Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads yells at an official after he thought a penalty should have been called on Texas during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 24-0. (AP Photo/Justin Haywo
Justin Hayworth
November 06, 2015

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Oklahoma players know they cannot afford to overlook upset-minded Iowa State ahead of their toughest stretch of the Big 12 schedule.

On Saturday, the No. 14 Sooners (7-1, 4-1 Big 12, No. 15 CFP) host the Cyclones (3-5, 2-3), who are brimming with confidence. They are coming off a 24-0 win over Texas, the only team to beat Oklahoma this year.

''It should get our attention. It's a team that whooped up on Texas,'' said Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield. ''We lost to Texas. That should be eye-popping for us. We've got to come out ready for that. We know they're going to come in with their best shot.''

It might be natural to look ahead to Oklahoma's big showdowns with No. 2 Baylor the following week, No. 5 TCU on Nov. 21 and in-state rival No. 12 Oklahoma State on Nov. 28. But the players realize they must get through their entire Big 12 schedule.

''Our first goal is the Big 12 championship,'' Mayfield said. ''Each game right now is a Big 12 game. To get our goal at the end, we've got to do it one game at a time. We know the last three games are against our toughest opponents. But right now, we have Iowa State.''

For the Cyclones, coach Paul Rhoads is eager to see what his team can do against what he considers one of the Big 12 heavyweights.

''In a league that has three undefeated teams sitting at the top of it, it's easy to make the argument right now that Oklahoma is playing as well as any of them,'' Rhoads said. ''Our kids look forward to the challenge of going down to Norman and competing with them.''

Some things to watch on Saturday:

FRESHMAN FLASH: Iowa State running back Mike Warren leads the nation's freshmen with 954 rushing yards and 119.3 yards per game and is second in yards per carry (6.2). His 157 yards and a touchdown on 32 rushes against Texas last week was his fifth 100-yard game out of the last six, including a 245-yard performance against Texas Tech on Oct. 10 that still stands as the Big 12's most productive of the season.

NO PUNTER: Oklahoma, which amassed 710 yards of total offense, didn't need to punt in its last game against Kansas. It's the first time that's happened under coach Bob Stoops since he arrived in 1999. The Sooners have gone 27 straight possessions without punting, going back to the opening drive of its previous game, a 63-27 win over Texas Tech. ''Any time you can put up 700 yards and not punt the whole day, you really executed at a high level,'' Stoops said.

LEARNING ON FLY: Freshman Joel Lanning will make his second straight start for the Cyclones after usurping senior Sam Richardson during the game before, a 45-27 loss to Baylor in which Lanning helped Iowa State outscore the Bears 27-10 from midway through the second quarter. Last week against Texas in his first career start, Lanning completed 19 of 37 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 64 yards on 13 carries. ''I think leadership and competitiveness is the number one thing that we saw out of him,'' Rhoads said. ''He made plays, both running and throwing.''

AIR RAID ON DISPLAY: Mayfield completed 27 of 32 passes for 383 yards and four touchdowns in last week's 62-7 win over Kansas before leaving after one possession of the second half. Overall, he has completed 69.7 percent of his passes. His 2,470 passing yards rank 14th in the nation and the 10.1 yards per attempt rank second. ''Baker Mayfield, again, was exceptional in throwing the football, decision-making, checking plays, making decisions to throw the ball outside or hand it off,'' Stoops said.

OFFENSIVE CHARGE: Changing quarterbacks wasn't the only major move that Rhoads recently made with the offense. Last week, before the Texas game, he replaced offensive coordinator Mark Mangino, promoting Todd Sturdy to take over the job, and the results were impressive. ''There was a rhythm that was established out there on the field,'' Rhoads said. ''I think he took advantage of his personnel, of Joel's abilities. We had great energy last week as a football team.''

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