After having a remarkable week of recognition Iowa State appears to be ready for the biggest game in program history.
There’s no denying that the Cyclones are having an unprecedented season. After all, several players on both sides of the ball garnered first-team All-Big 12 honors. Iowa State is also sixth in the Playoff rankings. Not to mention Matt Campbell was named the league’s Coach of the Year for the third time in the past five seasons.
Now Iowa State is trying to cap off all that success by bringing home the program’s first conference championship since 1912. The players have momentum, plus they’ll be locked, loaded and ready when they take on Oklahoma in Jerry’s World Saturday.
Not only is Campbell’s squad confident because they beat the same Sooners team at home over two months ago. The Cyclones will also be in their black uniforms, which they’ve looked invincible in the every time they’ve worn them. Dating back to 2018, Iowa State has toppled five different Big 12 opponents in their black jerseys. On top of that the Cyclones have outscored the opposition a combined 236-95 in those matchups.
This season Iowa State is 3-0 after suiting up in black. Campbell is hoping that mojo continues as all eyes will be on his team when they take the field. There’s studs all over the two-deep, but certain players have made a name for themselves in the league.
Signal-caller Brock Purdy been playing out of his mind the last two games, with one of the highest quarterback ratings in the FBS. Running back Breece Hall has been unstoppable and was named the Big 12’s Offensive Player of the Year, plus physical linebacker Mike Rose earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors. Having those caliber of players on a roster gives a coach plenty reasons to be optimistic.
Although the Cyclones are the higher-ranked team, they’re still underdogs in Saturday’s matchup. Which is why the players are motivated and out to prove their unforgettable season is no fluke. The odds are still stacked against Iowa State because Oklahoma has ruled the Big 12 with an iron fist for the past two decades. Despite the Cyclones handing the Sooners their last loss, Lincoln Riley’s boys are a completely different team from early October.
Freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler picked up the broken pieces and led his team to six-straight wins. College football fanatics are expecting another barn burner between the two programs, but the Cyclones have more to play for. If Ohio State and Clemson lose it’ll open the door for Iowa State to climb up to that No. 4 spot with a win over Oklahoma.
That’s mind-boggling when you consider the Cyclones journey up to this point. Regardless of the matter, Campbell’s team has already exceeded expectations and in hindsight it seems the best is yet to come. There’s still unfinished business for the team from Ames and they have the experience, leadership and production to make history in the Big 12. Noon kickoff can’t get here fast enough for the new men in black.