5th Ranked Sooners Take on Cyclones

10-19-07 - Oklahoma has managed to climb into the top five in the first BCS standings thanks to consecutive victories over ranked opponents and a number of upsets to the nation's top-ranked teams.

The fourth-ranked Sooners, who have already been upset once themselves, look to keep their national title hopes alive Saturday as they try for their 20th straight win over Iowa State.

Oklahoma (6-1, 2-1 Big 12) is in first place in the Big 12 South and was ranked fifth in the BCS standings released Sunday. The Sooners are the highest- ranked team with one loss in the AP Poll, making thoughts of their first national title since 2000 realistic.

"We know we've got to win every week. We can't worry about what someone else is doing. We've got to worry about winning," Oklahoma running back Chris Brown said.

Brown rushed for three second-half touchdowns as the Sooners knocked then-No. 11 Missouri from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 41-31 victory last Saturday night.

The Tigers outgained Oklahoma 418-384, but the Sooners won the turnover battle 4-2. With the victory, Oklahoma moved up two spots in the AP rankings.

Sam Bradford completed 24 of 34 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns. The redshirt freshman has 20 touchdowns to four interceptions on the season, and leads the nation with a 181.1 rating.

He has played superbly ever since an 8-for-19 effort in Oklahoma's 27-24 loss at Colorado on Sept. 29, as he bounced back to pass for 244 yards and three TDs in a 28-21 win over then-No. 19 Texas on Oct. 6.

"Especially coming after the loss at Colorado, I think we've really rebounded. We've shown the heart that this team has," Bradford said. "We can't be satisfied with what we've done so far. We've got to come out and get better."

The Sooners have almost always dominated the Cyclones, going 66-5-2 in the series.

Oklahoma beat Iowa State 34-9 last season, its 10th straight win in the series since a 33-31 loss on Oct. 20, 1990. The Sooners have been even more outstanding in Ames, Iowa, winning the last 19 games at Iowa State since a 10-6 defeat on Nov. 5, 1960.

Oklahoma has outscored the Cyclones 84-17 in the last two games at Jack Trice Stadium, and this meeting has the potential to be another blowout.

The Sooners rank fourth in the nation in scoring with 48.4 points per game, while Iowa State is tied with Iowa as the fourth-lowest scoring team at 16.3.

Despite being listed as a 28-point favorite, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has warned his team about being caught off-guard.

"It's just pretty obvious to anyone that's paid attention at all to what's gone on through the whole year that anyone can beat anybody if you're not at your best," Stoops said. "That's always the case, but and it's been evident this year more than any."

The Cyclones (1-6, 0-3) lost to the then-No. 23 Longhorns 56-3 last Saturday at home, and have been outscored 133-37 in Big 12 play.

Iowa State has also lost six of its last eight home games, including three of four at Jack Trice Stadium this season.

"Obviously we're frustrated," said senior quarterback Bret Meyer, who has just five touchdowns with 10 interceptions on the season. "But we've got five games left. If we go out and practice and play frustrated, it's only going to get worse. That's not the makeup of our team."

Four of Iowa State's final five opponents are ranked in this week's Top 25.

The Cyclones have lost both of their games against ranked opponents this season, and have lost their last seven against Top 25 teams dating back to 2005.