Iowa State may like getting Oklahoma so early in the season at Jack Trice Stadium.
It’s not typical, it seems awfully quick to be entering conference play already and the Cyclones, who knows, might even be the best team OU has faced thus far.. Anyway, who knew they’d be so good last season.
Yet, OU has to like the forecast.
If you can believe it, it’s supposed to be 88 degrees at 11 this morning when the Cyclones and Sooners take the field which. That’s three degrees warmer than it’s supposed to be in Norman at that very same time.
That should make it a whole lot easier for the Sooners to do what they have to do today.
If the game was kicking off at 7 and the temperature in the middle 40s, maybe even in some rain, well, you’d just kind of know nothing’s bound to come easy.
So OU will take warm and calm at the conference’s most northern post, because all must do is one simple thing.
Those with crimson covered glasses may have been telling you all week about how OU’s bound not to miss a beat in the backfield today as it moves into life without Rodney Anderson, for whom coach Lincoln Riley could hardly offer enough praise this past week.
Yes, Trey Sermon earned four stars coming out of Marietta, Georgia’s Sprayberry High School, Marcelias Sutton was a four-star guy, too, as was T.J. Pledger, as was Kennedy Brooks.
The Sooners are deep.
Still, all those stars have ever been are indicators of what any of them might do, not what they will.
All but Pledger has already broken off a run of at least 22 yards and all but Pledger have already found the end zone, yet none have been the guy but for Sermon, kind of, in the early part of last season and none figure to be the guy today because all figure to get their chance while the Sooners go looking for the guy.
Also, if you want a number, Iowa ran for all of 2.9 yards per carry against the Cyclones in Iowa City last Saturday.
All of that and it’s the first time out since Anderson went down and while he’s sure to be a rallying point and he’s sure to offer all the leadership he cane from the sideline, it’s a new dynamic than the previous two weeks, when Anderson was a big part of grabbing big early leads over Florida Atlantic and UCLA.
It’s Kyler Murray’s first start away from home, too, which doesn’t have to mean anything, but could mean quite a bit.
Look at it this way.
If he’s great today, it will be something new, another step on his college football ladder. It won’t be Murray being Murray because he’s hardly seen it all just yet.
He’s been terrific thus far, and yet lost in the aftermath of being responsible for five touchdowns against the Bruins, three throwing and two running, not to mention being named national offensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Foundation, he was actually sharper against FAU than UCLA, and without CeeDee Lamb’s circus act last Saturday, probably doesn’t receive the same accolades.
For Murray, today’s a new test, and watching him work through it will be interesting and meaningful.
That he happens to be as cool as any cucumber in the college game ought to help.
Still, the challenge is new.
After that, are we bound to see three straight big defensive outings from Mike Stoops’ unit?
For too long, following this football program has meant waiting for the other defensive shoe to drop. Maybe not this season but every week is new.
Also, make out of it what you want, by it’s only the Cyclones’ second game and that’s supposed to be any team’s biggest jump of the season.
It may be a reach, but the Sooners are the only verifiably scary team in the Big 12 right now.
You look at what’s in front of OU and you look at where it could get dicey and Ames, Iowa, the third week of the season, is just such a place.
Even Riley said during the week OU’s bound to find itself in difficult games.
This could be one.
If OU’s great, it’s a bonus.
Yet, victory’s enough.
Sure, it’s only Iowa State.
Somebody probably said that last year, too.