a 17-point deficit to beat the Cowboys, have not won four straight in the Big 12 or overall since Oct. 22-Nov. 12, 2005.
"We got a group of young men that put their hard hats on every day and just continue to go to work," coach Paul Rhoads said. "I could not be prouder of the effort they put out (last weekend)."
In addition to passing for 695 yards during the Cyclones' three-game winning streak, Barnett has rushed for 301 with a touchdown on 55 carries.
Sophomore Albert Gary had seven receptions for 109 yards with a TD against Oklahoma State.