Against all odds, 28-point underdog Kansas State left Norman with a 38-35 victory last Saturday, due in no small part to uncharacteristically sloppy play by the Sooners.
Granted, the Wildcats played a fantastic final quarter, but Oklahoma's series of egregious miscues played a significant role in the outcome. Four turnovers, a blocked punt, a failed fourth-and-1 conversion, and a series of coverage breakdowns gave Kansas State life.
But all week, Sooner coaches and players alike have reiterated that the mistakes made on Saturday were altogether avoidable, and that they'll be cleaned up for this weekend's road contest.
"Definitely fixable," said cornerback Brendan Radley-Hiles. "Really, already corrected in the meeting room. We’ve got a great week of practice. Responded to adversity so well throughout the week of practice. So I definitely think we’re ready to go."
As Lincoln Riley pointed out after Saturday's upset loss, his program knows how to bounce back from defeat. The Sooners haven't lost consecutive regular-season games this century; you'd have to go all the way back to 1999, when they dropped back-to-back contests with Notre Dame and Texas. There doesn't appear to be any panic within the locker room; in fact, there's a remarkable amount of poise.
"Our mindset going into this week and even our preparation for the last two or three days has been really, really good," said linebacker Dashaun White. "Feeling really good about how we line up against them. Obviously, they have a really talented offense. Their quarterback likes to run around a little bit. I find confidence in resetting and doing what we do game-in, game-out."
Getting pressure on Iowa State signal-caller Brock Purdy will be paramount in Ames. Last week, the Sooners recorded just one sack of Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson, who threw for 334 yards and a touchdown on the afternoon.
"Last week was unacceptable for us," said defensive lineman Isaiah Thomas. "So as a group, as a unit, we talk about it, we're working on it, practicing on it, and I'm pretty sure that these guys are locked into the task at hand of getting a pass rush and not just focusing in on stopping the run game."
The Cyclones enter Saturday's tilt with a 1-1 record, as they dropped their home opener to Louisiana before rebounding with a 37-34 win at TCU. Matt Campbell's team will certainly come out hungry to kick the Sooners while they're down, but history doesn't exactly favor Iowa State. The program has managed just two wins over Oklahoma since 1961.
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